Arlington, VA (November 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 and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) have agreed to extend their existing status quo period until 12:01 a.m. on December 9, 2022. This means that the status quo periods for all unions that have not ratified agreements are now aligned.
Eight unions have set a clear pattern for resolution of the bargaining round by ratifying agreements based on the recommendations of three experienced arbitrators appointed by President Biden to Presidential Emergency Board 250. Agreements based on these recommendations, which include the largest wage increases in nearly five decades and maintain employees’ platinum-level healthcare coverage, were resoundingly endorsed by the president as a “win for tens of thousands of rail workers.”
The four unions that have not fully resolved the bargaining round are SMART-TD (with respect to only one of its contracts), BMWED, BRS, and IBB. Although leaders of these unions initially endorsed the agreement, three of the unions continue to demand terms that were rejected by the PEB and that are in excess of the pattern accepted by all the other rail unions. They have threatened to strike if the additional demands are not met.
A national rail strike would severely impact the economy and the public. Even the threat of one will require that freight railroads and passenger carriers soon begin to take responsible steps to safely secure the network in advance of any deadline.
The railroads remain willing to enter agreements that are based on the PEB-recommended framework. Should the unions without ratified agreements remain unwilling to do so, they are expected to strike and Congress may need to intervene – just as it has in the past – to prevent disruption of the national rail system.
For additional information about the bargaining round, including the status of all pending ratification votes, please click here.