The National Mediation Board released from mediation the Unions representing the employees of New Jersey Transit (NJT). The unions, working together in the New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition, immediately announced their intention to invoke a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), which will make non-binding recommendations to settle the four-year-old contract dispute. The Coalition includes every rail union on NJT, representing more than 4,000 commuter workers, including TCU.
“By announcing our intention to invoke a PEB, we want to remove any fears the riding public may have that a strike could occur in July. Our goal is to reach a voluntary agreement. We are optimistic that a neutral PEB will find reasonable our proposals to follow the pattern settlements reached on New York commuter railroads. There is simply no justification for the workers we represent to fall further behind their counterparts on Long Island and Metro-North Railroads”, said the coalition spokesmen.
Negotiations for new contracts began on July 1, 2011. NMB efforts at mediation have failed to produce any agreements, prompting the release.
Under the governing Railway Labor Act, self-help would be possible at 12:01 AM, July 16, 2015, unless one of the involved Governors, the commuter agency or unions request that President Obama appoint a Presidential Emergency Board. Once appointed, the PEB will have thirty days to hold hearings and issue non-binding recommendations to settle the dispute. Creation of the PEB will start a 120-day cooling-off period during which neither side can resort to self-help.
Click here see the full release from the coalition unions.