Commentary

Yes, It’s the Same Rishi Sunak

If the name of Britain’s new Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, seems familiar, it’s not because most recently he was the comical BoJo’s (Boris Johnson) treasury chief (they call it Chancellor of the Exchequer across the pond, where lately the ruling Conservative Party has been changing out Prime Ministers with the frequency of replacing furnace filters).

SMART-MD, NCFO Accept Deal, BMWED Rejects It. Strike Not Imminent (UPDATED, Oct. 19)

Members of the Mechanical Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-MD) and of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers (NCFO) have voted to ratify

Commentary

Can STB Avoid Political Division?

WATCHING WASHINGTON, RAILWAY AGE OCTOBER 2022 ISSUE: Surface Transportation Board (STB) Chairperson Martin J. Oberman remains as difficult to categorize today as when he arrived in January 2019. In many respects, he brings to mind mythical Roman god Janus, who, in seeing forward and backward, symbolizes change and transition.

Commentary

Is STB Facing Information Overload?

One might as well ask who threw the overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s chowder as to enquire what more the Surface Transportation Board (STB) might learn from additional public hearings on the question of whether railroads Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern should be permitted to merge, and under what conditions.

NCCC, Machinists Reach Agreement (UPDATED)

The National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC), representing most Class I railroads and many smaller ones, has reached a second tentative agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Machinists). The

Commentary

Might Union Chiefs Override Member Vote?

If tentative wages, benefits and work rules agreements reached between rail labor unions and most Class I railroads (and many smaller ones) fail to be ratified by union members in coming weeks, might leadership of those unions override a majority “no” vote and unilaterally impose the tentative agreement or, alternatively, submit it to binding arbitration rather than pursue further collective bargaining or authorize a strike?

Commentary

Reason Together or Face the Sword

WATCHING WASHINGTON, RAILWAY AGE SEPTEMBER 2022 ISSUE: As Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (Santa Fe, now part of BNSF) intermodal train No. 198 sprinted from Chicago toward Kansas City one November day in 1989, a special guest was aboard an attached business car.

No Work Stoppage for Now

It took an all-night bargaining session in the Washington, D.C., offices of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, but as dawn approached Thursday, Sept. 15, three rail unions, representing almost 60% of unionized rail workers and which had been holding out for a better deal than was reached by nine others, came to terms with the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC) that represents most of the nation’s Class I railroads and many smaller ones.

Commentary

Labor Update: Avoid Misinformation Cesspool (UPDATED)

Increasingly likely on Sept. 16, or shortly thereafter, is a rail labor strike or management lockout creating a nationwide rail shutdown that almost certainly will elicit from Congress back-to-work legislation and third-party determination of wage, benefits and work rules amendments to end this almost 33-month-old round of collective bargaining.

Labor Secretary Warns Labor, Rails (UPDATED)

As the clock ticks toward a nationwide rail shutdown as early as Sept. 16—the first in more than three decades and similarly owing to an inability of labor and management to reach a negotiated settlement over amending contracts covering wages, benefits and work rules—frustration is growing, the Biden Administration has inserted itself in the dispute, committees of Congress are showing interest, and economic-damage estimates for the economy, railroads, unions and workers are being calculated.

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