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Rail News: Labor

BLET, UTU announce new and ratified agreements


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members recently ratified agreements with the Connecticut Southern, Ohio Central/Columbus & Ohio River, and New York, Susquehanna & Western railroads. The contracts provide wage increases and provide health and welfare benefits.

BLET members at the Connecticut Southern Railroad — which is owned by RailAmerica Inc. — ratified their second contract with the union. The workers joined the BLET in February 2008 and obtained their first contract eight months later.

The contract with workers at the Ohio Central/Columbus & Ohio River Railroad, a Genesee & Wyoming Inc. subsidiary, is their first-ever with the union. They joined the BLET in December 2009.

At the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad, workers ratified a four-year pact that provides general wage increases of 10 percent over the life of the contract, based on an hourly rate system.

Meanwhile, train, engine and mechanical forces at Western Rail Road who are represented by the United Transportation Union (UTU) ratified a new agreement. Owned by Cemex, Western Rail Road operates a line connecting a quarry and cement plant in Dittlinger, Texas, with a Union Pacific Railroad line.

In addition, UTU members employed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Staten Island Railway reached a new agreement retroactive to January 2007 following an award by a state arbitrator.

Negotiations dragged on for nearly six years, leading to the arbitration award, UTU officials said in a prepared statement. The award affects UTU-represented conductors, engineers, track maintenance workers, third-rail power employees, equipment maintenance crews, and signal and electrical craft workers.

In 1971, the MTA assumed control and operation of the Staten Island Railway’s passenger service from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, which now is part of CSX Corp.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/10/2012