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1/21/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Yardmasters ratify UTU, Grand Trunk Western Railway contract


United Transportation Union-represented yardmasters on Grand Trunk Western Railway recently ratified a new three-year agreement, according to a news item posted Jan. 20 on UTU's Web site.


The contract provides yardmasters a 3 percent wage increase retroactive to Jan. 1, when the agreement was up for renewal, plus annual 3 percent increases effective Jan. 1, 2003, and Jan. 1, 2004.


The pact also eliminates entry-level pay rates, provides a 401(k) retirement savings plan that includes a railroad cash contribution (25 cents for every invested dollar up to the first 4 percent of employee contributions), and enables yardmasters to receive payment for unused personal leave days.


UTU and Grand Trunk Western Railway used National Mediation Board's Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) method to reach the agreement. IBB requires both sides to meet regularly, more clearly communicate their interests and brainstorm solutions to contract problems.


"This was the second occasion we used an interest-based bargaining process to reach a positive negotiating result," said Donald Carver, assistant to UTU's president and director of the union's yardmaster department.


In September, UTU and CSX Transportation used IBB to reach an agreement covering yardmasters that includes alternative compensation provisions and productivity improvements.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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