BLE opts for mediation

With national contract talks mostly stalled, BLE asks for NMB intervention

Declaring an impasse in contract negotiations with the National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC) on May 1, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers requested the services of the National Mediation Board (NMB) to help resolve the long-running dispute.

BLE International President Don Hahs requested mediation following an unproductive round of negotiations with the NCCC on April 29-30.

"In spite of the lengthy delays we have endured during this round of negotiations, we are hopeful that the National Mediation Board's assistance will help bring our negotiations to a conclusion," Hahs said.

Following negotiations in late April, President Hahs noted that the BLE had offered a comprehensive proposal to the NCCC in a sincere effort to resolve the current disputes involving wages, rules, working conditions and health and welfare issues. The NCCC, however, offered a mere five-bullet point response to the BLE's comprehensive proposal, "which contained no movement on the part of the carriers," the BLE President said.

It is expected that the NMB will give the dispute a docket number and assign a mediator within 14 days of receiving the BLE's request.

The BLE served its Section 6 notices on the carriers on Nov. 1, 1999, and began negotiations in the summer of 2000. President Hahs said opting for mediation was necessary considering how long the process has taken to this point.



© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers