The Presidential Emergency Board, PEB 243, appointed by President Obama last month to hold hearings on our contract dispute with the railroads presented their recommendations to the President, and the White House released the report today. With the issuance of the report another 30 day cooling-off period begins, and will expire at 12:01 a.m. December 6th.
With the report making recommendations outlining the parameters for a peaceful settlement of the dispute, the IBEW and the other five members of our coalition, known as the Coalition of Rail Unions (CRU), have scheduled bargaining sessions with the Carriers beginning on November 10th and continuing into the following week. Our hopes are that we will be able to reach agreements with the Railroads that are fair to all parties involved, thereby avoiding a possible work stoppage and the dispute having to go to the US Congress for their intervention. The Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition also has negotiating sessions scheduled with the railroads.
All Rail Labor unions are in agreement that, in light of the present mood in Congress, if the dispute ended up there an agreement that is fair to our members could be difficult to obtain, as even though they have the recommendations of the PEB they are not bound by them and could, in fact, impose agreement terms on us that are substandard to those found in the report.
We will continue to keep you updated as this situation unfolds. To review the Presidential Emergency Board report, please click here. The summary of the final recommendations can be found in Section VI of the report beginning on page 87.
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