Announcement of the Establishment of Emergency Board No. 215 To Investigate a Railroad Labor Dispute


July 13, 1988


The President today announced the creation of Presidential Emergency Board No. 215 to investigate and make recommendations for settlement of a current dispute between the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation and employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.


The Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It is a rail rapid transit system operating on 13.9 miles of track that connect the cities of Newark, Jersey City, and Hoboken with Manhattan. The system includes 13 stations, 7 of which are in the State of New Jersey. Approximately 206,000 passengers are transported by PATH each weekday. Fifty-eight million passengers were carried in 1987. PATH transports nearly 92 percent of rail passengers entering New York from New Jersey (New Jersey Transit Rail Operations, Inc., transports the remainder, about 17,000 passengers daily). PATH employs approximately 1,150 workers who help maintain and operate a fleet of 378 passenger cars.


PATH acquired the bankrupt Hudson and Manhattan Railroad in 1962 and initiated long-range rehabilitation. In 1963, the first year of operation of the system by PATH, its deficit was $2.3 million. The operating deficit has been increasing continually and is borne by the Port Authority.


The President, by Executive order, created the emergency board pursuant to an appropriate request as mandated by the Railway Labor Act. The emergency board procedures of the Railway Labor Act applicable to commuter railroads provide that the board will report its findings and recommendations for settlement to the President within 30 days of its creation. The parties must then consider the recommendations of the emergency board and endeavor to resolve their differences without engaging in self-help during a subsequent 90-day period.