CN, BLE agree to alternative compensation concept (3/13/2002)


Canadian National Railway Co.'s Wisconsin Central Division (WCD) and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers March 13 reached a three-year agreement based on an alternative compensation method for operating employees.

Instead of more-standard Class I mileage- and rule-based wage systems, CN and BLE agreed to an hourly-wage and job-guarantee concept.

"[The pact] will preserve the work-rule flexibility of an earlier agreement, while enhancing compensation and quality of life for WCD engineers," said E. Hunter Harrison, CN executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. "This is truly important, because I've long believed that the complexities of Class I labor agreements create almost as many employee life quality and operating problems as the agreements are intended to solve."

The agreement, which becomes effective next month, should lead to more-cooperative and less-adversarial relations between labor and management, said BLE International Vice President Rick Radek.

The pact would settle wage- and work-rule issues for WCD's 310 BLE-represented engineers through March 2005, and supersedes an existing agreement that expires at year end.

Source: Progressive Railroading Daily News