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Rail News: Labor

UP, BLET agree to predictable schedules for locomotive engineers


Union Pacific Railroad and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) yesterday announced a "historic" tentative agreement to enhance the quality of life for UP locomotive engineers by giving them more predictable schedules.

The agreement also enables the railroad to better manage staffing levels, which supports more consistent and reliable service, UP officials said in a press release.

The tentative agreement provides locomotive engineers with a schedule of 11 days on and four days off.

"The 11-4 work/rest schedule will be life altering for employees who are used to working on-call 24/7, 365 days a year," said BLET National President Eddie Hall. "This significant change in scheduling not only will make life better for locomotive engineers and their families, it also should help Union Pacific retain and recruit employees."

UP expects to make meaningful progress implementing the new work/rest schedules within a year of the agreement’s ratification, company officials said.

The Class I employs about 5,600 locomotive engineers represented by BLET.