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Tensions High as Union Pacific Scrambles to Answer for Their Actions

Jul 22, 2016
Tensions High as Union Pacific Scrambles to Answer for Their Actions image

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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