WASHINGTON — Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO, released the following statement on behalf of TTD’s 37 affiliated unions, including all of rail labor, in response to the National Mediation Board’s proffer of arbitration to all parties involved in the national rail bargaining process, including the railroads and unions:
“After more than three years of bad faith negotiations by the railroads, it is unfortunate but not surprising that contract agreements were not achieved through voluntary mediation. The railroads’ offer of a net pay cut and demand for health care concessions are wholly unacceptable.
After exhaustive mediation, the NMB has now proffered binding arbitration. Our goal from the beginning of this process has been to deliver a contract that rail workers deserve, and that they can ratify, particularly as the railroads are raking in their highest-ever profits on the backs of workers. Because binding arbitration inherently means that rank and file union members will not have the option to vote on their contract — which is their constitutionally mandated right — rail labor will reject the offer of binding arbitration. We will continue to adhere to the letter of the law in the contract negotiation process, while rail workers — who have not received a pay raise in three years — continue their work as frontline pandemic heroes who are moving cargo and goods through the supply chain.”