BLET members unanimously ratify contract at Eastern Idaho RR
CLEVELAND, May 11 — For the second time in 2012, BLET members have unanimously approved a new contract agreement with a short line railroad.
In February, membership at the Great Western Railway of Colorado unanimously ratified a new contract. And in March, BLET members unanimously ratified a new agreement with the Eastern Idaho Railroad (EIRR).
The EIRR contract runs through March 31, 2016. The first general wage increase is 6% and is in addition to a signing/longevity bonus tied to ratification.
The negotiating team consisted of: Mike Twombly, BLET National Vice President; Adam Delgado, President of Division 113; and Jim Dayton, Union Pacific-Western District General Chairman.
The membership’s health and welfare plan remains unchanged. In addition to pay, the BLET obtained an improved bereavement leave. Among other provisions, the agreement also governs seniority, crew requirements, a job preference system, calling, extra board, claims and grievances, days off, and holidays.
Negotiations started in 2009 and the final vote was unanimously in favor of the agreement. There are 12 members working for the EIRR. General Chairman Dayton reports that the Organization anticipates the number of BLET members to increase, as the EIRR is expected to hire more workers to handle projected increases in traffic levels.
The EIRR is a Watco subsidiary and has nearly 270 miles of mainline track. It started operating in late 1993 as one of the largest single short line spin offs in Union Pacific’s history. It handles mostly agricultural products in the areas of Idaho Falls and the Snake River (from Buhl/Wendell to Minidoka), and moves about 35,000 carloads per year, and interchanges with UP at Idaho Falls and Minidoka, Idaho.
Friday, May 11, 2012