Time is of the essence for the Biden administration to call an emergency negotiation board to stop the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) from calling a full strike of its 115,000+ membership. The 30-day cool-down period after the National Mediation Board released the BLET and the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents the Class I railroads, ends at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 18.
“In a showing of solidarity and unity, 99.5% of the participating members voted to authorize a strike should such action become legal in the coming days, and become necessary to secure a contract worthy of [the rail carriers’] consideration.”BLET National President Dennis Pierce
Even if the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) gets called, it’s not a binding agreement. Both sides still have to meet in another attempt to work out the contract. For 30 days after the PEB is called, and 30 days after the conclusion, both sides are prohibited from hostile actions, such as lockouts by rail yards and strikes by unions.
Update: The PEB has been announced by the Biden Administration.
So for at least the next 60 days, the 115,000 members of the BLET will have to sit tight and wait for the negotiations to go through their paces.