NS, Unions Tussle in Court Over Vaccine Requirement

In the wake of imposing a requirement that all of its employees get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, Norfolk Southern is suing its labor unions, seeking to overturn their lawsuit contesting the rule.

The Class 1 carrier filed a lawsuit in a federal court in Chicago seeking to block the lawsuit filed by the unions seeking to force NS to engage in collective bargaining over the issue.

NS in its lawsuit contends that the objections of the unions to the vaccine rule should be the subject of arbitration and not litigation.

In imposing the vaccine rule, NS cited an executive order issued by President Joseph Biden requiring federal contractors to require their workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

In its lawsuit, NS asserts a right under its contracts with the unions to require vaccination in order to comply with the executive order.

The legal action being taken by the unions and NS is similar to lawsuits that followed an announcement by Union Pacific that it would require its workers to be vaccinated.

Amtrak has also announced a vaccination requirement for its employees and other Class I railroads are expected to follow suit.

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