ARLINGTON, VA (July 15, 2022) – The National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents the nation’s freight railroads in national collective bargaining, today issued the following statement regarding the appointment of a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB):
We are pleased that President Biden has established a PEB to assist the parties in bringing the current round of national rail negotiations to a successful conclusion. It remains in the best interest of all parties – and the public – for the railroads and rail labor organizations to promptly settle the bargaining round on reasonable terms that provide employees with prompt and well-deserved pay increases and prevent rail service disruptions.
The president has named Ira Jaffe as chair of the PEB. Barbara C. Deinhardt and David Twomey will also serve as members of the board. All three are experienced, respected labor arbitrators with significant experience resolving labor disputes.
We anticipate the PEB will hold hearings in the coming weeks and issue a written report, including settlement recommendations, in mid-August. Although PEB recommendations are not binding, they historically have assisted the parties in reaching voluntary agreements during a 30-day cooling off period that begins when the PEB issues its report.
Strikes and other work stoppages are prohibited while the PEB completes its work and during the following 30-day cooling off period.
Throughout the bargaining round, the railroads have worked to thoughtfully address issues raised by both sides and have offered pay increases that are consistent with labor market benchmarks and reward rail employees for their essential work. The railroads’ proposals would continue to place rail employee pay and benefits among the best in the nation.
We look forward to demonstrating to the PEB how a recommendation based on our proposals would appropriately reward rail employees’ hard work and skills while best positioning the industry to grow and compete for traffic in the nation’s highly competitive freight marketplace. We also wish to thank the National Mediation Board for its assistance during this bargaining round.
The Railway Labor Act, which governs bargaining in the rail industry, has a proven track record of bringing about voluntary agreements without disruptions to rail service. In the rare instances – most recently in the early 1990s – when the parties have not reached voluntary agreements, Congress has intervened to resolve the matter and maintain vital rail service.
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