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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BLET members ratify CSXT contract; BMWED federations merge

Last week, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members ratified a five-year agreement with CSX Transportation by an 85 percent majority. The union and Class I had reached a tentative agreement on July 31.

Covering about 5,000 CSXT locomotive engineers, the contract calls for 16 percent wage increases over the life of the agreement and annual bonus payments. The pact is a continuation of a single system agreement ratified in April 2007.

Current health/welfare and short-term disability plans will remain unchanged until national bargaining is completed, at which time any changes in the national agreement will be implemented, BLET officials said in a prepared statement.
At 2014’s end, members have the option to "snap back" to the national agreement, which would include all general wage increases stipulated in the upcoming round of national bargaining, union officials said.

Meanwhile, the governing bodies of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division’s (BMWED) Consolidated Rail System Federation and the Nickel Plate-Wheeling & Lake Erie Federation have finalized a merger.

The merged organization will retain the name Consolidated Rail System Federation and represent more than 2,200 BMWED members who build, inspect and maintain tracks, bridges and other infrastructure for CSXT, Norfolk Southern Railway, Amtrak, CN/Grand Trunk, Conrail, Springfield Terminal Railroad, Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. and the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad. The union elected Bradley Winter general chairman to head the new federation.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/14/2009