October 9, 2019 - freightwaves.com -

Eight U.S. freight railroads, including BNSF, Union Pacific and KCS, have filed a lawsuit against a railroad union, saying the union is refusing to come to the bargaining table to hash out issues involving train crew size.

The railroads say the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD) is refusing to engage on the issue of train crew size as both sides prepare for an upcoming round of collective bargaining that is slated to start after November 1.

“SMART-TD has consistently refused to bargain over crew consist [the complement of a train crew], asserting, among other things, that any proposals on this subject are barred by ‘moratorium’ provisions in existing agreements. The railroads disagree with that interpretation, and maintain that any disagreement over the meaning of the moratoriums is a ‘minor dispute’ subject to binding arbitration,” the railroads said in their October 3 court filing to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth.

Read more: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/u-s-freight-railroads-file-lawsuit-against-rail-workers-union-over-train-crew-size