Arlington, VA – June 14, 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 National Mediation Board’s decision to end mediation between the railroads and all rail labor organizations regarding the terms of new national labor agreements:
The NCCC railroads are disappointed the parties were unable to reach voluntary agreements in mediation. It remains in the best interests of all parties – and the public – to settle this dispute, provide for prompt pay increases for all rail employees, and prevent rail service disruptions.
The railroads have worked to address issues raised by both sides in the negotiations 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.
The NCCC remains willing and available to negotiate at any time over mutually acceptable terms. The NCCC will also look forward to demonstrating to the expected Presidential Emergency Board how the railroads’ proposals 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.
The National Mediation Board has now provided the parties an opportunity to submit their dispute to binding arbitration prior to being released from mediation. The railroads would consider accepting the proffer, but the union leadership has already indicated that it will not. Because both sides would need to accept the proffer for it to take effect, the unions’ anticipated rejection of binding arbitration means the parties will soon enter a 30-day “cooling off” period.
At any time, the President may appoint a Presidential Emergency Board to investigate and make recommendations regarding settlement of the dispute. The railroads expect a PEB will be appointed in this dispute before the end of the 30-day cooling off period, as has been the case in prior unresolved national rail negotiations. Once appointed, a PEB has 30 days to conduct hearings and issue a report. Work stoppages are prohibited during this time and for another 30 days following the issuance of the report. In the past, PEB recommendations have served as the basis for voluntary agreements, but in some cases Congress has had to intervene.
For additional information about the NMB’s decision to end mediation, please visit the Bargaining Status FAQ.
For additional information about national railroad collective bargaining, visit www.raillaborfacts.org