Tensions High as Union Pacific Scrambles to Answer for Their Actions
Tensions remain high between Union Pacific and SMART-TD GO953 as deliberations over a possible major dispute continue.
Earlier this month, Union Pacific attempted to instruct road Conductors to operate company automobiles. Swift action by GO953 made clear to UP that such a requirement on road Conductors was in direct violation of the Railway Labor Act and may constitute a major dispute.
In 1994, GO953 initiated a strike action against Union Pacific for a similar action when yard Switchmen in North Platte, Nebraska were required to operate company vehicles in connection with their switchman assignments. The 1994 strike by UTU (now SMART-TD), resulted in the dispute being decided by a National Mediation Board Arbitrator.
This week, discussions between Union Pacific and top Officers of SMART-TD GO953 resulted in an impasse over whether Union Pacific was within its rights to force road Conductors to also operate company vehicles. In a confrontational meeting, General Chairman Brent Leonard allowed Union Pacific seven days to answer to the charges of violating the Railway Labor Act. Chairman Leonard agreed to refrain from removing SMART-TD members from Union Pacific properties during the seven-day period and reminded UP that this action was being taken with the utmost seriousness.
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