Production of next-generation Acela Express fleet underway
Stadler unveils TEX Rail Flirt DMU
Siemens invests in remote monitoring specialist Wi-Tronix
DB consortium selected for California high speed rail
Judge puts the skids on state’s proposed rail trail
Amtrak's CEO shares his vision for rail's future
Flight Rail: a new type of train?
America’s short lines play the long game
New York rail operator bolsters security after London bombing
The railroads had sought to issue companywide mandates because they are federal contractors and as a result, they needed to comply with a September presidential executive order requiring federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated.
But a Tuesday decision by Judge R. Stan Baker with the U.S. District Court in Georgia called for a stay of the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. His decision — an injunction in a lawsuit involving the construction trade association Associated Builders and Contractors — puts the mandate’s implementation on hold for all federal contractors until legal challenges work themselves through the court process.
UP (NYSE: UNP), BNSF (NYSE: BRK.B) and Norfolk Southern (NYSE: NSC) have been embroiled in lawsuits with railroad unions over the implementation of companywide vaccine mandates. The railroads have contended they are following the executive order, but the unions argue that any vaccine mandate must be negotiated, especially as the freight railroads and the unions are undergoing talks for a new collective bargaining agreement.
NS was unavailable for comment on its plans.
In response to the Tuesday federal court ruling, BNSF said: “With this ruling impacting all BNSF locations — and considering BNSF’s stance remains that the decision to be vaccinated is a personal one — we cannot continue the current path without more certainty about the timing and enforcement of the federal contractor mandate.”
BNSF said it paused its implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine mandate effective Tuesday.
“If you haven’t acted yet to comply with the federal mandate, you are not obligated to do so at this time,” BNSF told employees. “However, while the ruling by the District Court in Georgia granted a preliminary injunction, the ultimate outcome of the federal contractor vaccine mandate is yet to be determined. It is still possible that the mandate, as it applies to BNSF, could be upheld in court in the near future.”
UP said it was “still encouraging employees to report their vaccination status and get vaccinated.”
“Given this ruling, Union Pacific is complying with the temporary suspension of the federal contractor vaccine mandate,” it said, adding that as of Wednesday, 73% of employees were fully vaccinated and “another 7% are in progress.”
This article first appeared on www.freightwaves.com
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2022 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.