Statement on Signing a Bill Concerning a Dispute Between the Maine Central Railroad and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees

August 21, 1986

I have signed H.J. Res. 683, legislation that will impose an additional 60-day cooling-off period, effective until September 19, 1986, in the current unresolved labor-management dispute between the Maine Central Railroad (and its subsidiary, the Portland Terminal Company) and certain of the employees of these carriers represented by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE). Under the joint resolution, a special board will be created to study the dispute and make recommendations to the Congress by September 9.

This administration is against the intervention of the Federal Government in the resolution of limited, isolated labor disputes. However, all the procedures in the Railway Labor Act for settling the Maine Central-BMWE dispute have been exhausted, and as a result of recent court decisions, the possibility exists of a national railroad strike stemming from this unresolved dispute. I earnestly hope that the parties will avail themselves of the additional cooling-off period in H.J. Res. 683 to settle their dispute.

Note: H.J. Res. 683, approved August 21, was assigned Public Law No. 99-385.