Union and NJ Transit battle over fines for Juneteenth sickout
TRENTON – The union for NJ Transit’s locomotive engineers has asked a court to dismiss NJ Transit’s lawsuit seeking to recover costs associated with a job action three weeks ago.
NJ Transit went to court after a sickout that began June 17 caused trains to be canceled for three days. The agency sued the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, asking that the union be fined to cover the costs of overtime and PATH, bus and ferry services that honored NJ Transit tickets.
More than 200 engineers didn’t report to work, protesting that they didn’t receive holiday pay for the Juneteenth holiday. Other NJT workers received the holiday pay, but the engineer union hasn’t settled a new contract yet.
The sickout ultimately caused rail service to be canceled on Friday, June 17, and spilled over into the weekend until a temporary restraining order was issued.
The union said federal law doesn’t allow for the union to be made to cover damages.
“Monetary damages are not available to a rail carrier under the Railway Labor Act as a matter of law,” the union said.
The union’s response to NJ Transit’s June 26 lawsuit was first reported by NJ.com.
Michael Symons is the Statehouse bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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