The IAM and the Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM) joined the other members of the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition, rail labor’s largest coalition, in issuing a statement on the status of bargaining with the major U.S. Class 1 railroads.
“After more than two years of bargaining with the major U.S. Class 1 railroads, discussions completely stalled last week,” according to the statement. “Accordingly, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Railway Labor Act, top leaders of 10 rail unions applied to the National Mediation Board (NMB) for the assignment of a federal mediator to assist in our negotiations.”
“We have multiple issues facing our members, and we must fight to keep integrity at the bargaining table,” said Richie Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “Our members want an agreement that reflects the personal sacrifices they made before the pandemic and continue to make every single day to keep the rail industry moving.
“The Carriers have used every possible stall tactic, despite the Coalition’s repeated good faith efforts to achieve voluntary agreement,” said TCU/IAM President Artie Maratea. “They’re making record profits, off the backs of our members, who have literally kept rail – and America – running through a pandemic. Mediation is the next crucial step towards reaching an agreement.”
“I speak to our members and local leaders regularly and hear their concerns,” said IAM District 19 President Mike Perry. “We must obtain an agreement that recognizes the sacrifices made over the past few years. This agreement must create a better balance between the rail carriers and our members doing the work while keeping our members safe.”
Click here for the press release from the CBC.
The unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition are the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA); the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen / Teamsters Rail Conference (BLET); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); the International Association of Machinists (IAM); the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB); the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers/SEIU (NCFO); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU); the Transportation Communications Union / IAM (TCU), including TCU’s Brotherhood of Railway Carmen Division (BRC); and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART–TD).
Collectively, the CBC unions represent more than 105,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements and comprise over 80% of the workforce who will be impacted by this round of negotiations.