FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2022
David Lipari, San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission
Continued Freight Railroad Labor Negotiation Impasse
May Affect ACE Operations
(STOCKTON, Calif.) — ACE, its personnel, and its host railroad, Union Pacific, are preparing for a potential freight railroad shutdown as soon as this Friday.
The nation’s Class I freight carriers, including Union Pacific, 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, ACE personnel or contractors, a work stoppage would impact ACE service. The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC), which owns and operates ACE, has begun notifying passengers of potential impacts to service.
As a part of the RLA process, on August 16th, the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) released recommendations for a resolution between freight railroads and their employees. The release of these recommendations started a required 30-day cooling-off period before any work stoppage may occur. While there has been positive developments towards an agreement, a work stoppage may still occur. If the freight railroads and their employee unions do not come to an agreement, a stoppage will be allowed to commence as soon as 12:01 AM Pacific Time on Friday, September 16th. Freight and passenger operations on corridors managed by freight railroads would cease, including on the Union Pacific lines on which ACE operates. Should a work stoppage commence, ACE would be required to begin suspending service on Thursday, September 15th until a resolution.
On Thursday, September 15th, ACE will suspend ACE 05, 07, 08, and 10. The September 15th suspensions equate to the latest morning and evening trains. These trains are being suspended to ensure that no trains are left in the corridor by the 12:01AM Eastern Time deadline on September 16th. On Friday, September 16th, all ACE service will be suspended until further notice.
“SJRRC is working closely with both our host railroad and community partners to address the impact of a work stoppage on operations. Our promise to our passengers is to continue to keep them up-to-date. If a stoppage occurs, we’ll do everything possible to restore service as quickly as possible,” states Stacey Mortensen, SJRRC Executive Director.
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The ACE train service is a growing commuter rail service that serves passengers Monday through Friday with service from Stockton to San Jose with stops in Lathrop/Manteca, Tracy, Vasco, Livermore, Pleasanton, Fremont, Great America, and Santa Clara. For additional information on the ACE Train schedule, please visit: https://acerail.com/schedules/