Contract talks move to mediation

Next round of national negotiations scheduled for June 10-11

National contract negotiations under the facilitation of the National Mediation Board (NMB) will resume between the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and the National Carriers' Conference Committee in Washington D.C. on June 10-11.

The NMB received the BLE's request for mediation and assigned it a case number, A-13252. The NMB also assigned mediatiors Les A. Parmelee and Sam Cognata to facilitate the negotiations.

A number of things could happen now that the parties are in mediation. An agreement could be reached, binding arbitration may be proffered by the NMB, the BLE may seek "self help," or management may lockout employees if a settlement is not reached (strike or lockout may only happen after a 30-day "cooling down" period).

Another outcome could be the creation of a Presidential Emergency Board. If it apears likely the BLE would go on strike, then the NMB will notify the President of the United States. When the NMB notifies the President that a collective bargaining dispute threatens to deprive a significant portion of the country of essential transportation services, the President may appoint an Emergency Board.

A Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) temporarily prevents a work stoppage and provides recommendations on potential resolution of the dispute. PEB recommendations can be forced upon the parties by an act of Congress.

Of the two mediators assigned to the case, Sam Cognata has the most seniority. He has worked at the NMB since November of 1975.

Les A. Parmelee joined the NMB in May of 1999. He is currently a Senior Mediator responsible for supervision of assigned staff mediators and the administration of mediation and ADR cases. Immediately prior to joining the Board, he served as the President of American Train Dispatchers Department of the BLE.



© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers