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Railroads agree to boost UTU members' health-care benefits

On July 1, United Transportation Union-represented railroad workers can begin to take advantage of enhanced health-care benefits. National Carriers Conference Committee officials recently agreed to accept UTU's reinterpretation of health-care provisions for 43,000 train and engine-service workers, union officials said in a prepared statement.

The enhanced benefits — which require no additional employee cost — apply to hearing and eye care, life insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment coverage. In November, UTU members ratified the existing national health-care insurance plan.

Changes include a new maximum hearing benefit payout of $600 annually; an increase in the number of eyeglass and lens providers, and participating health-care networks; and doubled life insurance, and accidental death and dismemberment benefits to $20,000 and $16,000, respectively.

"The addition of these … benefits now makes our agreement head-and-shoulders better than anything else out there," said UTU International President Paul Thompson.

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More News from 3/25/2004