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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

UTU, NCCC continue contract talks; BLET seeks new national pact


Negotiations on amending a national contract are continuing between the United Transportation Union (UTU) and National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC). The next bargaining session is scheduled for early June, when the parties plan to revisit economic and health care issues.

The UTU and NCCC — which represents more than 30 U.S. railroads, including the Class Is — have been negotiating since an existing contract became open for amendment under provisions of the Railway Labor Act on Jan. 1. The contract, which covers about 40,000 UTU members, will remain in force until amendments are agreed upon and added.

UTU and NCCC officials initially discussed employee productivity, railroad finances and the econom. During the most recent bargaining session held May 18-19, they focused on health care issues.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) continues to negotiate a new national agreement. The union expects to begin contract talks with Amtrak and CN-owned U.S. railroads later this year.

The BLET is taking a slightly different bargaining approach than in the past rounds of contract bargaining. The union already has reached wage settlements with BNSF Railway Co., most of CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway. In addition, the BLET is negotiating rates of pay, rules and working conditions with Union Pacific Railroad on-property rather than nationally. Health and welfare bargaining for all four Class Is is being conducted nationally.