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ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS RESPONDS TO REPORTS OF PRESIDENTIAL EMERGENCY BOARDS 220, 221

 ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS RESPONDS TO REPORTS
 OF PRESIDENTIAL EMERGENCY BOARDS 220, 221
 WASHINGTON, May 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Edwin L. Harper, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, issued the following statement in response to reports of Presidential Emergency Boards 220 and 221:
 A more detailed reading of the freight industry reports issued by the Presidential Emergency Boards reveals that they are intended to be a roadmap to voluntary settlements that will allow the nation's fragile economic recovery to be spared the debilitating effects of a nationwide rail strike.
 The recommendations of the Presidential Emergency Boards grant railroads no great victory, but only offer suggestions for a compromise that will keep train wheels rolling, hundreds of thousands of rail workers employed, and America's assembly lines operating.
 These boards, as their predecessors, recognized that breaking a pattern settlement is destabilizing. Agreements covering 95 percent of the rail industry's work force were signed in 1991 -- many of them voluntarily; others as a result of recommendations made by Emergency Board No. 219.
 Indeed, as Emergency Board No. 220 stated, "the findings and recommendations of PEB 219 constitute a pattern ... (and) recommendations more favorable ... would be unfair to the vast majority of employees working under the PEB 219 recommendations."
 Emergency Board No. 220 also stated that breaking the pattern previously established would:
 -- Seriously disturb morale and orderly labor relations by establishing materially different conditions of employment among employees who work elbow-to-elbow.
 -- Cause "leapfrogging, metooism and whipsawing" by other labor organizations as they competed with each other for superior benefits.
 -- Inevitably result in destabilization of parity arrangements, historical differentials and established relationships.
 It should be remembered also that rail workers already earn compensation that places them in the top 1 percent of the American work force and that agreements signed following recommendations of Emergency Board No. 219 ensure that our unionized employees will retain their earnings advantage over 99 percent of the work force.
 -0- 5/29/92
 /CONTACT: Carol B. Perkins of Association of American Railroads, 202-639-2552/ CO: Association of American Railroads ST: District of Columbia IN: TRN SU:


TW -- DC013 -- 5180 05/29/92 12:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 29, 1992
Words:355
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