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Rail News: Labor

BLET engineers, trainmen ratify Wheeling & Lake Erie contracts

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET)-represented train and engine-service workers at the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Co. (W&LE) overwhelmingly ratified labor agreements last week.

Expiring Dec. 31, 2011, the contracts call for overall wage increases of 21.4 percent for locomotive engineers and 21.38 percent for train-service employees. The pacts also provide longevity bonuses and maintain two-person train crews.

BLET and W&LE officials spent seven years negotiating the contracts, primarily because the railroad sought a switch to one-person crews, union officials said in a prepared statement.

"The agreement was reached without any changes made to the train service agreement's crew-consist provision," the officials said.

Added BLET Vice President Marcus Ruef: "Our success in resisting W&LE's attempt to dilute the train service crew-consist rule demonstrates our commitment to maintaining two crew members."

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More News from 6/24/2008