PEB Sides With Workers  

So, I’m getting ready to visit the family. I’m planning to leave on January 31st and return on February 6th. Nice short trip which means, I won’t kill anyone!! Well, that is until I read the Progressiverailroading

You see, there’s a strike looming for Amtrak. And Amtrak is my preferred type of transportation to Ohio. It’s a pretty trip. And on the train, it’s also a comfy trip. I get to sleep easily and we get off in Cleveland somewhere between 2:30 and 4 depending on the speed of the train and the weather.

But with a strike looming, I’m worried about even buying the tickets. Here’s more on the strike from progressiverailroading:

The recommended settlement calls for a 35.2 percent wage increase retroactive from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2009, according to a joint statement released by the Passenger Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition and Amtrak Shopcraft Coalition. The PEB recommends employees receive retroactive pay to compensate for the eight years they’ve worked without a wage increase. To lessen the back-pay burden on Amtrak, PEB members suggest that retroactive wages be paid out in two installments of 40 percent and 60 percent one year apart.

The board also recommended the parties don’t adopt Amtrak’s proposed work rule changes. No other rail agreements contained the type of language Amtrak was seeking, the PEB determined. The proposed changes were not the subjects of intensive bargaining by the parties, Amtrak had not shown a compelling operational need for any of the changes it sought and the adoption of the railroad’s proposals likely would foreclose voluntary agreement and cause “significant instability” within the workforce, according to the union coalitions.

The unions are ready to resume negotiations with the national intercity passenger railroad, the coalitions said. If the parties do not reach an agreement by 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 30, the unions plan to strike. However, there is a possibility that Congress could intervene, the coalitions said.

Again, from progressiverailroading,

Last week, Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) 242 released its recommendations to settle a long-standing dispute between Amtrak and eight labor unions, while two union coalitions set a deadline to prompt a resolution by month’s end.

Formed Dec. 1, the PEB members recommended the parties adopt a wage and health-care package agreed to in April 2007 by the unions and freight-rail industry.

Come on Amtrak, do write by your workers and let me ride the train. Ugh, what am I gonna do?

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