BLET, CN-IC sign tentative contract agreement

Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen who work on CN's former Illinois Central properties will vote on a tentative contract proposal on May 23.

The tentative agreement, announced on April 12, provides for more flexible work rules and an hourly wage structure. Specific details of the agreement are being withheld pending ratification.

The BLET negotiating committee consisted of National Vice-President Richard K. Radek, General Chairman John Koonce, and GCA First Vice-General Chairman and S-T Mark Whitchurch.

"We succeeded in getting what we believe are better than average general wage increases on the table," Brother Koonce said.

He said the Brotherhood also secured more paid time off in the tentative agreement as well as other improvements, including better life insurance benefits.

Brother Koonce said the BLET took an aggressive approach toward negotiations, initiating early contract talks with the carrier prior to the expiration of the existing contract. He said that early, unofficial talks began in mid-2004. As a result, BLET members will see wage increases on June 6 if the new contract is ratified in May, as opposed to August 1 under the old agreement. The tentative agreement covers approximately 400 BLET members.


© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen