Bargaining Committee Update 10/23

It is important to understand that the last two agreements failed to cover historic spikes in inflation in 2021 and 2022 (7.8% and 6.3% respectively). As a result, our real pay fell by 7.8% between May 2020 and July 2023. Another contract ignoring this while guaranteeing future losses in real pay is unconscionable and should be rejected.  

 With future inflation forecasted to be around 4.5%, it is easy to see that an agreement calling for 3.2% over three years (TWU 100’s deal) is grossly insufficient. Projecting inflation rates beyond 2023 is unreliable, and gambling on those rates coming down is highly speculative, ill-advised, and downright reckless. 

Just today, the Associated Press reported that Ford Motor Corp. and the UAW have reached a tentative agreement after a nearly six-week-old strike. The agreement addresses inflation and guarantees Ford employees the ability to maintain their standard of living. The tentative agreement consists of 25% wage increases over four years. It is important to reiterate that contracts outside of the rail industry, such as this Ford/UAW deal, are generally not utilized as comparators or patterns in the negotiation process.

However, these types of contracts reflect current trends in collective bargaining. Industries across the nation, both public and private employers, are recognizing the importance of providing their employees with the ability to maintain their standard of living. Additionally, they understand the difficulties in finding new employees while at the same time retaining existing ones in this incredibly competitive labor market. It’s time the MTA/LIRR acknowledged this truth as well. 

Spread the word! More facts to follow! 

In solidarity,
IBEW Local Union Bargaining Committee