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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 17, 1993


                   Emergency Board Proposes Framework
        To Settle Contract Impasse on the Long Island Rail Road

     A series of periodic wage increases ranging from 2.5 percent to

3.5 percent for 1992 through 1994 has been recommended by a Presidential Emergency Board to resolve long-running contract disputes between the Long Island Rail Road and over 2300 of its workers in five separate locals represented by the United Transportation Union.

The three-member Emergency Board was created on October 20, 1993 by President Clinton, pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, to forestall a commuter strike in the New York metropolitan area, which could have affected over 250,000 commuters. The Board submitted its recommendations today to the White House.

In addition to the wage increases, the Emergency Board recommended certain changes in the health and welfare plans. The Emergency Board also recommended changes to work rules that foster job security and uniformity, while improving the railroad's efficiency.

Although not legally binding on the parties, it is anticipated that the Emergency Board's recommendations will form the basis for a settlement of the disputes. If the parties fail to reach agreement, the Railway Labor Act provides for the appointment of a second Presidential Emergency Board that issues a recommendation based upon the parties' final offers. The Act, which is administered by the National Mediation Board, governs labor-management relations in the railroad and airline industries and provides the authority for creation of Presidential Emergency Boards.

The Emergency Board was chaired by Bonnie Siber Weinstock, and M. David Vaughn and Charlotte Gold served as members of the Board.

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Copies of the report may be obtained at the office of the National Mediation Board. (202) 523-5335.