CSX Transportation and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) recently reached a tentative on-property, single system agreement that would unify work rules and pay across the entire railroad. The parties have tried to negotiate a single system contract for two years.
More than 5,500 BLET members will submit ratification ballots to the union by April 15.
The agreement calls for a performance bonus program in lieu of traditional general wage increases. Engineers would receive a 3 percent wage increase and $2,500 signing bonus, but future pay increases would be tied to company performance. If CSXT reaches certain financial goals, engineers would receive a 6 percent bonus from their 2007 earnings, an 8 percent bonus from 2008 earnings and 10 percent bonus from 2009 earnings.
“We believe our members will make more money under the performance bonus program than general wage increases,” said BLET Vice President Paul Sorrow in a prepared statement.
However, if engineers are unhappy with the program, the agreement includes a “snap back” provision that allows workers to receive general wage increases stipulated in a tentative BLET national agreement, said BLET National President Don Hahs.