Saturday, September 21, 2013

Striking railroad Teamsters ordered back to work, no single operators allowed

An Akron, Ohio, district court judge this afternoon ordered striking locomotive engineers and trainmen at the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway back to work. He also ordered the railroad to refrain from allowing supervisors or management to operate trains.

The order by Judge John R. Adams ended the strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen that began this morning. The walkout stopped virtually all activity by the railroad, which generally runs 45-50 trains a day.

BLET President Dennis Pierce said,
I hope that the condition imposed by the judge will lead W and LE to recognize the importance of this issue to our members, who now will be returning to work with the assurance that while the matter is under consideration by the court, no further provocative actions may be taken by the carrier.
According to a BLET statement, the workers walked out because the W and LE repudiated its contracts between locomotive engineers and trainmen. The railroad used supervisors to do the work of the engineers and trainmen, and running one-person operations.

A temporary restraining order will remain in effect until a hearing can be held on the railroad’s request for a longer-term injunction.

Pierce also thanked General Chairman Bob Linsey, Local Chairmen Kevin Nahrebecki and Lonnie Swigert, and all officers and members of Division 292, as well as general counsel Mike Wolly and his team for their outstanding efforts.

The BLET is part of the rail conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.