BLET, UTU negotiating teams meet jointly with carriers

The national negotiating teams from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the United Transportation Union met jointly on September 6 in Kansas City with the National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents most of the major railroads and many smaller ones.

"Our strong show of solidarity has let the carriers know that we are serious about negotiating a top notch agreement for our membership," BLET National President Don Hahs said.

First Vice President Ed Rodzwicz and UTU President Paul Thompson joined President Hahs at the meeting. Members of the BLET's National Negotiating Committee and members of the UTU's negotiating team were also in attendance.

"This is a time of record profits and record traffic volume for the carriers," Hahs said. "Those profits are due largely in part to our highly skilled and dedicated members, who deserve a larger piece of the pie."

The BLET and UTU have scheduled a second joint negotiating session with the carriers for October.

It has been nearly two years since the sides exchanged Railway Labor Act Section 6 notices, which are demands for changes in wages, rules and working conditions. Under the Railway Labor Act, contracts do not expire, but continue in force until changes are agreed upon and ratified by the membership. Section 6 refers to the section of the law providing for the sides to exchange demands for contract changes. Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) are paid semi-annually during the period of contract talks.

The BLET continues to negotiate as part of the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition (RLBC), a coalition of seven unions representing nearly 85,000 rail workers.

Members of the BLET negotiating committee include President Hahs, Vice Presidents Dale McPherson and Steve Speagle, and General Chairmen Tom Roberts, Dennis Pierce and Tony Smith. Also representing BLET at the meeting was Dennis Simmerman, Assistant to the President.



© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen