July 15, 2013 | Hockessin, DE
The Passenger Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition, representing the workers who maintain and construct Amtrak’s railroad track, bridges, buildings, overhead catenary and signal systems, picketed the home of Amtrak Board member Albert DiClemente, located at 114 Rumunno Circle, Hockessin, DE. The PRLBC is protesting the fact that we have been unable to negotiate a new agreement with Amtrak for more than three years. Amtrak has continually stalled talks and engaged in bad faith bargaining. The Union has asked to be released from government mediation so that the dispute can be resolved. Amtrak opposition to this release is the reason for the protest.
The PRLBC wrote to, and contacted, DiClemente several times requesting that he engage the dispute and support a release from mediation. He ignored these requests. A release from mediation will trigger a process where a new agreement would be in place within 90 days. The Union indicated that they would like to attend an Amtrak Board of Directors meeting to discuss its issues, but Amtrak refuses to disclose the location and time of its Board meetings. In fact they have informed members of Congress that they no longer have Board meetings but instead have “strategic retreats” so that they can bar the public from attending and discuss the public’s business in secret.
Jed Dodd, Chairman of the PRLBC stated,
“What is happening here is happening to unionized workers all over America, where our basic due process rights are being denied. The Board manages two billion dollars in tax payer’s money every year without open meetings. We are protesting today to shine the light of day on these Union busting tactics.”
Dave Ingersoll, Vice Chairman of the PRLBC stated,
“During our last contract dispute we had to endure eight years of Amtrak’s take it or leave it attitude until we finally obtained a measure of justice. This time we were promised that it would be different, but this is just more of the same. We will endure these tactics again and in the process we will expose DiClemente and the rest of the Amtrak Board for leading Amtrak’s attack on the bargaining rights of its’ workers.”
Photos of the June 15, 2013 Albert DiClemente protest and demonstration can be viewed in our Photo Gallery