Rail Labor seeks mediation to settle national contract talks

Rail Labor’s Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) released the following statement on December 5, 2016:
Despite our best efforts, collective bargaining with the major U.S. Class 1 railroads completely stalled
late last week. Therefore, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Railway Labor Act, we have today
applied to the National Mediation Board (NMB) for the assignment of a federal mediator to assist in our
This development is very disappointing, as the Unions in the Coordinated Bargaining Group have been
at the negotiating table for almost two years seeking a voluntary settlement. Throughout that time, the
Unions have steadfastly maintained that the Carriers’ original demands were unacceptable to our
bargaining team, and would be found equally unacceptable by our collective membership.
Nevertheless, the Unions went to the table last week with the intention of reaching a satisfactory
voluntary settlement that would fairly address the needs of both sides, but that did not happen.
Unfortunately, the railroads apparently believe that the national elections in November have tipped the
labor-management balance in this country heavily in their favor, as they made clear that no reasonable
and fair resolution is any longer in the offing.
Our members have earned, and rightfully expect, a fair contract settlement that recognizes the fact that
the industry continues to reap many billions in net profits annually. We have maintained from the outset
that there is no reason not to bring these negotiations to a timely and equitable conclusion.
Instead, the railroads continue to demand extreme concessions that would erode our members’ standard
of living and earned benefits. We cautiously anticipate that the involvement of the NMB will cause the
industry to refocus on addressing the legitimate needs of the men and women whose labor generates
their positive financial returns.
Additional information will be provided as developments warrant.