NMB Releases Unions on New Jersey Transit Unions Say Presidential Emergency Board Is Next
June 16, 2015
The National Mediation Board yesterday released from further mediation every commuter union on New Jersey Transit (NJT).
The unions, working together in the New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition, immediately announced their intention to invoke a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), which will make non-binding recommendations to settle the four year old contract dispute.
The Coalition includes every rail union on NJT, representing more than 4,000 commuter workers.
Coalition spokesmen said, "By announcing our intention to invoke a PEB, we want to remove any fears the riding public may have that a strike could occur in July. Our goal is to reach a voluntary agreement. We are optimistic that a neutral PEB will find reasonable our proposals to follow the pattern settlements reached on New York commuter railroads. There is simply no justification for the workers we represent to fall further behind their counterparts on Long Island and Metro-North railroads."
Negotiations for new contracts opened on July 1, 2011 . NMB efforts at mediation failed to produce agreements, prompting today's releases. Under the governing Railway Labor Act, a strike would be possible at 12:01 AM, July 16, 2015, unless one of the involved Governors, the commuter agency or unions request the President to appoint an Emergency Board . Once appointed, the PEB will have thirty days to hold hearings and issue non-binding recommendations to settle the dispute. Creation of the PEB will start a 120 day cooling off period during which neither side can resort to self-help.
Transport Workers Union of America, Local 2001 is sometimes better known as TWU Local 2001. We are a Labor Organization (LABOR UNION) that exists to represent the interests of Skilled Labor Workers in the Railroad Industry. Our Brothers and Sisters work for Rail Transportation Carriers in four states and for seven different common carriers. We stand tall and we stand proud as we move people and products safely.
The brothers and sisters who comprise the membership of TWU Local 2001 work for MetroNorth, Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, Conrail, CSX, Norfolk Southern, and the Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation (PATH). We work as Coach Cleaners, Car Appearance Maintainers, Carmen Helpers, Carmen, Car Repairmen, Car Inspectors, Service Workers, Trackmen, Pump Maintainers, Crane Operators, Welders, Flagmen, Carpenters, and other skilled crafts. We serve on wreck crews, perform safety inspections, clean and service both rolling stock and locomotives on both passenger and freight railroads. We keep America moving safely.
Before the railroads were unionized, the railroaders on the various carriers were among the lowest paid of the skilled industrial workers in the United States. They had no health and welfare benefits, and were under a compulsory six day workweek. No Vacation plan existed, and the relative level of safety that existed made railroading among the most dangerous of all occupations in the United States. Railroaders were the backbone of the American Transportation System, yet very few could afford to own their own home.
The unionization of the railroads skilled craftsmen and labor forces changed how railroaders were compensated, the level of benefits they received, their relative level of safety while performing their jobs, the hours they worked, and their ability to live the American Dream of owning their own family home. But a labor union is more than just an agent for collective bargaining; it is a fraternal organization that fosters mutual respect for one another based on the common values that we share. Our Union is committed to provide communication to our members regarding issues that are important to them and their families.
We are proud of our history, and we are committed to the same principles upon which our union was founded. We continue to work to achieve better wages, benefits, and working conditions so that our brothers and sisters can provide for their families health, education, and welfare. We believe that through collective unity there is invincible strength. We believe that together we all can live the American Dream. Together, we believe that tomorrow will be better than yesterday or today. We believe that our best days are yet to come!