Announcement of the Establishment of Emergency Board No. 217 To Investigate a Railroad Labor Dispute

 

November 8, 1988

 

The President announced today the creation of Presidential Emergency Board No. 217, effective November 7, 1988, to select the most reasonable final offer for settlement of a current dispute between the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. (PATH) and employees represented by the Transportation Communications Union-Carmen Division.

 

The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It is a rail rapid transit system operating on 13.9 miles of track that connect the cities of Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken with Manhattan. The system includes 13 stations, 7 of which are in the State of New Jersey. Approximately 206,000 passengers are transported by PATH each weekday. Fifty-eight million passengers were carried in 1987. PATH transports nearly 92 percent of rail passengers entering New York from New Jersey. (New Jersey Transit Rail Operations, Inc., transports the remainder, about 17,000 passengers daily). PATH acquired the bankrupt Hudson and Manhattan Railroad in 1962 and initiated long-range rehabilitation. In 1963, the first year of operation of the system by PATH, its deficit was $2.3 million. The operating deficit has been increasing continually and is borne by the Port Authority.

 

The President, by Executive order, created the Emergency Board pursuant to appropriate requests as mandated by the Railway Labor Act. This is the second Emergency Board created to report on this dispute. The first, Board No. 214, issued its report and recommendations on August 9, 1988. The parties were unable to reach agreement, however, thus necessitating the establishment of a second Board. The parties will have 30 days to submit their final offers for settlement to the Board. The Board will then select the most reasonable final offer within the next 30 days. From the time the Board is established until 60 days after the Board's report, if the dispute remains unresolved the parties must refrain from resorting to self-help.