The following is a joint statement from BLET President Dennis Pierce and SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson:
CLEVELAND, Ohio, August 27 — On Monday, August 22, the SMART TD and BLET, along with the other remaining United Rail Unions, met with the Rail Carriers via Zoom to determine if PEB 250’s recommendations could serve as a basis for a tentative agreement. In-person meetings were then held on Thursday and Friday in Chicago, Illinois. Unfortunately, the meetings did not result in any tentative agreement language that operating crafts would accept, or that could be presented to our members for ratification.
Although no tentative agreement was reached this week, SMART TD and BLET remain committed to negotiate over issues that are most important to our members, including wages, quality of life, and attendance as well as voluntary time off issues. In addition to those issues, we are seeking clarification on certain aspects of PEB 250’s recommendations concerning health and welfare.
We will continue to keep our members updated as the cooling off period countdown clock to 12:01 a.m. (eastern time) on September 16th approaches. Our goal is and always has been to reach a voluntary agreement that is worthy of our membership’s consideration. As we approach the final stages of the steps of the Railway Labor Act, we appreciate our members’ continued support. We have made it abundantly clear to the Carriers that we are prepared and willing to exercise every legal option available to us, to achieve the compensation and working conditions that we and our families rightfully expect and deserve.