Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen on Thursday ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the BNSF Railway that gives them wage increases totaling 11% over the five-year life of the contract.
More than 3,500 engineers voted, with 75% favoring the agreement. It will take effect Jan. 1, 2010, and runs through Dec. 31, 2014.
The contract settles wage and work rule matters, with health and welfare issues to be addressed in industry-wide negotiations.
In addition to pay increases, BLET engineers will also receive an increased 401(k) contribution from the railroad. Those with 25 or more years of service will receive an extra week of vacation for a total of six weeks.
BLET National Vice President Steve Speagle, who helped negotiate the contract, said "the high percentage of those who voted in favor showed that the engineers recognize the value of the agreement in this economic climate."