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BLET members ratify new contract with Great Western Railway

INDEPNDENCE, Ohio, February 7 — By a unanimous vote, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Great Western Railway of Colorado (GWR).

Ratified on December 30, 2019, the agreement runs through the year 2023 and provides significant upfront wage increases of 38 percent for locomotive engineers and 40 percent for conductors. Members will also receive 2 percent general wage increases each year throughout the remainder of the contract, and there were no harmful work rule changes.

The negotiating team consisted of BNSF (former ATSF) General Chairman Rob Cunningham, BNSF-ATSF Vice General Chairman Jeremy McFather, Division 256 Local Chairman Mike L. Dunkelberger, and National Vice President Mike Priester.

“I thank the GWR membership for their perseverance throughout the negotiating process,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “I also thank the negotiating team for bringing this round to a successful conclusion.”

The BLET first organized the GWR property in 2003. Its members belong to Division 256 in Denver, and they are represented by the BNSF (former ATSF) General Committee of Adjustment for purposes of contract negotiations and enforcement. GWR is an OmniTRAX property headquartered in Denver, Colo. The short line operates over 80 miles of track throughout Colorado and interchanges with the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific.

“We still have a lot of work to do on the GWR, but this contract made significant strides in bringing up the pay rates on this property,” General Chairman Cunningham said. “This should help with the employee retention rates, which have plagued the carrier in recent years.”

Friday, February 7, 2020
bentley@ble-t.org

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