From today’s CNBC Online:
Two of the largest railroad unions in negotiations with railroad carriers have drawn a line in the sand: They are demanding more quality-of-life provisions be put into the contract, covering attendance policies, vacation and sick days, or they will strike.
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the SMART Transportation Division represent half of railroad union workers.
Eight out of the 12 unions have reached tentative agreements with the railroad carriers, according to the National Carriers’ Conference Committee. They did not negotiate the quality-of-life provisions, sources familiar with the negotiations tell CNBC. The unions have what are called “Me Too” agreements, which means whatever benefits the BLET and the SMART unions agree to in their contracts with the carriers, other unions’ members receive.
“If this contract is presented to our members in its current form, it will not pass,” said a labor spokesperson to CNBC. “The workers are angry. They want movement on attendance policies and not be afraid to take a sick day or vacation day without the fear of termination. There will be no ratification unless this is addressed.”
A railroad spokesperson told CNBC they would not comment on ongoing negotiations, but stressed, “The railroads remain in active discussions with the unions that have not yet reached tentative agreements and will continue making every effort to reach agreements based on the PEB recommendations.”
Read the complete story here.