New BLE contract with Wisconsin Central secures 6.5% raise over two years

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers announced on March 2 that its members have ratified a two-year contract with the Wisconsin Central, which provides a 6.5 percent pay increase.

The contract was approved by a 5-to-3 ratio and gives BLE members a 3.5 percent pay increase retroactive to Jan. 1, 2001, and a 3 percent pay increase effective Jan. 1, 2002. The BLE represents more than 300 locomotive engineers on WC.

The agreement was reached in December 2000 and amends the original 1999 contract. The new agreement restores locomotive engineers to a daily overtime pay schedule, a benefit that was eliminated from the 1999 contract.

BLE International Vice-President Rick Radek, who assisted General Chairman Jeff Bochman with negotiations, said the new contract is the result of foreshortened negotiations due to the expected sale of Wisconsin Central to the Canadian National Railway. The agreement contains an 18 month "reopener" provision if the sale should somehow fall through.

International President Edward Dubroski congratulated the members of the BLE's negotiating team, particularly Brothers Radek and Bochman.

2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers