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BLET seeks mediation in LIRR contract talks

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, March 5 — On March 2, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) applied to the National Mediation Board (NMB) for the assignment of a federal mediator to assist in contract negotiations with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), pursuant to Section 5, First, of the Railway Labor Act.

The current round of contract negotiations began when the BLET filed its Section 6 notice on November 1, 2018. In spite of its good faith efforts to secure a satisfactory voluntary settlement, the BLET negotiating team has deemed the Carrier’s tactics to be unacceptable.

Negotiations on behalf of BLET are under the direction of Kevin Sexton, General Chairman of the BLET’s LIRR General Committee of Adjustment. The union represents approximately 500 LIRR locomotive engineers.

“This development is highly disappointing,” General Chairman Sexton said. “From the outset, our intent was to reach a voluntary settlement that would fairly address the needs of both sides, but that has not happened. We rightfully expect a fair settlement that recognizes the grave personal sacrifices our members have made — and continue to make — each day in the performance of our duties in spite of an ongoing global pandemic. We hope that involvement of the NMB will cause the LIRR to refocus on addressing the legitimate needs of the professional men and women who safely operate trains on the largest commuter railroad in the United States."

Updates will be provided as developments warrant.

Friday, March 5, 2021
bentley@ble-t.org

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