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BLET members ratify new contract with Indiana and Ohio Railway

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, June 22 — On June 13, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Indiana and Ohio Railway (I&O).

The five-year agreement governs rates of pay, work rules and health and welfare benefits for approximately 50 engineers, conductors, and trainees. Members will see wage increases of 28.6 percent over the life of the agreement, which runs through December 31, 2020. It was ratified with over 80% of those casting a ballot voting in favor.

The agreement provides improved vacation leave for members, giving them an additional day of vacation when reaching five, 10 and 15 year anniversaries with the company. Members will also receive 10 total paid holidays effective January 1, 2017, in addition to five Flex Days. The agreement also outlines provisions for holiday pay, jury duty pay and bereavement leave.

Members are covered by the Genesee & Wyoming’s Midwest Region health and welfare plan, effective January 1, 2017. The agreement provides changes to the membership’s 401k Plan, and gives members a boot voucher good for two pairs of work boots per year. The contract outlines procedures to ensure that members receive fair and impartial disciplinary hearings, and specifies a grievance and arbitration process. Extra boards and a seniority system are also provided for in the contract.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce recognized the negotiating team of Vice President Rick Gibbons and General Chairman Christopher Cole for their dedication in securing the new contract.

“Union membership is not a spectator sport, and I am proud to salute those Indiana and Ohio members who cast votes and wish to thank them for their perseverance throughout the negotiating and ratification process,” President Pierce said.

The BLET first organized the I&O on August 3, 2001, and a 78 percent majority of members ratified their first-ever union contract in 2003. I&O members belong to BLET Division 282 (Cincinnati, Ohio).

A subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., the I&O is a 570-mile short line railroad operating primarily in western Ohio, as well as in parts of southeastern Indiana and southeast Michigan. The I&O serves the metropolitan areas of Cincinnati, Columbus, Springfield and Lima. The railroad handles a wide range of commodities, including metal products, chemicals, plastics, lumber, paper, grain and grain products, such as ethanol and dried distillers grains. The I&O serves several barge terminals in Cincinnati, and has customers offering transload services to handle a variety of products.

Thursday, June 22, 2017
bentley@ble-t.org

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