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Rail News: Labor

Carriers' committee reaches tentative agreement with five unions; BLET members ratify pact with New York short line

U.S. railroads have negotiated a national contract with five more rail labor unions.

Yesterday, the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) announced it reached a tentative agreement with the Transportation Communications International Union, Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, Transportation Workers Union, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The unions represent about 36,000 carmen, clerks, electricians and machinists, who will vote on the pacts in separate ratification elections.

The contract calls for wage increases and benefit improvements, and includes provisions aimed at helping workers better manage health-care costs.

The NCCC now has negotiated tentative or final agreements with 12 unions representing more than 96,000 rail workers — or two-thirds of the 145,000 employees covered in national bargaining. The committee still is trying to negotiate an agreement with the largest rail labor organization, the United Transportation Union.

Last month, six of the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition’s seven union members ratified agreements with the NCCC, which bargains with 13 rail labor unions on behalf of more than 30 U.S. railroads, including the Class Is. The American Train Dispatchers Association, whose members in June rejected a tentative agreement by a narrow margin, is conducting another ratification vote this month.

Meanwhile, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen members have ratified an agreement with the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYS&W).

Expiring Dec. 31, 2010, and covering 40 train and engine-service workers, the contract calls for a 9 percent increase in hourly rates and an additional 9 percent general wage increase over the life of the agreement, as well as a $5,800 lump-sum back payment for each employee.

The 400-mile NYS&W operates lines in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and interchanges with CSX Transportation, Canadian Pacific Railway and Norfolk Southern Railway.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/19/2007