News & Reviews News Wire Unions turn down pay-advance offer from railroads

Unions turn down pay-advance offer from railroads

By David Lassen | April 25, 2022

Monthly payments of up to $600 would be repaid when new contract is reached

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National Railway Labor Conference logoARLINGTON, Va. — Rail unions have turned down a proposal for advance payments while bargaining over a new national contract continues, according to the organization representing railroads in the negotiations. The offer to provide advance payments of up to $600 per month will remain on the table, railroads said.

The National Carriers’ Conference Committee, the bargaining arm of the National Railway Labor Conference, said in a press release that the proposal is the “best way to put money in employees’ hands now” given that “the issues on the national bargaining table are complex and there is more work to be done before complete agreements can be realized.”

Under the railroads’ proposal, the payments of up to $600 would be made monthly through the end of the year, or until a new agreement is reached, whichever is earlier. The money paid to employees would be deducted from any future pay increase, or retroactive or lump-sum payment, that results from the current negotiations.

The Coordinated Bargaining Coalition, in a statement rejecting the offer, described it  as “somewhere between a loan and a payday advance” and “further evidence that the NCCC has no intentions of reaching a voluntary settlement any time soon.”

The coalition reiterated its request to move the negotiations from mediation to arbitration [see “Unions declare impasse in negotiations …,” Trains News Wire, Jan. 20, 2022], saying that “nothing has changed during the four mediated bargaining sessions” to date. The railroads continue to seek work rule and health and welfare benefits, the union said. “Even more ridiculous and unacceptable is their refusal to agree to meaningful wage increases while making record profits during the highest level of inflation seen in years.”

CSX Transportation recently reached its own deal with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division (SMART-TD) for similar advance payments against the future contract [see “CSX, union reach agreement …,” News Wire, April 20, 2022]. A the time, the railroad said it intended to reach similar agreements with other unions.

The NCCC extended the offer to all unions in the current negotiations two days later.

4 thoughts on “Unions turn down pay-advance offer from railroads

  1. It’s supposedly an advance on future back pay payments, its not permanent. The carriers are still stonewalling the unions on wage increases and work rule adjustments which makes no sense since if they are willing to give an advance on back pay then why are they not willing to negotiate on wage increases? I smell a rat and the railroads never do anything without big strings attached .

  2. That $600.00 could be used by the RRs as saying that is all the workers could get. Slick way to get a wage precedent into play and not pay any more in new contract?

    1. $600.00 per month over and above what they’re currently making…$7200/year. At least one union is smart enough to see what that does for the current situation with how inflation has been.

    2. Please don’t leave out that they have to pay it back one way or another. Please say the whole subject not just calculations, which you use “a year”. The correct time frame is only at most eight months on the table. Again not all the employees will get the full $600 minus taxes. The employees not at full rate of pay (such as new hire) get how much? Again UP TO $600!!!

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