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The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has reached a letter of agreement with BNSF Railway Co. that would provide a 3 percent general wage increase for about 7,500 locomotive engineers across the Class I's system, the union announced this morning.BLET officials settled wage and work rule issues with BNSF representatives in the last round of bargaining pertaining to an on-property agreement from November 2009. That agreement provided general wage increases for the life of the contract period, with the last increase applicable on Jan. 1, 2014, BLET officials said in a press release.The national agreement reached in January 2012 likewise included general wage increases for the same period, but also included a 3 percent hike to take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, they said. If members ratify the proposed letter of agreement with BNSF, a 3 percent wage increase will be applied to all locomotive engineer rates at the Class I on Jan. 1, BLET officials said.Both parties have reached a further understanding that if the letter of agreement is ratified, they will participate in national bargaining. Letter of agreement ratification ballots will be mailed Dec. 1 to BLET members and voting will continue until Dec. 29.
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