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3/11/2008



Rail News: Amtrak

More Amtrak pacts: Signalmen, carmen and maintenance workers ratify contracts


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The Amtrak contract ratifications keep on coming.

Yesterday, Brotherhood of Railway Signalmen (BRS)-represented Amtrak workers ratified a new contract by greater than a 5-to-1 margin. Under the pact, signalmen will receive a 35.2 percent wage increase over the life of the agreement, which runs from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2009. The retroactive wages generally exceed $13,000 for each employee even after retroactive health and welfare contributions are fulfilled, BRS said. The payments will be made in two installments — 40 percent within 60 days of ratification, and the remaining 60 percent on or before the one-year anniversary of the first payment.

In addition, health and welfare contributions will be set at 15 percent of Amtrak's insurance costs for medical, dental, vision, life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage. Based on that formula, the employee monthly contribution is set at $166.25 per month. Ultimately, the agreement's terms "mirror" the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board 242, BRS said.

Meanwhile, carmen, maintenance-of-way (MOW) and maintenance-of-equipment (MOE) supervisors represented by the Transportation Communications Union (TCU) also ratified Amtrak pacts yesterday after eight years of negotiating. The contracts, which run from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2009, contain "substantial back pay provisions, strong wage increases and no concessions in work rules," according to a TCU statement.

Of the TCU-represented carmen who voted, 87 percent voted in favor of the contract; 95 percent of the voting MOW supervisors and 88 percent of the voting MOE supervisors did, too.

Although the pacts don't cover TCU-represented clerks, onboard service workers and product-line supervisors at Amtrak, the ratified agreements provide a basis for continued negotiations and could result in settlements soon, said TCU International President Bob Scardelletti.



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