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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BNSF, BLET reach tentative accord


BNSF Railway Co. and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) reached a tentative agreement to settle wage and work rule matters concerning BNSF’s locomotive engineers for the major round of collective bargaining that will begin Jan. 1, 2010.

The agreement would settle wage and work rule issues through Dec. 31, 2014. Health and welfare issues will be addressed in upcoming industry-wide negotiations.

The pact affords a general wage increase in each contract year while also “reflecting today’s economic realities,” according to a BNSF statement.

“The agreement is not all we wanted, no agreement ever is, but in this time of economic
troubles and hardship, it is an honor for me and for the four BLET general chairmen to be
able to present to our members a proposal that gives them the security of a five-year
agreement, additional income and additional time off without a single giveback or rule
change,” said Stephen Speagle, a BLET vice president.

Added BNSF VP of Labor Relations John Fleps: “In both 2003 and 2007, BLET and BNSF worked successfully to develop innovative compensation arrangements and progressive work rules that have done much to position our company and locomotive engineers to reap the benefits of new technology and generally share in a strong future,” Fleps said. “We are pleased to build on those accomplishments, again partnering with BLET in advancing our mutual interests, especially during this period of economic uncertainty and challenge.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/6/2009