P. M. BRIEFING : Bush Sets Up Rail Dispute Board

<i> From Times Wire Services</i>

President Bush, in an effort to head off a “crippling nationwide rail strike,” today used his presidential powers to create an emergency board to investigate disputes between 11 railroad unions and most of the nation’s major railroads.

The Presidential Emergency Board will come into existence on Saturday, presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater said in a statement.

“The creation of this board . . . is necessary to forestall the possiblity of a crippling nationwide rail strike,” Fitzwater said.

He noted that the National Mediation Board has concluded that the situation is “extremely critical.”


The labor dispute “threatens substantially to interrupt interstate commerce to a degree such as to deprive various sections of the country of essential transporation service,” Fitzwater’s statement said.