District Lodge 19

where it all begin

Acting PDGC Mike Perry

The Corner Office

  • Acting President, J. Michael Perry

National Agreement Arbitration Update:  On September 26,2018 Arbitrator Charlotte Gold  Renders her Decision

Brothers and Sisters:
Today, September 26, 2018, I received the written decision from Neutral Arbitrator and Chairperson, Ms. Charlotte Gold, of ARBITRATION BOARD NO. 604. CLICK HERE TO READ HER DECISION

First, let me explain how the Arbitration Board works within the Railway Labor Act.
The Arbitration Board is a three-member Board. There is a Union member, which was me, Mike Perry, a Carrier member Ken Gradia, and the Neutral Arbitrator and Chairperson, Charlotte Gold. The Arbitration Board is established with an Arbitration Agreement between the Parties; in this case the IAMAW Machinists and the National Carriers Conference Committee (Carriers). This agreement sets forth the members of the Board, the procedures for the arbitration hearing, and the question in which the Arbitration is to decide. The Neutral Arbitrator and Chairperson, Ms. Gold, makes the final and binding decision. Once she has made her decision she then submits it to the other two board members. The other two boards members have two options; they can consent (agree) with her decision, or dissent (disagree) with her decision. As you will see on the Arbitration Award, I dissented with her decision; I totally disagree with her findings.

However, it only takes the signature of the Arbitrator, Ms. Gold and one consent signature, which was Ken Gradia (Carrier Member), to fully execute her award. I hope this brief overview of how arbitration works under the Railway Labor Act was helpful.

Now to her final and binding decision. As you read her decision you will see she went right along with Neutral Member J. M. Javits of Special Board of Adjustment, No. 603 IBEW vs NCCC, in which he stated; “National Handling has historically been founded on the principle that a pattern once established will be applied to all Unions involved.” Ms. Gold’s decision went right along those lines. She states, “Ultimately, there must be a beginning, a middle, and an end to bargaining. Pattern bargaining in the rail industry has played an important role in bringing an end to ongoing disputes in successive rounds of negotiations.” It was for these reasons that she did not endorse our proposal.

We put on a strong case, but we were not able to overcome “Pattern Bargaining”. However, in her decision, she recognized the skill and dedication of the Machinists to the rail business. “The membership are highly skilled able individual’s who take pride in their work and their involvement in the rail industry”. She went on to say, “This much was evident from the testimony at the hearing of four Local Chairman. While the Union, in advancing this case was faced with a difficult challenge, it succeeded in one important respect. It made sure that the very real concerns of the membership were heard at the highest level. This can only be a benefit as the parties move forward in future negotiations”.

From here where do we go? Ms. Gold’s decision is now final and binding, and we are now under this Agreement. This round of negotiations and agreement dispute was taken to the end and is now behind us. We will not dwell on this decision. We will use this as another reason to stand with us, the Machinists, because we have shown again, no matter how tough the fight, we will stand and face the challenge.

With that, I have already agreed to meet with many of the other Railroad Union chiefs in late October. I have agreed to meet with other union leaders, to air our differences, set a plan to move forward; working together and unified as one. My message at this meeting is that we must be united and work together to act as one. In other words, when one union says no, then all unions say no. Also, that we bond together with an unbreakable commitment to stand as one, and do not go off on our own. Further, no union(s) should let another standalone again, as we were left to do.

We should stand proud, that alone we took this fight on, and fought extremely hard to the very end. On behalf of the whole staff of District 19, we are very proud of our entire membership.

In Solidarity and Fraternally yours,

Mike Perry
Acting PDGC

You can read the highlights of the testimonies by clicking on Testimonies. Also, you can read our Submission by clicking on “Organization Submission” and the Carrier’s Submission by clicking on the “Carrier Submission”.