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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Tentative CN/IC, BLE agreement aims to avoid 'misunderstanding and confrontation'


Canadian National Railway Co. June 11 reached a tentative three-year agreement with Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers covering 415 Illinois Central Railroad Co. locomotive engineers.
The pact, which models a deal ratified earlier this year by BLE members on CN's Wisconsin Central Division, would eliminate all prior work rules and agreements, guarantee engineers time off and job security, and offer engineers an hourly wage — modernizing IC's mileage- and rule-based compensation system.
"This is an important step in an industry whose traditionally complex labor agreements for train and engine employees have for years generated misunderstanding and confrontation," said E. Hunter Harrison, CN executive vice president and chief operating officer, in a prepared statement. "With this agreement, CN achieves greatly enhanced employee productivity while BLE members obtain job security and significant lifestyle improvements."
BLE International Vice President Rick Radek believes the deal will improve labor relations on IC, "and secure a better balance between work
and home life for our members."
The agreement, subject to BLE member ratification, would take effect Aug. 1.