Posts Tagged ‘strikes’

Class 1 Carriers Embargoing Traffic in Advance of Possible Railroad Strike Later This Week.

September 12, 2022

With the prospect of a railroad strike looming late this week, Class 1 railroads said over the weekend they are implementing plans to park hazardous materials starting today (Sept. 12).

Norfolk Southern said it would begin parking trains that did not include hazardous cargo as early as Tuesday.

The Class 1 carriers began sending notices to shippers last Friday to warn them of potential service disruptions should a strike occur.

In a joint statement, leaders of the SMART Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers called the moves by a carriers scare tactics.

“The railroads are using shippers, consumers, and the supply chain of our nation as pawns in an effort to get our unions to cave into their contract demands knowing that our members would never accept them,” the union presidents wrote.

The Association of American Railroads said in a statement that among the hazardous materials that railroads are sidelining in anticipation of a strike are chlorine, which is used to purify drinking water, and chemicals used in fertilizer.

“Railroads are taking all measures necessary to handle sensitive cargo in accordance with federal regulations to ensure that no such cargo is left on an unattended or unsecured train in the event of a work stoppage due to an impasse in labor negotiations,” AAR said.

The AAR statement said the anticipatory actions being taken by railroads do not mean a work stoppage is certain.

BNSF asked its shippers to contract members of Congress “to let them know the impact a rail service interruption would have on your business and your customers.”

Some railroad industry observes believe that the Sept. 16 deadline to reach new agreements might be extended because eight railroad labor unions have reached tentative agreements and extending the deadline would give members of those unions additional time to complete the ratification process.

BLET to Poll Members on Strike Vote

June 24, 2022

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said this week it will poll its members about authorizing a strike if it is unable to reach a new contract that it agrees with.

President Dennis Pierce said conducting the strike vote doesn’t mean a strike will occur.

He said in a statement that a strike, though, could become a tactic to seek to reach the union’s goals during collective bargaining.

The National Mediation Board earlier this month released BLET and other railroad labor unions from mediation with the major railroads, which created a 30-day cooling off period under federal law.

That period ends at 12:01 a.m. on July 18 at which time union members would be free to strike and management would be free to lock workers out of the workplace.

However, another cooling off period could be triggered if the Biden administration appoints a presidential emergency board to investigate the dispute and issue recommendations for solving it.

Pierce said union leaders expect Biden to appoint an emergency board, but the union wants to be “prepared for all eventualities.”

CP Work Stoppage Ends, Sides Agree to Submit their Dispute to Binding Arbitration

March 23, 2022

Canadian Pacific began resuming operations on Tuesday after it and one of its unions agreed to submit their contract dispute to binding arbitration.

The railroad began shutting down on Sunday in a Iabor dispute involving 3,000 locomotive engineers, conductors, and train and yard workers represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.

At the time, CP described it as a strike while the union described it as a lockout, although TCRC later pronounced it both.

Negotiations for a new contract had been ongoing since last September with the two sides at odds over wages, pensions and work rules.

In recent weeks the talks have been mediated by a member of the Canadian Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

In a statement, the union said that although binding arbitration is not its preferred method of resolving disputes, it was able to “negotiate terms and conditions that were in the best interest of our members.”

The union said it would have no further comment until the arbitration process is completed.

Strike Against Akron Metro Averted Again

November 14, 2021

A strike by Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority workers on Monday has been postponed.

Members of The Transport Workers Union of America Local 1 had been prepared to walk off the job after failing to reach a new contract agreement.

However, the national leadership of the union called off the strike and placed Local 1 into temporary receivership.

A statement released by the union said Local 1 had not given “appropriate notice required to authorize a strike.”

The national office of the union has sent representatives to Akron to investigate the local and to take over the contract negotiations.

Members of Local 1 have been working without a contract since July 31, 2020.

“Many of our members here in Summit County reached out to the international union concerned that the local union’s president is no longer employed by METRO,” said Willie Brown, director of the national union’s transit division. “The strike authorization vote was administered improperly, and adequate notice was not provided to the international union in violation of the TWU constitution.”

Brown said a strike may be necessary late but there may be other options as well.

Union members had been prepared to strike or begin picketing on Nov. 4. The union later set a strike date of Nov. 15.

Agreement Averts Possible Strike Against SEPTA

November 2, 2021

A potential transit strike has been averted in Philadelphia after the two sides reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

The Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority reached the pact with the Transit Workers Union Local 234, which represents many SEPTA workers.

In a news release, SEPTA said new contract affects employees of the city, suburban and Frontier Transit divisions and provides pay hikes, a pandemic payment, paid parental leave and Juneteenth as a new paid holiday.

Members of the union must still vote to ratify the agreement before it becomes effective. The SEPTA governing board also must approve the agreement.

CN, Union Reach Tentative Pact to End Strike

November 27, 2019

A tentative contract has been reached to end a week-long strike against Canadian National by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference.

CN said the pact will enable the 3,200 striking CN conductors and rail yard crews in Canada to return to work on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A ratification vote on the contract is expected to be completed within the next eight weeks.

During that period the union and the company have agreed to refrain from any further job actions.

The proposed contract will be voted on by secret ballot with details of the settlement not released until after the union has provided them to its members.