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National BLET Union To Pay $50,000 in Settlement; National President Affirms That It “Does Not Condone Unlawful Strikes, Slowdowns or Other Such Job Actions by its Affiliates”

June 15, 2023


NEWARK, NJ – Just days before the one year anniversary of locomotive engineers staging an illegal job action on the Juneteenth holiday, impacting the commutes of more than 75,000 NJ TRANSIT rail customers with massive delays, cancellations and the eventual systemwide suspension of train service, the agency resolved a settlement with the National BLET in response to legal action initiated by NJ TRANSIT in the amount of $50,000.

NJ TRANSIT is still pursuing claims against the General Committee of Adjustment (GCA), the local union organization that orchestrated the illegal job action.  A decision of the Federal Court last June found in favor of NJ TRANSIT and that the GCA violated the Railway Labor Act by instigating the “sick-out”.  The Court’s order put in effect immediately following the job action remains in place and prohibits the local union from taking any such action in the future, including for this year’s Juneteenth holiday.

NJ TRANSIT is pleased that the National BLET recognizes that Federal law prohibiting a job action must be followed and that they are committed to ensuring their membership in New Jersey follows the law moving forward,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett.  “We fully expect the BLET local union to realize there are serious consequences for unilaterally violating the law to the detriment of tens of thousands of New Jersey residents.

While not acknowledging or admitting any wrongdoing as it relates to the illegal job action orchestrated by the local union, in a letter dated June 6, 2023, BLET National President Edward Hall wrote to NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin S. Corbett that the National BLET “hereby affirms that it does not condone unlawful strikes, slowdowns, or other such job actions by its affiliates. Consistent with our Bylaws and our obligations under the Railway Labor Act, BLET will continue to urge its affiliates and their members to comply with the law and not engage in unlawful strikes, slowdowns or other such job actions.  BLET also urges its affiliates to comply with all directives and orders issued by the courts.”

On June 17, 2022, NJ TRANSIT locomotive engineers engaged in an illegal job action by not reporting for their assignments.  Without locomotive engineers, NJ TRANSIT was forced to cancel nearly 300 trains.

NJ TRANSIT has made a fair and pattern-based contract offer that has been accepted and ratified by 14 of 15 rail unions covering 91% of NJ TRANSIT rail union employees, and includes the Juneteenth holiday. The GCA is the only union to not accept these terms.  NJ TRANSIT is currently engaged in active and ongoing mediation with the GCA through the National Mediation Board.


NJ TRANSIT is the nation's largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 925,000 weekday trips on 253 bus routes, three light rail lines, 12 commuter rail lines and through Access Link paratransit service. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 166 rail stations, 62 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.


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