BLET, GTW reach five year tentative contract

The BLET's Grand Trunk Western General Committee of Adjustment has reached a tentative five year contract with CN.

Ballots were mailed on December 6. Outcome of the membership vote will be available after ballots are returned on January 15.

The tentative agreement includes a 16 percent wage increase, an increase in the away from home meal allowance to $10, full retroactive pay from July 1, 2005, a $1,000 bonus /claim settlement payable to all active engineers, 26 additional days off for the extra board without deduction in pay and a "step-up bonus payment" applied directly to the Engineer's Guaranteed Extra Board that, when coupled with the 16 percent wage increase, amounts to about a 22.1 percent wage increase for the weekly guarantee amount.

The tentative agreement is currently out for ratification. If ratified, the new agreement will amend the 2003 Engineer's Hourly Rate Agreement. Under the new arrangement, the Hourly Rate will increase to $38.63 on July 1, 2009, while the weekly guarantee for Engineers will increase to $1,738.24, providing GEB Engineers with a minimum annual income of over $90,000.00 per year.

General Chairman John Karakian stated that this is a very good agreement and that it will continue to benefit all GTW Engineers and their families now and for many years to come. He also praised his negotiating team.

"This was a BLET total team effort in the form of being united, a lot of hard work and a lot of not backing down, from one and all," Karakian said. "My sincere appreciation is extended to President Don Hahs, Vice-President Paul Sorrow, the entire National Division, all the Local Chairmen and the entire membership for their patience, understanding and support. It is all of this, every little bit, which gave us the much needed leverage, confidence and strength to successfully push forward, as a united team, in order to complete this agreement."

President Hahs commended General Chairman Karakian and Vice President Sorrow for their efforts in reaching this agreement which he feels is the very best that could be achieved in this round of bargaining.




© 2007 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen