Saturday, October 27, 2007

Amtrak Strike Possible in Early 2008, Bad News for Philly-NYC Commuters

The Philadelphia Inquirer has a story by Paul Nussbaum about a possible Amtrak strike looming.

Excerpts from the article:
Amtrak workers who have been without a labor contract for seven years have rejected arbitration in their long-running battle, starting a countdown toward what would be the first-ever strike against the nation's passenger railroad.

By yesterday's deadline, all nine Amtrak unions had rejected an offer of arbitration from the National Mediation Board in Washington.

By law, the mediation board must now declare a 30-day cooling-off period. During that time, the mediation board likely will recommend to President Bush that he appoint a "presidential emergency board." That board would then have 30 days to hold hearings and report to the White House its recommendations on how to settle the dispute.

After the emergency board makes its recommendations, another 30-day cooling-off period is required, to allow the parties to try to settle. If they don't, the unions could strike or Amtrak could impose a contract.

A strike, which could not occur until early next year, would also disrupt commuter railroads, including SEPTA and NJ Transit, which operate some of their trains on Amtrak tracks and rely on Amtrak dispatchers.

An Amtrak strike would shut about half of SEPTA's regional rail lines, which Amtrak dispatches and maintains.

This would be bad for Philly-NYC commuters relying on Amtrak. Sounds like it would be bad for anyone using SEPTA, NJT or Amtrak along the NEC. Hopefully you all have a work at home options. Amtrak has never had a strike so perhaps chances of this happening are low.


  • a) It's "Inquirer"

    b) The union's are in the way of progress, and the new president (Kummant) is determined to deal with this while Bush is in office. A strike's a real possibility.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:28 PM, October 27, 2007  

  • Agh, I meant unions, not union's. Sorry to be a dope.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:29 PM, October 27, 2007  

  • Don't forget the LIRR. It would also have to suspend all Penn Station service if Amtrak went on strike.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:48 PM, November 19, 2007  

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