The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents most U.S. Class I freight railroads in national collective bargaining, announced on Sept. 28 that the membership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) has ratified the tentative labor agreement.
IBEW is the third union to ratify the agreement resolving the current national bargaining round. Tentative agreements with nine 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.
On Sept. 14, NCCC announced that the Transportation Communications Union/IAM (TCU/IAM) and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC), which together represent more than 11,000 rail workers, 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 IBEW at 5,800 members affected by this contract. TCU was put at 3,800 affected members by the NCCC, 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 NCCC reported.
IBEW International President Lonnie R. Stephenson issued the following statement on IBEW freight rail members’ ratification of the tentative agreement with the NCCC:
“Today, the nearly 4,000 members of the IBEW employed by member carriers of the NCCC voted to ratify the tentative agreement reached at the beginning of this month.
“The wage and benefits gains achieved under this agreement would not have been possible without the hard work of our Railroad Department staff, the solidarity of our members and the intervention of President Joe Biden and his administration.
“We thank everyone involved and look forward to continuing to do the work to keep America’s freight moving safely and on time.”