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Rail News: Labor

Iowa, Chicago & Eastern, BLET hammer out four-year contract through mediation

The Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad Corp. (IC&E) and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainman (BLET) division of the Teamsters Rail Conference recently reached an agreement after months of negotiations and a short mediation period.

Covering 300 IC&E workers, the four-year contract calls for wage increases of more than 9 percent through 2008. The pact also creates a formalized discipline procedure, including an appeals process and union protection, and provides a "flex day" program designed to help members manage their off-duty time.

Since the BLET organized the IC&E in December 2003, union and railroad officials have tried to negotiate a contract. In November 2004, the parties agreed to arbitrate the remaining issues of their collective bargaining dispute — concerning wage and health-care benefits — through the National Mediation Board, averting a potential strike.

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More News from 1/25/2005