Freight railroads fail to extend contract talks

AP News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2011 10:20 AM
Freight railroads fail to extend contract talks

The nation's major freight railroads have been unable to get an extension of contract talks with three labor unions, so a strike may be possible during next month's peak shipping season.

The railroads said Tuesday that the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the American Train Dispatchers Association wouldn't agree to an extension. A third union, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, did agree to the delay.

The railroads have agreements with 10 of the 13 unions covering 60 percent of the 132,000 workers bargaining. The railroads include Union Pacific Corp., CSX Corp. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

The contract talks are being overseen by a special presidential board in Washington. But if agreements can't be reached by the end of a cooling-off period ends on Dec. 6, a strike will be possible.