Release of tentative national contract on hold

As this issue of the Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen News goes to press, release of the BLET's tentative national contract has been delayed pending resolution of two outstanding issues.

The outline of an agreement was reached through the auspices of the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (RLBC) in late February after an all-night negotiating session with National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC).

However, as lawyers from both sides reviewed the outline agreement to write specific contract language, the parties realized they differed on the interpretation of two issues.

"I know many members have contacted the National Division about the status of the agreement," said Don Hahs, BLET National President. "However, details of the agreement cannot be released until both parties have signed off on the final document."

The RLBC announced that an agreement had been reached on February 28. The BLET released details of the outline agreement on March 5, announcing that the proposed five-year deal would provide wage increases of 17 percent over the life of the agreement. There would also be a cap placed on employee health care contributions and there would be no work rule changes under the proposed agreement.

The RLBC is a coalition of seven rail labor unions that represents more than 85,000 workers. The RLBC's members include the BLET; the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED); the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers; the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the Sheet Metal Workers; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers; and the American Train Dispatchers Association.

For the latest information on this situation and other breaking news, members are encouraged to visit the BLET website and to sign up to receive News Flashes in their e-mail at:



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