INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (June 10, 2024) — The SMART Transportation Division has begun the process of formulating Section 6 notices to be served on rail carriers negotiating under the umbrella of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which will include proposals to improve wages, benefits, and working conditions. 

As mandated by the Railway Labor Act and the current national agreement, these Section 6 notices will be served on or about November 1, 2024, to become effective no earlier than January 1, 2025. The serving of Section 6 notices is the first step in reaching a new national agreement with railroads represented by the NCCC. Rail carriers represented by the NCCC have also been working on their own Section 6 notices, which they will serve at or about the same time SMART-TD’s notices are served. 

All affected SMART-TD officers and members are invited to submit proposals for the organization’s Section 6 notices. Members may submit their proposals by the following means: 

Email (preferred): 

Fax: (216) 228-5755 

Mail: SMART-TD President, 6060 Rockside Woods Blvd. N., Ste. #325, Independence, OH 44131 

Proposals received on or before July 24, 2024, will be catalogued and forwarded to a Section 6 Review Committee comprised of General Chairpersons from across the country, who represent members in the affected crafts. After the Section 6 Review Committee fine tunes those suggestions, a final draft will be forwarded to the entire Association of General Chairpersons, District No. 1, for final review and approval. On or after November 1, 2024, General Committees will begin serving those final Section 6 notices.  

In addition to the above, SMART-TD will be conducting a randomized membership survey to help define the issues for prioritization during negotiations. To ensure that you are eligible to participate in surveys, and to stay up to date on future developments, members are encouraged to register for the Member Portal and log in to the SMART-TD website at, and/or download the SMART Union app from the Google Play or Apple Store.  

All SMART-TD members are reminded that the current national agreement between the SMART-TD and NCCC will not expire on or after January 1, 2025. Under the status-quo provisions of the Railway Labor Act, the current national agreement will remain in effect. 

On July 28, 2021, a Neutral appointed by the National Mediation Board issued his ruling finding that on certain railroad properties, the current moratoria in those crew consist agreements do not prohibit the railroads from serving a Section 6 Notice regarding crew size. The properties affected or having no current moratorium include certain properties at BNSF, UP, NS and CN Railroads. Other properties not currently affected or involved may also be included in the future as moratoriums naturally expire. Please contact your local chairperson or general chairperson for specific details regarding your terminal or district.

The ruling comes after a nearly two-year battle between SMART-TD and the National Railway Labor Conference over the moratoria provisions and their effect. The arbitration was one of the largest conducted by SMART-TD and its predecessor union, UTU, in decades.

The ruling does not eliminate any current crew consist provision or requirement. The only thing it does is to open the door for bargaining to occur. The moratoria that previously prevented any mandatory bargaining on crew consist were predicated on the last remaining employees having hired on the railroad previous to the 1980’s. Today, less than 100 of these employees remain nationwide, and most are at, or near retirement age. 

Once a Section 6 is served, the Railway Labor Act requires both parties to engage in mandatory bargaining. The Act, however, does not mandate any particular outcome in such negotiations, it merely provides a process. In the event parties reach an impasse, the Act contains methods to avoid disruption to commerce through mandatory mediation and possibly intervention from the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress.

SMART-TD remains committed to protecting the jobs of today, as well as securing the jobs of the future. While only some General Committees will be involved in bargaining, the full support and effort of the International in assisting those Committees will continue.