The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) issued the following statement today on the National Mediation Board (NMB)’s proffer of binding arbitration to the railroads and 11 rail unions. The statement can be attributed to A. Kenneth Gradia, Chairman of the NCCC, the railroads’ bargaining representative.
“We are extremely disappointed by the Board’s decision today, which came at about the same time as the members of the United Transportation Union and its Yardmasters Department ratified the agreements reached by their leadership with the railroads. The UTU agreements should have prompted the NMB to continue mediation with the other unions in national bargaining, not to extend a proffer. The agreements, which cover 40,000 employees (almost a third of the employees in this bargaining round), clearly provide a pattern for settlements with the other unions.
“Our goal, as always, is to reach fair labor settlements with all of the unions through any available means that avoid the risk of rail service disruptions, which is why we accepted the proffer of arbitration. It is in the best interests of both sides – and the country – to resolve our bargaining disputes peacefully and eliminate any potential threats to the nation’s already fragile economy.”
The current round of negotiations between the railroads and 13 major rail unions began in January 2010.
The NCCC represents more than 30 railroads, including BNSF, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific in national (multi-employer) bargaining with the 13 major rail unions.