Cases & Deals

BNSF wins dismissal of union's Railway Labor Act claims

Client(s) BNSF Railway Company

On behalf of BNSF Railway Company, Jones Day obtained dismissal of claims filed by SMART-TD, the union which represents the Company's conductors, alleging that BNSF violated the Railway Labor Act by posting positions requiring certain train service employees to be qualified to operate a locomotive engine. SMART-TD alleged that BNSF does not have the right to create these "hybrid" positions, and sought an injunction prohibiting BNSF from doing so. The Court granted BNSF's motion to dismiss, holding that the case presented a minor dispute under the RLA over which the Court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction. In doing so, the Court agreed with BNSF that the Company's actions were arguably justified by existing agreements, and that the dispute must therefore be arbitrated.

Int'l Ass'n of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transp. Workers, Transp. Div. et al. v. BNSF Ry. Co., 20-cv-4220 (N.D. Ill.)