Unions Sue Class 1s Over Health Care Changes

Twelve railroad labor unions have filed suit against the Class 1 railroads over their plans to change terms of health care coverage for railroad workers and their families.

The carriers have served notice of intent to restrict certain medications and forcibly reconfigure health care networks.

The workers are covered by the NRC/UTU Health and Welfare Plan and the Railroad Employees National Health and Welfare Plan.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is seeking to force the carriers to bargain in good faith with the unions over the health care changes.

The lawsuit said the issues at stake have been the subject of collective bargaining for decades and are part of the Class I bargaining notices served Nov. 1, 2019, under the Railway Labor Act.

In a news release, the unions said that if the proposed changes are implemented, their members would suffer.

“Even more outrageous, the process they are attempting to impose would allow rail carriers to reduce employees’ access to medicines and doctors in the middle of a pandemic,” the statement said.

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