The nation's major freight railroads reached tentative collective bargaining agreements with then out of 13 unions, the National Carriers' Conference Committee reported.
The railroads now have now a total of 10 agreements covering more than 60 percent of the 132,000 employees in this bargaining round. Unions which have reached agreements include the United Transportation Union and its Yardmasters Department, the Brotherhood Railway Carmen, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the Transportation Communications International Union; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers and Helpers; the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen.
All of the tentative agreements implement the recommendations laid out by a Presidential Emergency Board appointed by President Obama. The tentative agreements cover wages, benefits and other issues.
Only three unions have not reached voluntary settlements. The railroads are making every effort to reach settlements with these unions to ensure there are no disruptions to rail service. As mandated by the Railway Labor Act, the carriers and remaining unions are in a 30-day “cooling off” period. During this period, which ends December 6, strikes are not permitted.