Class 1 Collective Bargaining to Start Jan. 26, CSX to Talk Separately With Unions on Wages and Work Rules

Collective bargaining between U.S. Class 1 railroads and their unions will get underway on Feb. 26 in Washington.

However, CSX has said that it plans to negotiate with the unions separately on wages and work rules.

The six Class 1 railroads make up the National Carriers’ Conference Committee that represents their interests in labor negotiations.

But CSX said this week it will only participate in that bargaining on matters of health and welfare. It is not clear when CSX will begin meeting with its unions other than it will be later this month.

Negotiating sessions this year involving the Carriers’ Conference are also slated to be held in Cleveland, Chicago and Omaha, Nebraska.

Labor unions, which represent 125,000 railroad workers that involved in the contract talks include: American Train Dispatchers Association, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Transport Workers Union of America, Transportation Communications Union, and SMART-Transportation Division.

Contract negotiations take place every five years and are governed by the Railway Labor Act, which seeks to avoid major railroad strikes because of their potential to harm the U.S. economy.

Railroad labor agreements do not have expiration dates and negotiations can take years to complete.

Observes expect negotiations this year to be contentious as railroads push for single-person crews with conductors to be made into ground-based positions.

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