Amtrak finally cares, after PEB, which we paid for, finds in favor of the workers.

Tentative agreement is finally reached. Penn Station most likely to stay open

After 8 years of playing hardball with the 9 unions involved.

After President Bush assigned an Emergency Board which gave a report after a month of investigating which sided 100% in favor of the workers.

Amtrak has finally decided to come to terms with the unions involved. I hope they headed the Presidential Emergency Boards advice. If they did it would be a win for all parties involved and the public. This is definitely a win for all my friends and co-workers who rely on Penn Station.

Heres Amtrak's press release in abridged form, further information can be found at UnionReview (BMWED, Rail Coalition Achieve Tentative Agreement With Amtrak by Richard Negri)

Amtrak and Labor Organizations Sign Tentative Agreement, Averting a Strike

Pact Requires Rank-and-File Ratification

WASHINGTON – Amtrak and representatives of nine labor organizations that were legally free to strike January 30, 2008, today signed a tentative agreement that keeps the national passenger railroad and numerous commuter railroads that are dependent on Amtrak and its facilities in full operation. The National Mediation Board had released the parties from mediation on November 1, 2007, and a Presidential Emergency Board handed down recommended settlement terms December 30.

Details of the tentative pact will be sent to the affected union members for their ratification vote during the next several weeks and will be withheld from public release until the ratification process has begun.

Amtrak President and CEO Alex Kummant said, "Investing in the railroad comes in many forms, and one of the best ways is to invest in its people, which we've done with this tentative agreement. I want to thank the leadership of the labor organizations. It has not been easy for any of us, and I know they share our sense of relief and resolve to move forward in a productive and cooperative spirit to provide excellent passenger rail service. The Amtrak Board of Directors, management and labor are now united in that single purpose. By reaching these tentative agreements, we have averted a possible strike that could have had a crippling effect on the lives of millions of Americans.": More info
Yeah, good old Amtrak caring about it's workers and the people, finally hacking out an agreement after 8 years and the President assigning the PEB, which we paid for. Thanks Amtrak.

According to the Associated Press (Amtrak, unions reach tentative deal, averting possible strike
By KAREN MAHABIR)
:
The tentative contract includes back pay totaling more than three times what Amtrak was offering and none of the concessions on work rules that Amtrak had been seeking, said Joel Parker, a spokesman for the Transportation Communications International Union and a lead negotiator...

...Michael Troy, an Amtrak communications and signal maintainer and union representative in Downingtown, Pa., said workers have faced increasing economic hardships.

"Every Christmas got harder and harder for the workers," he said, with some forced to work overtime or take on second jobs to make house and car payments.
"Finally you can feel the morale," Troy said. "There seems to be some hope here."

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