US freight railroads have reached another tentative agreement with the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU.
The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents US freight railroads in national collective bargaining, issued a statement on 13 September.
In July, US President Joe Biden appointed members for the PEB to help resolve ongoing disputes between freight rail carriers and unions.
“The tentative agreement announced today follows the 16 August recommendations of PEB No. 250,” reads the statement.
“They include a 24 per cent wage increase during the five-year period from 2020 through 2024 — with a 14.1 per cent wage increase effective immediately — and five annual $1,000 lump sum payments. Portions of the wage increases and lump sum payments are retroactive and will be paid out promptly upon ratification of the agreements by the union’s membership.”
The NCCC urged remaining unions to reach agreements to prevent rail service disruptions.
It added that carriers are in active discussions with the remaining unions about finalising agreements based on the PEB’s recommendation.
Two operating craft unions, BLET and SMART-TD, reportedly continue to maintain positions that were expressly rejected by the PEB.
Under the Railway Labor Act, the carriers and the unions that have not reached agreements remain in a “cooling off” period. Voluntary settlements with all unions would avert any potential disruptions to rail service after the cooling off period ends at on 16 September.
The first agreements reached since PEB’s No. 250 settlement recommendations were announced in late August.