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1/22/2008



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Rail contractors association, unions forge new labor agreement


Earlier this month, the Railroad Cooperation and Education Trust (RAILCET) announced the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), International Union of Operating Engineers and National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association signed a new five-year Railroad Transportation and Operation Agreement (RTOA).

Locked in at 41 states and accessible in all 50 states, the agreement provides work crew mobility for contractors; fair wage rates and affordable health insurance; better training and reimbursement provisions; an improved dispute resolution process; and a flexible work week, RAILCET said. RTOA-affiliated contractors work under a nationwide labor agreement that includes geographically zoned wage rates. The RTOA also covers safety training, and alcohol and drug programs.

"This new agreement offers national reach, flexibility and competitive pricing," said Edward Smith, RAILCET chairman and assistant to the general president, vice president and regional manager of LIUNA, in a prepared statement. "It creates a win-win partnership for laborers, operators and railroad contractors."

With a new agreement in place, RAILCET plans to expand the number of rail contractors covered by the RTOA. An organization of railroad labor and management constituents, RAILCET aims to promote cooperation in all disciplines of railroad contracting.


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