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12/2/2003



Rail News: Labor

BLE, CN's Grand Trunk Western reach tentative agreement


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers recently reached a tentative agreement with Canadian National Railway Co.’s Grand Trunk Western (GTW) lines. If ratified, the contract would become effective Feb. 2.

The pact increases engineers’ pay about $12 per hour to a total of $33 per hour, pays for retroactive health and welfare benefits, and places GTW workers under a national health and welfare contract, requiring monthly employee contributions.

The agreement also stipulates that locomotive engineers must operate a train if it is remote controlled outside of existing switching limits or anywhere within existing limits if faster than restricted speed. If a train is operated outside of existing switching limits by any mode of operation (on- or off-board computer, including Global Positioning Systems), a locomotive engineer must be the operator as well, according to a prepared statement.

The pact also contains a short-line sale/lease protection clause preventing engineers from being furloughed if GTW or any of its lines are sold or leased, and an opt-out clause enabling BLE to exit the agreement by Dec. 1, 2004.

BLE and GTW had been trying to negotiate a contract for the past 18 months.



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