ATLANTA and INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, March 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE:NSC) and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers — Transportation Division (SMART-TD) announced Thursday that they are discontinuing formal negotiations regarding conductor redeployment to focus their efforts on implementing other immediate quality-of-life improvements for their employees.
"Over the next year, SMART-TD and Norfolk Southern have the opportunity to work together to implement important predictability improvements for our conductor workforce," said Jeremy Ferguson, president of SMART-TD. "These scheduling enhancements, which were part of last year's national agreements, have the potential to make an immediate positive impact for our conductors by giving them fixed days off and greater certainty about their weekly assignments. The willingness of NS to step back from plans to change to a ground-based conductor model is a welcome show of good faith in the negotiation process."
Under the terms of the national agreements, Norfolk Southern and SMART-TD have a mid-June deadline to negotiate the details of these scheduling enhancements. Given this limited window, Norfolk Southern has withdrawn its current Section 6 bargaining notice on conductor redeployment to fully focus on collaboratively implementing these enhancements and other quality-of-life priorities.
"Norfolk Southern is committed to working with labor partners, including SMART-TD, to identify and negotiate benefits that will have a meaningful impact on our employees' quality of life," said Wai Wong, vice president, Labor Relations at Norfolk Southern. "While redeployment of conductors to ground-based shift-work will provide more predictable jobs and minimize time away from home, there are a number of other priorities that our labor partners would like to address, and we are committed to working together to make immediate progress."
The withdrawal of the Section 6 notice on conductor redeployment removes the mandatory requirement for the parties to bargain over the issue, though voluntary discussions remain an option. SMART-TD and Norfolk Southern will continue listening to NS employees, relying on their input to guide the focus of their joint efforts and discussions going forward.
About Norfolk Southern
Since 1827, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and its predecessor companies have safely moved the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Today, it operates a customer-centric and operations-driven freight transportation network. Committed to furthering sustainability, Norfolk Southern helps its customers avoid 15 million tons of yearly carbon emissions by shipping via rail. Its dedicated team members deliver more than 7 million carloads annually, from agriculture to consumer goods, and is the largest rail shipper of auto products and metals in North America. Norfolk Southern also has the most extensive intermodal network in the eastern U.S., serving a majority of the country's population and manufacturing base, with connections to every major container port on the Atlantic coast as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Learn more by visiting www.NorfolkSouthern.com.
SMART Transportation Division is comprised of approximately 125,000 active and retired members who work in a variety of different crafts in the transportation industry. These crafts include employees on every Class I railroad, Amtrak, many shortline railroads, bus and mass transit employees and airport personnel. More information about the union is available at www.smart-union.org.
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SOURCE Norfolk Southern Corporation