Members of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) have ratified new contractual terms with the country`s largest freight railways. The BRS is the second of the six-member coalition known as the Coordinated Bargaining Group (“CBG”), which ratified preliminary agreements with the railways in early October. The American Train Dispatchers Association announced that its agreement was ratified by membership on November 27. The case was filed on October 3, 2019 by BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Grand Trunk Western, Norfolk Southern, Illinois Central, Union Pacific and Belt Railway Company of Chicago, arguing that moratoriums in the various crew-consisting agreements do not exclude airlines from the reopening of the crew. Negotiating teams of 10 unions formed by the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC) for this round of national freight rail negotiations participated in a zoom conference on July 28 with National Railway Labor Conference (NRLC) President Brendan Branon and carrier representatives. This meeting was conducted exclusively to verify PowerPoint presentations against the respective views of each page on the issues contained in its Section 6 submissions. Although there were no negotiations during the Zoom conference, the meeting was beneficial to both sides in moving the process forward in good faith in order to reach a voluntary agreement. “We are pleased to hear that BRS members have approved this agreement,” said A. Kenneth Gradia, Chair of the National Carrier Conference Committee (NCCC), representing the railways. “We hope that in the coming days similar announcements will be made by other unions in this coalition. As I said earlier, these agreements serve as a model for resolving national negotiations with other railway unions. In total, CBC unions represent more than 105,000 railway workers covered by the national agreements of the various organizations and represent more than 80% of the workforce that will be affected by this round of negotiations. On November 20, the presidents of the SMART Transportation Division (SMART-TD) worked on railways represented by the National Carrier Conference Committee (NCCC), the changes proposed by smart-TD to agreements on wages, normal conditions and working conditions. More than 40,000 smart TD members are involved in these national negotiations with the NCCC, and the resulting agreements often establish models for other negotiated rail contracts.
In accordance with the provision of the moratorium in the last national agreement, today was the first day that the airlines had the opportunity to open the next round of national negotiations and negotiate a new agreement, and they served us accordingly this morning. Such notices are required by Section 6 of the Railway Works Act to reopen the agreements. With this communication to the NCCC and the ncCC`s previous communication, the parties will begin the next round of negotiations. The airlines are trying to replace one of the crew members in the train cabin with technology and set up a one-person operation. The crew coherence agreements, negotiated for many years by SMART-TD and its predecessors, stand in the way, but are undermined by these and other measures. The articles also try to scare you by saying that airlines will unilaterally reduce crews at the end of the last moratorium.