U.S. railway strike averted

Dec. 2, 2011 at 9:20 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The only U.S. railroad union still without a tentative contract agreed Friday to continue talks until February, officials said, averting a holiday strike.

The National Carriers' Conference Committee said two other unions -- the American Train Dispatchers Association and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen -- agreed to settlements, The Hill reported. That left the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees the only one of the 13 unions still negotiating.

The last rail strike, in 1992, cost the U.S. economy about $1 billion a day, the Los Angeles Times said. It ended quickly when President George H.W. Bush signed emergency legislation.

"We took this action because we believe it gives our members the best opportunity to resolve this issue quickly and fairly and avoid an interruption to commerce and avoid a wage loss to our members and other union members who would honor our picket lines," Freddie Simpson, president of the BMWE, said.

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