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Rail News: Labor

BLET members ratify NS agreement; Steelworkers members ratify CN pact

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members late last week ratified a new five-year agreement with Norfolk Southern Railway.

The pact governs rates of pay and work rules for about 4,600 locomotive engineers. Health and welfare benefits for the engineers will be bargained nationally starting later this year.

The agreement provides engineers with an annual bonus opportunity based on corporate performance through 2019 and for the first time includes individual incentive opportunities based on personal performance, NS officials said in a press release. The pact also includes changes to improve engineer work scheduling, which will help ensure the Class I has a more stable and available workforce while providing employees with more predictable schedules, they said.

"The new agreement builds on our long history of collaborative problem-solving with the BLET, and it will have a positive impact on employees, our customers and the long-term success of the company," said NS Labor Relations Vice President Scott Weaver.

Meanwhile, CN announced that United Steelworkers Local 2004 members have ratified a four-year agreement covering about 3,000 maintenance-of-way employees.

The new agreement was reached prior to the expiration of the previous contract and is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

"The agreement recognizes the value of negotiating an early deal, and it delivers solid wage and benefits improvements to union members, along with work-rule changes that will increase the efficiency of CN and its employees in maintaining and improving the company's rail infrastructure critical to Canada," said Jim Vena, CN's executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a press release.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/2/2015