Railroads Reject Union’s Counter Offer

The prospect of a national railroad work stoppage is back on the table after negotiators for railroad management rejected a counter contract proposal by a union whose members voted to reject an earlier tentative agreement.

The National Carriers Conference Committee called the proposed by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division a nonstarter.

Details about the union’s proposal were not disclosed, but a report on the website of Railfan and Railroad magazine said the union was seeking new terms to create a better work-life balance for its members.

The NCCC said it considered the earlier contract that the union’s members rejected to be rather generous. That contract had largely followed the recommendations of a presidential emergency board in terms of wages and benefits.

However, the PEB had not made many recommendations regarding work rules in regards to such things as the attendance policies that have triggered railroad worker ire.

Instead, the PEB suggested those issues needed to be addressed in local bargaining between management and labor.

The MOW union said that a record 11,484 of its members voted in the ratification process with 6,646 voting against the contract and 5,100 voting in favor.

The two parties are now in a cooling off period that extends until Nov. 19. At that point railroads could choose to lock out their workers and/or the union could go on strike.

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