BLE, Gateway Western sign contract

New agreement gives engineers on some runs pay increases of more than 49%

The BLE General Committee of Adjustment for the Gateway Western Railway, a subsidiary of Kansas City Southern, announced the signing of an agreement that gives some locomotive engineers pay increases of more than 49 percent.

General Chairman John R. Koonce said the recently ratified agreement combines the best portions of the Kansas City Southern agreement, the National Agreement, and the old Gateway Western contract. The result is a new agreement that is better than each contract individually, Brother Koonce said.

The contract was ratified on January 15 and is retroactive to January 1, with some retroactive payments to Jan. 1, 2000. Eighty-three percent of the ballots were returned with 100 percent of the membership voting in favor of the new deal.

Highlights of the contract include:

Brother Koonce said that by negotiating to combine the best portions of the National Agreement with the KCS and Gateway Western contracts, BLE engineers will retain the following benefits:

Brother Koonce also announced the signing of two other contracts with Kansas City Southern subsidiaries - MidSouth Rail and SouthRail. These contracts, like the Gateway Western deal, adopt the national general wage increases and COLAs, along with the early retirement and health & welfare packages. However, they opted for the single rates of pay instead of mileage pay.

Other benefits of the MidSouth Rail and SouthRail contracts include daily guaranteed pool assignments and overtime on the sixth and seventh day for regular road switchers.

The SouthRail engineers also received an immediate 8.28 percent raise for Road Switcher assignments and a 20.78 percent raise for Freight Assignments, along with a $6,385 lump sum payment in lieu of back pay.


2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers