UP, BLET Reach Tentative Agreement on Work Schedules, Time OffWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Union Pacific (UP) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) on May 24 reported reaching a tentative agreement to provide engineers with a “more predictable” work schedule that will also enable the Class I railroad “to better manage staffing levels, which supports more consistent and reliable service.”
If ratified, UP’s approximately 5,600 locomotive engineers represented by the BLET will have an 11 days on, four days off schedule.
The railroad said it “continues to work to identify ways to improve quality of life for all employees, including sick time, which Union Pacific and BLET continue to negotiate.” (Norfolk Southern on May 18 announced a paid sick leave agreement with BLET, providing up to seven paid sick days per year to its more than 3,300 engineers.)
“The 11-4 work/rest schedule will be life altering for employees who are used to working on-call 24/7, 365 days a year,” BLET National President Eddie Hall said. “We applaud our BLET General Chairmen and Union Pacific’s management for this important step that we believe will improve our members’ quality of life. This significant change in scheduling not only will make life better for locomotive engineers and their families, it also should help Union Pacific retain and recruit employees.”
“Union Pacific values its craft professionals and their candid feedback, which have led to these historic changes, improving the quality of life for the locomotive engineers who move the goods Americans rely on every day,” Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz said. “Last fall, we promised to address their concerns and find solutions, and we want to thank union leadership for their collaboration on this industry-leading agreement.”