Federal Judge Blocks Unions Strike Against BNSF

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

A potential strike against BNSF Railway Company over a new point system for attendance has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge.

The threat of a strike by some 17,000 members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation had appeared imminent.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) prohibiting both BLET and SMART-TD from authorizing, encouraging, permitting, calling, or otherwise engaging in any strikes, work stoppages, picketing, slowdowns, sickouts, or other self-help against BNSF or its operating rail subsidiaries over any dispute relating to BNSF’s new Hi Viz attendance policy and the standards in the policy.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen sent the following to its members:

Pursuant to the Court’s Order, BLET is hereby instructing all of its members employed by BNSF that they must NOT engage in any self-help against the railroad. This means that members must NOT engage in any strikes, work stoppages, picketing, slowdowns, sickouts, or any other activity intended to disrupt the operations of the railroad in response to BNSF’s Hi Viz attendance policy.

Further, pursuant to the Court’s Order, BLET is notifying and instructing all members who are now or who may in the future engage in any strike, work stoppages, picketing, slowdowns, sickouts, or any other activity intended to disrupt the operations of the railroad to immediately cease and desist all such activity and to immediately cease and desist all exhortations or communications encouraging same upon pain of fine, suspension, or other sanction by BLET. This means that any member who continues to encourage other employees on social media, or in any other forum, to engage in a strike, work stoppages, picketing, slowdowns, sickouts, or any other activity intended to disrupt the operations of the railroad MUST immediately stop doing so. Members who continue to do so risk fine, suspension, or other sanction by BLET.

The temporary restraining order is set to expire February 8, 2022.

© 2022 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

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