ATDA Members Ratify Freight Rail Agreement

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents most U.S. Class I railroads (and many smaller ones) in national collective bargaining, reported on Oct. 4 that the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA) membership has ratified the tentative labor agreement.

ATDA is the fourth union to ratify the agreement resolving the current national bargaining round. Tentative agreements with eight other labor organizations remain subject to ratification. The ratification process will continue into at least mid-November, with all 12 unions agreeing to maintain the status quo until all union ratification votes are completed, no matter if any fail to ratify.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) on Sept. 28 and the Transportation Communications Union/IAM (TCU/IAM) and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC) on Sept. 14 reached ratified agreements.

The tentative agreement implemented Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) 250 recommendations, which include a 24% general compounded wage increase during the five-year period from 2020 to 2024 and an annual $1,000 service recognition bonus.

Membership totals provided by the NCCC at the start of negotiations in January 2020 put ATDA at 1,500 members affected by this contract; IBEW at 5,800; TCU at 3,800; and BRC at 9,200. A total of 125,000 rail union members belonging to 12 rail labor unions were affected by these contract talks at the start of negotiations. The two largest unions, SMART-Transportation Division and BLET, have not yet ratified the agreements.

ATDA Statement

ATDA on Oct. 4 released this statement: “The American Train Dispatchers Association’s members on Belt Railway of Chicago, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Conrail, CSXT, Indiana Harbor Belt, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, and Wisconsin Central have ratified the 2022 National Mediation Agreement, with 64% voting in favor. The members will immediately receive a 14.1% pay increase and within 45-60 days they will receive retroactive pay averaging $14,500 and $3,000 in service recognition bonuses. The ATDA would like to thank all of our sister unions, attorneys, and consultants who provided invaluable assistance in this long and difficult round of bargaining.”

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