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BMWED wins wage increases for its members at Amtrak

(Source: Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division press release (PDF), March 27, 2014)

Novi, Michigan - A final and binding arbitration decision which, most notably, increases the wage rates of Amtrak MOW employees was reached March 25 and amounts to an average raise of 3.1 percent a year. The wage increases are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010 and back pay will be paid to all BMWED members, active or retired, who earned money during the period in question.

A three-person panel of neutrals rendered the decision, which was negotiated by the Passenger Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (a collaboration of the BMWED and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen),
and is not subject to appeal or membership ratification. The agreement goes into effect immediately and Amtrak agrees that there will be no delay in calculating and distributing the back pay checks.

Under the decision, the average back pay from April 1, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2010, after health and welfare cost sharing deductions are rendered, will be $11,496 for straight time calculation and $13,890 if a worker earned an additional 20 percent in overtime hours during the back pay period.

The arbitration panel also found that three administrative work rules previously agreed to by other crafts (direct deposit of paychecks, biweekly pay and defining the start of the work week with respect to payroll as Monday) to be a part of this newly negotiated agreement with Amtrak and the PRLBC.

Jed Dodd, BMWED General Chairman (Pennsylvania Federation) and Chairman of the PRLBC, along with BRS General Chairman David Ingersoll, passed along many thanks to the members for their strength, discipline and solidarity through the difficult and frustrating Amtrak contract struggle. "Without your effort, and the resolve of all of our members who supported the Union and endured Amtrak's nonsense throughout this struggle for a new contract, we would not have a new contract," they wrote.

Friday, March 28, 2014

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