Transport labor disputes heat up
Labor disputes in the transportation industry were marked with more angry notes as they entered a new week, reports Monitor labor correspondent Ed Townsend.
* In the New York area, striking communter railroad workers protested that Amtrak trains are honoring tickets issued by the two struck companies, New Jersey Transit and New York's Metro-North. Amtrak is not directly involved in the disputes. The United Transportation Union, which represents conductors and trainmen on the struck lines and also those on Amtrak, had been considering a walkout against the national rail service, but decided against it because of serious legal problems such an action might create.
* Eastern Air Lines mechanics have voted to strike at 12:01 a.m. Thursday if new mediation efforts fail to break a deadlock between Eastern and the International Association of Machinists. If mechanics go out, the airline plans to maintain services (it expects 65 percent operations) and warns that replacement mechanics will be hired. This could bring about a major labor confrontation. IAM recorded that 72.4 percent of 10,500 mechanics who voted rejected Eastern's ''final'' offer of a 32.3 percent wage increase over three years. Eastern employs 13,500 mechanics under IAM contracts. The union leadership recommended rejection of the proposed contract, which did not include retroactive pay for 1982 when mechanics worked without a contract.