Herzog appeals 13(c) ruling

CLEVELAND, March 29 -- On March 23, Herzog Transit Services filed a Notice of Appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in its action against the Department of Labor.

In January, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia upheld the pro-labor decision of the former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman to enforce section 13 (c) of the 1964 Mass Transportation Act. Herzog Transit Services had sought to bid on the operation of Bay Transit Authority's commuter rail services in the San Francisco area without being regulated by 13 (c).

The provisions of 13 (c) authorize the Secretary of Labor to condition certification of bids in order to protect collective bargaining and workers' rights. The court ruling held that this was a "fair and equitable" provision.

Herzog Transit Services wanted to be one of the bidders for the maintenance and running of the trains and, aware of the Department of Labor's (DOL) interpretation of regulations in the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) case from earlier in 2000, filed a lawsuit challenging the application of these regulations.

The BLE, along with the Firemen and Oilers, IAM, IBEW, TCU and UTU, intervened last fall in support of the Labor Department, and were granted intervenor status in mid-December.

In the MBTA case, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Federal Transit Administration warned MBTA contractor Bay State Transit Service that it was not complying with 13 (c). The contractor disagreed and tried to litigate the issue, but the federal agencies threatened to cut off about $200 million in funds immediately if the MBTA did not honor its 13(c) obligations. Amtrak's contracts to operate MBTA service have been renewed.

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March 29, 2001
bentley@ble.org

 

2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers