Printer Friendly

NEW JERSEY DELEGATION TELLS MANAGEMENT, LABOR THEY WILL OPPOSE CONGRESSIONAL INTERVENTION IN LOOMING STRIKE AT CONRAIL, AMTRAK

 NEW JERSEY DELEGATION TELLS MANAGEMENT, LABOR THEY WILL OPPOSE
 CONGRESSIONAL INTERVENTION IN LOOMING STRIKE AT CONRAIL, AMTRAK
 WASHINGTON, May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes issued the following:
 In an effort to avert a strike, New Jersey lawmakers are telling Amtrak, Conrail and their workers not to expect Congress to intervene in strikes looming at both railroads.
 In a letter signed by all 14 members of the New Jersey House delegation, the parties are warned that Congress is in no mood to settle the disputes and that labor and management should settle their disputes themselves.
 Meanwhile, labor and management awaited the recommendations of a Presidential Emergency Board which is considering various aspects of the disputes. The PEB report was due today. A strike could take place as early as June 24 on one or both railroads if no settlement is reached.
 "While we feel it is appropriate for Congress to intervene in disputes that pose a grave economic dislocation to our economy, the Amtrak and Conrail disputes do not warrant such action," the letter said. "In these cases, the implications of a protracted dispute are clearly regional, and substitute modes of transportation are available."
 "We do not wish Congress to be used as a tool by management or labor to avoid confronting difficult collective bargaining issues," the letter said. "The collective bargaining process depends upon the ability of both labor and management to negotiate in good faith. Obviously, there is substantially less impetus to negotiate when the expectation is that Congress will impose a settlement."
 "As the strike deadline approaches...we are concerned that Congress will once again be put in the position of forcing a settlement in a rail-labor dispute."
 Union officials, who have been in negotiations for almost four years, praised the letter. "Congress is pressuring the railroad companies to bargain with us in good faith," said Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes President Mac A. Fleming. "Since 1988, the carriers have sat across the table stone faced, unwilling to move on the issues, because they think Congress will impose a favorable settlement. This letter is meant to get them to negotiate."
 BMWE members at Conrail and Amtrak, who build and maintain railroad tracks, bridges and buildings, have been working without a new contract since 1988.
 On Amtrak, where wages are 12 percent lower than on other railroads, and where BMWE members average $21,000 a year, the top issue is wages. Amtrak also wants to cut "overall compensation" -- through wage and work rule changes -- by 30 percent. On Conrail, where BMWE members have suffered from massive job losses, the major issue is job security.
 On both railroads, the companies' demands would force employes to work hundreds of miles from home, often for weeks at a time. At the same time, Conrail wants to provide squalid living conditions, and Amtrak is offering $29 per day for meals, lodging and gas.
 BMWE members -- who have agreed to givebacks to save these two companies in the past -- say they cannot possibly accept these hardships when Conrail is enjoying profits and its stock price is skyrocketing, and while ridership is soaring and management wages are consistently increasing at Amtrak. In fact, while maintenance of way wages have been frozen since 1988, Amtrak management has enjoyed increases totalling 18.5 percent.
 "This letter is telling the companies that they better start bargaining in good faith or a shutdown will be their own fault," Fleming said. "Congress realizes that the carriers will take full advantage of the waiting game if there is no threat that a strike will be protracted."
 Last April, when workers went on strike against the rest of the nation's railroads, Congress halted the strike and established a special board to consider and settle the dispute. That board, appointed by President Bush, imposed many of the provisions that Amtrak and Conrail workers are fighting today.
 -0- 5/28/92
 /CONTACT: Al Comeaux for the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes, 202-289-0800/ CO: Amtrak; Conrail; Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes ST: New Jersey IN: TRN SU:


TW -- DC010 -- 4700 05/28/92 11:31 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 28, 1992
Words:688
Previous Article:CLOTHESTIME TO ADDRESS AGGRESSIVE GROWTH STOCK CONFERENCE, JUNE 3
Next Article:HOUSE LABOR PANEL TO HOLD HEARING ON GM WILLOW RUN PLANT CLOSING
Topics:


Related Articles
NEW YORK LAWMAKERS SAY THEY WILL 'ACTIVELY OPPOSE' CONGRESSIONAL INTERVENTION IN STRIKES AT CONRAIL, AMTRAK
PENNSYLVANIA FEDERATION BMWE CHAIRMAN DELIVERS STATEMENT REGARDING AMTRAK AND CONRAIL DISPUTES
MASSACHUSETTS DELEGATION PRESSES RAILROAD COMPANIES TO BARGAIN IN GOOD FAITH WITH THEIR WORKERS
ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN RAILROADS TO OPERATE COMMUNICATIONS CENTER DURING LABOR DISPUTE
PENNSYLVANIA FEDERATION OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAINTENANCE OF WAY EMPLOYES CHAIRMAN ISSUES STATEMENT ON RAIL NEGOTIATIONS
ENGINEERS PREPARE FOR AMTRAK STRIKE
RAILROAD LABOR, AFL-CIO ISSUE STATEMENT ON OPPOSITION TO CONGRESSIONAL INTERVENTION IN RAILROAD DISPUTES
Railroad industry.
CONRAIL AND THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE AGREE TO NEW LABOR CONTRACT
Amtrak Presses BMWE for Answers

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters