Announcement of the Establishment of Emergency Board No. 207 To Investigate a Railroad Labor Dispute

December 21, 1984

The President announced today the creation of Presidential Emergency Board No. 207 to investigate and make recommendations for settlement of a current dispute between the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation and employees represented by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen.

The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It is a rapid rail transit system connecting the cities of Newark, NJ, and Hoboken with Manhattan. Approximately 200,000 passengers are transported by PATH each weekday. About 55 million passengers were carried in 1983. PATH transports nearly 92 percent of rail passengers entering New York from New Jersey. PATH employs approximately 1,200 workers who help maintain and operate a fleet of about 300 passenger cars.

Earlier, on August 25, 1984, the President invoked the emergency board procedures of the Railway Labor Act applicable to commuter railroads and created Emergency Board No. 204 to investigate and report on this same dispute. Emergency Board No. 204 investigated the issues and prepared a report and recommendations for settlement. The board's report was submitted to the President on September 24, 1984.

Following the release of the report and recommendations by Emergency Board No. 204, the parties unsuccessfully continued their attempts to resolve their differences. The statutory period allotted for this process expires at midnight December 23, 1984.

Section 9A(e) of the Railway Labor Act provides that a party to the dispute or the Governor of any State through which the service runs may request the President to establish a second emergency board if the dispute remains unresolved. Emergency Board No. 207 was created in response to such a request made by the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation. The parties will now submit their final offers to the board within 30 days, and the board will report its selection of the most reasonable offer within 30 days thereafter. From the time a request to establish a board is made until 60 days after the board makes its report, no change, except by agreement, shall be made by the parties in the conditions out of which the dispute arose.