Wall Street Journal reporter Jim Browning, who is chair of the union’s bargaining committee, posted his opening comments on the union’s web site.
In part, he stated, “So, where do we go from here? The answer is that we need to keep working our way through the large number of items that are on the table, which is going to take a lot of time and effort. Some of these are proposals that you have barely discussed with us at all. Time is being wasted.
“To get that process going again, we are now prepared to drill down in more detail. Since you saw nothing new in what we proposed one month ago, we clearly need to explain ourselves again.
“We would suggest now that we begin dealing in earnest with the many proposals that are on the table. If you want to continue talking about healthcare, let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about a five-year deal. If you have changed your minds again and you don’t want to talk about that any more, let’s talk about something else. We have a lot of work ahead of us, you have wasted a month, and we suggest that we get on with it.
“Some weeks ago, you asked us an important question. You wanted to know whether we were willing to accept any increase at all in our health premiums. After much discussion among ourselves, we responded that, although we were very unhappy to do so, we would agree to an increase in order to conclude an agreement.”
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