Yesterday, the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) announced that Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) members ratified a new national agreement with major U.S. freight railroads, joining workers at 12 other rail labor unions who previously ratified new contracts. The BMWED — which represents 35,000 rail workers who build, maintain and repair track, bridges, buildings and equipment — released the ratification vote count: 7,189 in favor and 6,623 opposed.
The current bargaining round now has drawn to a close since the unions representing 132,000 rail workers have reached agreements with the railroads, NCCC officials said in a prepared statement. The NCCC represents more than 30 U.S. railroads, including the Class Is, in national bargaining talks with 13 rail labor unions.
“The completion of this final agreement underscores the continuing vitality of national collective bargaining in our industry and the effectiveness of the Railway Labor Act processes in helping the parties reach voluntary agreements,” said NCCC Chairman A. Kenneth Gradia.
Although the number of returned ratification ballots was disappointing — 13,826, including 14 voided ballots — the result wasn’t, said BMWED National Division President Freddie Simpson.
“I am glad that a majority of those voting recognized that despite our disappointment with the health-care package, this was still a good solid contract,” he said.
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