Multi-employer bargaining between the freight rail industry and three labor union coalitions that collectively represent rail employees (“national bargaining”) has been in progress for more than two years and is now in federal mediation under the auspices of the National Mediation Board (“NMB”).
Negotiations are occurring against the backdrop of an industry that is experiencing transformational changes and competitive pressures that necessitate an unwavering focus on controlling all business costs, including labor expenses. The railroads are committed to working collaboratively with the union coalitions and NMB mediators to craft voluntary settlements that fairly address those challenges across the entire spectrum of compensation, health care, and work rule issues.
Our commitment to utilizing the bargaining process to reach voluntary agreements includes the firm conviction that the process works best behind closed doors, where the open and candid exchanges that are essential to productive negotiations can occur. Consistent with that philosophy, the railroads will continue to address collective bargaining issues in private at the negotiating table and will not engage in a public debate or respond to partisan commentary on such matters.