FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2022
David Lipari, San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (209) 851-1626
Continued Freight Railroad Labor Negotiation Impasse Affecting Amtrak San Joaquins Operations
Stockton, CA – With the freight railroads and all of their respective employee unions not yet coming to an agreement, the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA) will implement a modified operating plan for Amtrak San Joaquins on Thursday, September 15, 2022. Amtrak San Joaquins will be suspending Trains 702, 703, 714, 717, 718, and 719 and associated Thruway Bus service on Thursday, September 15, 2022.
The nation’s Class I freight carriers, including Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), are currently in negotiations over salary, benefits, time off, and work practices with their respective employee union workforce. The Railway Labor Act (RLA) establishes a structured process of negotiations with the intent to avoid any disruption to the nation’s railroad network, however, the RLA’s cooling-off period ends on Friday, which legally enables a freight railroad work stoppage to occur. While this negotiation does not directly involve Amtrak or the Amtrak workforce, preparations for a work stoppage have begun to impact Amtrak San Joaquins service. Amtrak and SJJPA will continue to notify passengers of potential impacts to service.
As an agreement has not been reached as of this release, Amtrak San Joaquins will be modifying service for Thursday, September 15, 2022. If an agreement is not reach by 5:00 PM PST on September 15, 2022, Amtrak San Joaquins will suspend all service beginning Friday, September 16, 2022, until a resolution is reached. Our dedicated passenger rail team stands ready to reintroduce service as quickly as possible.
“SJJPA has been hoping for resolution on this matter so that our passengers would not experience any service interruptions,” said Stacey Mortensen, SJJPA Executive Director. “While an official labor stoppage has not yet commenced, we are required to begin suspending strategic portions of our service Thursday. We are also preparing for a full suspension beginning Friday. We will keep our riders informed of any updates and will do everything in our power to restore our service as quickly as possible.”
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About the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority (SJJPA)
Since July 2015, SJJPA has been responsible for the management and administration of Amtrak San Joaquins. SJJPA is governed by Board Members representing each of the ten (10) Member Agencies along the 365-mile San Joaquins Corridor. For more information on SJJPA see www.sjjpa.com. Amtrak San Joaquins is Amtrak’s 6th busiest route with 1.1 million annual riders and 18 stations providing a safe, comfortable and reliable way to travel throughout California. Prior to service modifications due to the COVID-19 crisis, Amtrak San Joaquins ran 7 daily train round-trips and its Thruway buses provided connecting service to 135 destinations in California and Nevada including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and Reno. To book your next trip, visit www.AmtrakSanJoaquins.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.