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Rail News: Labor

Three unions ratify contracts with NCCC


Yesterday, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), National Conference of Firemen and Oilers (NCFO), and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) announced their respective members ratified collective bargaining agreements with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC). The three unions represent about 33,170 workers employed by the largest U.S. freight railroads.

The unions began negotiations with NCCC in January 2010. The agreements largely follow recommendations issued by a Presidential Emergency Board appointed by President Obama in October 2011.

For example, BLET’s agreement includes a general wage increase of 18.6 percent over the life of the contract and a lump-sum payment retroactive to Jan. 1, 2010. It also calls for phasing in the larger portions of health and welfare changes over an 18-month period.

NCFO’s contract includes a 20.1 percent wage increase over the life of the agreement, with an additional 1 percent lump-sum payment after ratification. Employee health premiums are frozen at $200 per month through June 2016, and a new system of co-payments, deductibles and co-insurance is being phased in.

IBEW did not provide details of its agreement.

Seven unions now have ratified contracts with NCCC and five others have reached tentative agreements that are awaiting member ratification. The only union that has not yet reached a settlement — the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes — has agreed with the NCCC to extend a “cooling off” period until Feb. 8.

The NCCC represents more than 30 railroads, including BNSF Railway Co., CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad in national bargaining with the 13 rail unions.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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