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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, June 22 — In a conference call held with all BLET General Chairmen today, National President Dennis R. Pierce announced that preparations are underway to poll members to authorize a strike in the event one becomes necessary to attain the Organization’s national bargaining goals.

The National Mediation Board released the BLET and all other Rail Labor unions from mediation with rail carriers on June 17, triggering a 30-day cooling off period, which expires at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 18, 2022. At that point, self-help is available to the parties, unless President Biden appoints a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) pursuant to Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act. A PEB would halt any strike or lockout by the parties, and would investigate and issue a report and recommendations concerning the dispute.

National President Pierce cautioned that conducting a strike vote does not necessarily mean a strike will occur. “While we anticipate that President Biden will appoint a Presidential Emergency Board near the deadline, we must be prepared for all eventualities,” he said. President Pierce further explained: “BLET members have been without a contract raise for nearly three years. The strike vote is an opportunity for all BLET members to deliver a unified message to the carriers that we deserve significant pay increases that recognize the essential contributions we make to their ongoing record profits. Please make your voice heard to help us secure the best contract possible.”

More details regarding the pending strike vote will be announced soon.