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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

DM&E, DM&IR workers ratify long-term agreements


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members recently ratified a new five-year agreement with the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad (DM&E).

Covering about 300 locomotive engineers and trainmen at the former Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad (the DM&E’s southern portion), the pact calls for 14.5 percent general wage increases over the five-year period and retroactive pay dating back 21 months. BLET members will receive general wage increases of 3 percent for each of the first four years and a 2.5 percent hike in the contract’s last year.

A Canadian Pacific subsidiary, the DM&E operates track in its southern portion in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, United Transportation Union (UTU)-represented workers at the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway (DM&IR) recently ratified a new seven-year agreement with CN.

The pact, which covers 74 conductors and trainmen, is retroactive and provides wage increases and back pay to 2005. The agreement also restricts future furloughs and replaces a standard mileage/rule-based contract with one based on hourly wages and job guarantees, according to the UTU. Most of CN’s U.S. train and engine-service employees work under hourly-rate contracts.

The DM&IR, which CN acquired in 2004 as part of its Great Lakes Transportation L.L.C. purchase, operates track in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.