Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) have voted to reject a temporary labor agreement brokered by railroad representatives for work and freight, less than two days before a possible strike by members of two of the largest rail unions still at the negotiating table.
But two unions have agreed to ratify their contracts (see below).
IAM is extending its negotiations with the National Carriers Conference Committee, the group representing freight railroads, until September 29, “out of respect for other unions in the certification process.” This extension will enable IAM to continue negotiating with the railways to reach an agreement that its members can ratify.
The union also said its members had agreed to authorize a vote on the strike. Consent is a procedural required under the Railway Labor Act. Because IAM is still negotiating with the railways, members will not be able to strike.
IAM was one of the first unions to say it had reached an agreement with railway representatives on a new employment contract. It is among dozens of unions seeking a new contract.
“The members of IAM for freight trains are skilled professionals who have worked in difficult conditions during the pandemic to make sure essential products reach their destinations,” IAM said. In the Wednesday edition. “We look forward to continuing this vital work with a fair contract that ensures that our people and their families are treated with the respect they deserve to keep America’s goods and resources moving during the pandemic.”
IAM says its membership consists of about 4,900 members who work as locomotive machinists, track equipment mechanics, and facility maintenance personnel.
Two unions agreed to ratify work contracts
Although IAM members sent their initial approval to the negotiating table, two unions successfully ratified their contracts. They are the Transportation Communications Association/IAM and the Brotherhood of Railroad Carmen, which together account for more than 11,000 rail workers, according to the NCCC.
As rail stakeholders contemplate whether members of the two largest unions, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the International Association of Sheet Metal Workers, Air, Rail and Transport – Transportation Division (SMART-TD), will only strike. After midnight on Friday, other union members indicated that they would respect the picket line even though they would not be allowed to strike themselves.
Members of the Brotherhood of Road Maintenance Division (BMWED) “are required to honor all picket lines. BMWED said in a Tuesday notice to its members that if you show up to work and other trades have formed a picket line, do not cross the transmission line.” However, if you are in the middle of a shift work (already at work and at work) and a strike is called by other union trades, BMWED members must terminate their employment and leave work thereafter and not return until the strike is over, there is a strike stoppage or workers are forced to return to work by legislation or order.”
A new labor agreement for union members has been worked on since January 2020, but negotiations between unions and the railways failed to progress. A federal mediation body handled the negotiations but relieved the parties of those efforts earlier this summer.
The Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) — a three-person board appointed by President Joe Biden that met in July and August to come up with ways unions and railroads could resolve the impasse — issued recommendations last month. The recommendations were meant to serve as a springboard for a new decade.
The NCCC says the two union-ratified agreements implement the August 16 recommendations of the PEB, including a 24% pay increase over the five-year period from 2020 through 2024 — with a 14.1% pay increase effective immediately — and a five-year cut-off of 1,000 dollar. Amount payments.
On Sunday, three other unions said they had reached an agreement they sent to their members for ratification. The members of BLET and SMART-TD did not reach a tentative agreement until Wednesday morning.
According to the Railway Workers Act, the two sides have until midnight Friday to reach a consensus; After that the “cooling off” period ends and union members can strike.
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