GUILFORD, UNIONS SEEK ARBITRATION IN SPRINGFIELD ROW

GUILFORD, UNIONS SEEK ARBITRATION IN SPRINGFIELD ROW

Both the owner and the unions of the Springfield Terminal Railway have asked for an arbitrator to take over their attempts to reach an agreement providing labor protection for workers.

The Interstate Commerce Commission in late February ordered what it termed extraordinary labor protective provisions to protect workers harmed by Guilford Transportation Industries Inc.'s policy of leasing its several railroads through the Springfield Terminal.Guilford has been switching the operations of the Maine Central, Boston & Maine and Portland Terminal railroads to Springfield Terminal, and has been trying to get ICC approval to lease its Delaware & Hudson to Springfield.

The company is attempting to take advantage of the liberal pact the United Transportation Union signed years ago when Springfield Terminal was a tiny, struggling switching carrier.

The commission moved against Guilford, charging that while the carrier's leasing actions were legal, they violated the sprit of the ICC's intentions, and complained about the methods Guilford employed.

The ICC ordered that an implementing agreement between Guilford and the unions that represented workers before they were shifted to the Springfield Terminal be approved quickly.

After two meetings at which each side put forth its demands, the parties on Friday separately asked for the intervention of an arbitrator; they will talk today to see if any of the candidates put forth on Friday are acceptable to both sides.

We presented ours, and they presented theirs, and we recognized we couldn't work it out without an outside arbitrator, said Eugene F. Lyden, UTU international vice president.

The ICC said it expected an implementing agreement to be approved within 90 days, and Guilford was also ordered not to lease the Delaware & Hudson before an agreement is in place.

Meanwhile, a hearing has been set for March 30 over the UTU's request for fact-finding arbitration in an attempt to end a four-month strike by the UTU against the Springfield Terminal.

The strike, the second against Springfield since 1986, was called by the UTU over the safety condition of the railroad; the company maintains the strike is illegal, and is attempting to run through it.

The hearing on March 30 is to hear arguments on the union's attempt at arbitrating that dispute; the company is resisting, saying the workers have

quit and are being replaced.

In a related matter, the Federal Railroad Administration has begun a full- scale assessment of the condition of Guilford's rail properties.