Arlington, VA – April 22, 2022 – The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents the nation’s freight railroads in national collective bargaining, today issued the following statement:
The NCCC railroads acknowledge the impact that delays in the national bargaining round have had on freight rail employees and have proposed to enter interim agreements with all rail labor organizations in national handling providing for advance payments of up to $600 per month, representing amounts that are expected to be due under future national collective bargaining agreements.
The current round of national bargaining has been underway since Jan. 1, 2020. Because rail industry collective bargaining agreements remain in effect until new agreements have been reached, rail employees have been working under the prior agreements since the bargaining round began.
Rail employees work hard and deserve compensation increases that keep them among the best paid employees in the nation. The railroads want to reach new national agreements with the labor organizations that provide those increases, but the issues on the national bargaining table are complex and there is more work to be done before complete agreements on all open issues can be finalized.
Because the bargaining round has been delayed significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic, the railroads have been discussing ways to help alleviate the impact on their employees. The industry has now moved to address the situation with the offer of advance payments. NCCC member carrier CSX, which is not fully participating in national handling with all crafts in this bargaining round, has also moved to address the impact of these delays on a local basis.
The proposal provides that the monthly payments of up to $600 would be made from May 2022 through the end of the year, or until negotiated wage settlement is reached, whichever is earlier. The advance payments would be deducted from any retroactive, lump sum, or future pay increases that may be agreed upon in national bargaining.
The NCCC believes advance payments could address the impact of this unprecedented pandemic on employees while the parties resolve the important issues that remain open in negotiations. In this regard, the railroads look forward to continuing their discussions with all unions in national bargaining and hope to reach fair and reasonable agreements in the near term.
Additional information about the current bargaining round and the railroads’ proposals can be found at www.raillaborfacts.org.