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5/21/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BMWE, Indiana Harbor Belt agreement averts strike


Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Co. (IHB) and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes May 17 reached a tentative agreement to end the union's threatened strike action, which affected about 150 of the short line's BMWE-represented workers who maintain IHB's interchange in and around Chicago.
"We are pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement that will permit the orderly flow of freight and passenger traffic to continue without the delays or threat of interruption that a strike would bring to this critical rail hub," said IHB General Manager Gary Gibson in a prepared statement.
BMWE May 14 began picketing IHB to protest slow contract negotiations, which, after nearly two-and-a-half years, were at a standstill, BMWE officials said.
The union is seeking a new agreement covering wages, benefits and job protection.
Hammond, Ind.-based IHB — which serves as a switch carrier for 16 Chicago-area railroads and operates 54 miles of mainline track, and 266 miles of yard and siding track — annually moves about 170,000 carloads.


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