Railfanning.org News Wire
WASHINGTON – Amtrak and representatives of nine labor organizations today signed an agreement, avoiding a strike that would have brought to a halt the nation’s passenger railroad and dozens of other railroads that use Amtrak’s rail network.
The nine unions were legally free to strike starting Jan. 30, 2008.
The National Mediation Board had released the parties from mediation on Nov. 1, and a Presidential Emergency Board handed down recommended settlement terms Dec. 30.
Details of the tentative pact were not immediately released to the public. The agreement will be sent to the affected union members for their ratification vote during the next several weeks.
“Investing in the railroad comes in many forms, and one of the best ways is to invest in its people, which we’ve done with this tentative agreement,” Amtrak President and CEO Alex Kummant said in a news release. “I want to thank the leadership of the labor organizations.
“It has not been easy for any of us, and I know they share our sense of relief and resolve to move forward in a productive and cooperative spirit to provide excellent passenger rail service,” Kummant said. “The Amtrak Board of Directors, management and labor are now united in that single purpose. By reaching these tentative agreements, we have averted a possible strike that could have had a crippling effect on the lives of millions of Americans.”
The labor organizations that signed the tentative agreements are:
- Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes
- International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
- International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers
- Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
- Joint Council of Carmen, Helpers, Coach Cleaners and Apprentices
- American Train Dispatchers Association
- National Conference of Firemen & Oilers/Service Employees International Union
- American Railway & Airline Supervisors Association (Maintenance of Equipment; Maintenance of Way)