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Rail News: Labor

Delaware & Hudson, Appalachian and Ohio workers ratify union contracts

By a three-to-one margin, United Transportation Union (UTU)-represented yardmasters recently ratified a three-year contract with the Delaware & Hudson Railway Co.

Retroactive to Dec. 31, 2005, and expiring Dec. 31, 2008, the pact calls for annual general wage increases and establishes a performance plan that could further increase yardmasters’ pay up to 5 percent annually.

The contract also eliminates new hires’ entry rates, enhances 401(k) plans and guarantees workers a separation allowance if the Delaware & Hudson is sold or leased by parent Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Surface Transportation Board does not require labor protection as a transactional condition.

Meanwhile, Appalachian and Ohio Railroad (A&O) track maintenance workers unanimously ratified a contract Aug. 3 and joined the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference.

The pact increases wages, standardizes pay rates and provides employees access to a 401(k) plan.

In May, the Watco Cos. Inc. sold the 158-mile A&O to Four Rivers Transportation Inc. In March 2005, Watco launched the short line to operate a Grafton-to-Cowen, W.Va., line the company leased from CSX Transportation.

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More News from 8/8/2006