National rail talks: November update

December 6, 2010

The UTU’s negotiating committee and railroads party to the national rail agreement — affecting some 40,000 UTU members — have met seven times since the contract came open for amendment Jan. 1.

“Nothing has been agreed to, but progress is being made on wages, benefits and working conditions,” said UTU International President Mike Futhey. “It is impossible to say that any issue has been finalized until all issues are agreed on.”

The existing national agreement remains in force until amendments are concluded under provisions of the Railway Labor Act.

Carriers in national handling, under the umbrella of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), include BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific and many smaller railroads.

In addition to UTU lead negotiator President Futhey, UTU officers on the negotiating team include Assistant President Arty Martin; UTU International Vice Presidents Robert Kerley and Delbert Strunk; and General Chairpersons John Lesniewski (GO 049), Pate King (GO 680) and Doyle Turner (GO 347).

Negotiations also continue between the NCCC and two rail-labor coalitions.

One, led by the Teamsters Rail Conference, includes the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, the Brotherhood of Boilermakers and Blacksmiths, the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association.

The other, which has asked for mediation under provisions of the Railway Labor Act, includes the Transportation Communications Union, the American Train Dispatchers Association, the International Association of Machinists, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the Transport Workers Union.