Members OK new national contract

Five year agreement ratified by a 2-to-1 majority

By a majority of 2-1, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen members nationwide voted in favor of the new freight rail contract negotiated by the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition. The BLET members' votes were the first in the coalition to be counted. Later in June the votes from the other unions: Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division; Firemen and Oilers; Sheetmetal Workers; Train Dispatchers; Railroad Signalmen; and Boilermakers will be counted.

"These results show that this is a strong national contract that will benefit our members," said Don Hahs, National President of the BLET. "Our members will see increases in wages and a cap on health and welfare contributions. We worked hard to negotiate the terms of this new five-year contract. Together with the other members of the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition we were able to keep the carriers at bay."

The national five-year contract covers more than 17,000 freight rail workers on part of CSX, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and Kansas City Southern.

"When the carriers served their section six notices in 2004 they had staffing and consolidation in their sites," said Hahs. "But we stood together and won a good contract with worthwhile improvements."

Along with the national contract, votes were counted for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe on property agreement. The results were 10-1 in favor.

"I want to congratulate our general chairmen for helping communicate with our members about the many benefits this new contract will provide," said Hahs. "I believe this contract is further evidence of the increased power rail labor has now that we have merged with the Teamsters Union and are a part of the Teamsters Rail Conference."



© 2007 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen