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Rail News: Labor

Panhandle Northern Railroad workers join the BLET


Panhandle Northern Railroad (PNR) workers recently ratified their first-ever union contract and joined the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference.

After the contract takes effect Nov. 12, workers will receive immediate wage increases of 7 percent to 12 percent. The pact also calls for annual wage increases of 3 percent, longevity pay, and a reduction in workers’ health and welfare program co-pays.

An OmniTRAX Inc. subsidiary, the 31-mile PNR operates a line between Panhandle and Borger, Texas, and interchanges with BNSF Railway Co.

Since 2002, the BLET has organized 14 short lines. Last month, 30 Chicago, Fort Wayne and Eastern Railroad engineers joined the union.