NITL urges Congressional action on rail labor dispute
Nov 30, 2011 11:39 AM
In anticipation of the dire economic impacts that would result from a nationwide rail shutdown, the National Industrial Transportation League (NITL) called Congress to quickly consider and apply the terms of a recently appointed Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) on both rail management and labor if the parties fail to reach agreement within the next week.
Earlier this month the PEB offered recommendations on contract terms that could serve as a settlement between the Class I railroads as represented by the National Carriers’ Conference Committee and rail labor including the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Yardmen (BLEY). Under terms creating the PEB, the two sides have until 12:01 a.m. December 6 to accept the Board’s recommendations. If they choose not to, either side can resort to “self help” which could result in a nationwide rail shutdown.
In a letter to all 535 members of the US House of Representatives and Senate, NITL President and CEO Bruce Carlton said in the event that labor and management cannot reach an agreement before the PEB deadline, “the League seeks your leadership in passing legislation that would end the strike and impose the terms recommended by the Administration’s PEB on both rail labor and management.”
Carlton points out that it is estimated that a national rail strike would have an impact of $2 billion per day and that, “the nation and Member companies of the League cannot be without the vital service of freight rail for even one day.”
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