Cases & Deals

National Railway Labor Conference goes before Presidential Emergency Board resulting in major victory for rail industry

Client(s) National Railway Labor Conference

Jones Day was retained by the National Railway Labor Conference in connection with national multi-employer collective bargaining on behalf of over 30 freight railroads, including the four largest railroads in the United States: Union Pacific, BNSF Railway, Norfolk Southern, and CSX Transportation. Bargaining began in early 2010 and reached an impasse in September 2011. As permitted under the Railway Labor Act, President Obama issued an executive order creating a so-called "Presidential Emergency Board." The Board was tasked with developing recommendations for reaching a settlement and avoiding a national strike, which would have a devastating impact on the national economy. Hearings before the Board, including presentation of witness testimony and argument, took place October 13-20, 2011. On November 5, 2011, the Board issued a report that adopted most of the railroads' principal arguments. The result is widely viewed as a major victory for the rail industry.