President Barack Obama created Presidential Emergency Board 244 on Nov. 21 in an effort to resolve an impasse over contract negotiations between the Long Island Rail Road Co. (LIRR) and a coalition of unions. The coalition consists of TCU, SMART (UTU and SMWIA) and the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers/SEIU. The PEB put in place averts a strike or lockout.?
Obama signed an executive order establishing the three-member panel before a mandatory 30-day cooling-off period imposed by the National Mediation Board expired at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 22.?
The panel now will investigate the dispute, hear evidence and report to the president within 30 days. The seven coalition unions and LIRR have failed to reach agreement on new contracts after more than three years of talks.
Obama named Ira F. Jaffe as chair. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators and has previously served on four PEBs.
Also named to the LIRR panel were Roberta Golick, an arbitrator and mediator since 1974 who also has served on four other PEBs, and Arnold Zack, an arbitrator and mediator since 1957 who has sat on five previous PEBs.?
“After three long years of fruitless negotiations due to the never-ending, unprecedented concessions sought by the Long Island Railroad, we will now be able to make our case before a Presidential Emergency Board – consisting of impartial arbitrators. The full resources of our union will be put forth in this massive undertaking and we will prevail,” said TCU National President Bob Scardelletti.
Click here to read the previous TCU web article on the Long Island negotiations.
Click here to read the PEB release from the White House.