HEARING SET NEXT WEEK ON BN-UNION DISPUTE

HEARING SET NEXT WEEK ON BN-UNION DISPUTE

A federal district judge in Chicago will hold a hearing next week on Burlington Northern Railroad's request for a permanent injunction to keep the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes from resuming a strike.

The maintenance workers struck a 1,000-mile portion of the railroad in Colorado and Texas on Oct. 3. The following day Judge William T. Hart of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Judge issued a temporary restraining order halting the walkout.Judge Hart said late Wednesday that he will hold a hearing on Oct. 19 or 20, depending on his calendar.

The union, meanwhile, pledged not to strike the railroad before Oct. 22.

The decision to proceed with the hearing came after nearly two days of efforts by the railroad and union to agree on details of a previously announced agreement to submit the dispute to expedited binding arbitration.

The dispute stems from a union claim that the company violated its contract by not paying maintenance workers the proper lodging and meal allowance when they work away from home.

BN said the union wanted to apply a 1981 cost-of-living escalation formula to the wage scales included in the 1991 law passed by Congress to end a one- day nationwide rail strike.

The carrier said that issue has been pending for arbitration before the National Rail Adjustment Board in Chicago.