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BMWE BLASTS CONGRESS FOR CAVING IN TO RAILROADS' 'MANUFACTURED' CRISIS

 BMWE BLASTS CONGRESS FOR CAVING IN
 TO RAILROADS' 'MANUFACTURED' CRISIS
 WASHINGTON, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes issued the following:
 The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes strongly criticized Congress for punishing workers in its response to a management-created national railroad emergency.
 "Two crimes were committed this week," said BMWE President Mac A. Fleming. "The railroads blackmailed Congress and the nation by holding the economy hostage. And Congress murdered collective bargaining in the rail industry.
 "Our union went out of its way to avoid an emergency by extending the no-strike period and keeping the talks going. The railroads responded by locking out our members and shutting down the railroad industry. Congress responded by taking away our right to strike."
 In its action ending the two-day rail lockout, Congress legislated a 38-day "cooling-off" period for further negotiations, but also established a binding arbitration process that eliminates labor's right to strike and destroys the bargaining process.
 "Last night Congress engaged in a feel-good exercise that was no more than a cover-up for shoving binding arbitration down our throats," Fleming said. "Experience has taught us that binding arbitration tacked on to the end of the process doesn't encourage bargaining, it discourages it. Congress has now set a pattern that tells the carriers they never have to bargain in good faith.
 "We were not the ones who shut down the railroads. We were the ones who went without pay raises for four years," Fleming said. "We were the ones who voluntarily agreed not to strike and stay at the bargaining table at the end of the cooling off period two days ago. Yet Congress has rewarded management -- which locked out 250,000 workers and jeopardized the economy -- by demolishing workers' rights."
 -0- 6/26/92
 /CONTACT: Al Comeaux or Charlie Miller, 202-289-0800, or Steve Fountain, 313-868-0490, all for the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes/ CO: Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes ST: District of Columbia IN: TRN SU:


IH -- DC012 -- 4237 06/26/92 13:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 26, 1992
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