Labor Update - Extension of Cooling Off Period Offered
One of the three remaining unions not under agreement, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE), offered yesterday to extend the current cooling off period until February 8, 2012. The other two unions, The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA), have not yet joined the BMWE in the extension offer. The railroads are willing to agree to an extension contingent upon all three unions joining the agreement by Tuesday, November 29.
Without an extension, the current cooling off period will expire on December 6. At that time a strike or other job action could cause the national rail network to shut down.
In response to my request earlier this week, many of our customers have written or called their Congressional delegations to express their concerns over the possibility of a strike or other job actions. We believe your active participation is sending a clear signal to the unions, the Obama Administration and Congress that any disruption of the freight rail network would have a devastating impact on our customers and a recovering U.S. economy. Thank you for your support and we will continue to update you on the progress of the bargaining round.
Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer