BLET, NS reach tentative agreement

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has reached a tentative contract agreement with Norfolk Southern that would run through 2014.

The agreement covers approximately 5,100 locomotive engineers and continues to provide an annual bonus opportunity based on the railroad's financial performance. In other words, the engineers' annual bonus is based on the same performance criteria used to determine management bonuses. The BLET has participated in Norfolk Southern's bonus program since 1996.

The union and the carrier were involved in negotiations for approximately one year before reaching the agreement announced on August 7. It is expected that the ratification process will take at between 30 to 60 days.

Specifics of the agreement will not be released pending membership ratification. In general terms, the tentative agreement includes general wage increases, an enhanced bonus program, improved incentive pay for weekend and holiday work, increased 401(k) matching contributions, and improvements to vacation arrangements that are coupled with new qualifying requirements that will improve engineers' availability for work.

The agreement also includes work rule changes defining engineers' job responsibilities and rules that will permit more efficient operations.

Ray Wallace (NS-Southern Lines), the senior General Chairman on the property, complimented all General Chairmen and Local Chairmen involved in negotiations. He specifically commended fellow General Chairmen Willard Knight (NS-Eastern Lines) and Cole Davis (NS-Northern Lines) for a job well done in negotiating the tentative agreement.



© 2007 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen