In 2014, a SMART-TD general committee representing some 6,000 BNSF executives negotiated a preliminary agreement allowing PTC-equipped trains to run on part of the BNSF system with a lone engineer without ladders on defined lines. Given that the TPC must be fully implemented by 31 December 2020, the railways argue that to compete in a growing global economy, where competitive domestic freight transport replaces coal as a basic rail transport, further efficiency gains must be achieved, including labour reform. On February 11, the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth asked SMART-TD to refuse smart TD and/or not to negotiate in good faith with each of the railways on [Crew consists]. The court also ordered SMART-TD to negotiate at the national level the alternative compensation proposal for airlines; and that any persistent objection from SMART-TD should be resolved through binding arbitration proceedings. At the opening of this new round of fare negotiations in November 2019, the railways attempted to negotiate the crew. Smart-TD claimed that the existing moratorium and previous legal proceedings that tested it prohibited such negotiations at the national level, refusing to negotiate the railways by rail, as had been attempted on BNSF in 2014 – and failed at the request of THE national management of SMART-TD. The railways informed the court that the moratorium is cancelling discussions on downsizing and not on crew size requirements. It is also an interim 2014 employment services agreement on the BNSF, which allows trains equipped with TPC to work with a single locomotive engineer, with managers transferred to supervisory positions in exchange for better remuneration for conductors and the protection of professional income. Despite the fact that new technologies were never blocked by disadvantaged workers and that this interim agreement was described by all concerned as «the most lucrative ever obtained in exchange for a reform of labour rules», it was rejected by the ranks at the request of the national management of the union, which prefers not to negotiate the size of the crew in the hope of maintaining the status quo. Upon switching to the pure engineering company under the interim agreement, safety compliance would be controlled by a newly appointed «master chef» working from a fixed or mobile location other than the locomotive drivers` cab. There would be treaty ratification bonuses, salary increases, career income protection and other sweeteners, which led former UTU President Paul Thompson to do so as «Home Run … A Grand Slam…

«Job security is about creating decades of the future.» In the meantime, the railways filed a lawsuit in federal court and requested that SMART-TD be forced to negotiate the crew. The court was not asked to preside over a concrete result. Other than that, the railways informed SMART-TD, in national negotiations, that if they refused to negotiate the crew, salaries would have to be reduced in order to recover the cost of crew layoffs. This was promised, even though the data do not show a proven safety advantage for crews of two compared to one-person crews; The National Transportation Safety Board does not object to the elimination of the ladder when the TPC is installed; that passenger railways and many small freight railways have long operated safely with crews of one individual; and that the federal railway authority has decided that «no regulation of flight attendants is necessary or appropriate for the operation of the railways to be carried out safely at this stage.» It is therefore above all a question of adapting to change; And as you can see, things are not going well now for the union – and ultimately not for its members, so the comparison is to be the pre-contract BNSF refused.