UP: Paid Sick Leave Added for Six Unions

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
image description

Union Pacific (UP) on March 22 reported reaching agreements with six additional labor unions to provide access to up to seven paid sick days, effective April 1.

The unions are:

  1. International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)
  2. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  3. International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB)
  4. International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Mechanical Division (SMART-MD)
  5. International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers
  6. Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED)

While all UP employees receive paid personal days off, the “employees represented by these unions will also receive four paid sick days annually, prorated for 2023, with the ability to convert up to three paid leave days for use as paid sick days,” the Class I railroad reported.

UP on Feb. 20 reported that it had reached agreements with the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers (NCFO) as well as the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC).

According to the railroad, the Transportation Communications International Union’s collective bargaining agreement already provided paid sick time, bringing the total number of unions to nine out of 13 that will have paid sick leave agreements.

“At Union Pacific, we value our employees and are committed to addressing their concerns by working together with union leaders to find solutions,” said Beth Whited, UP’s Executive Vice President-Sustainability and Strategy and Chief Human Resource Officer. “We thank the union leadership for their collaboration and we will continue working with the other unions to address paid sick time solutions.”

Together with the clerical craft, “the unions that have reached agreements or tentative agreements represent more than 40% of Union Pacific’s craft professionals and negotiations with the remaining four unions are ongoing,” UP reported. “The railroad continues to work to identify ways to improve quality of life for all employees.”


H.J. Res. 100, the House- and Senate-passed resolution that President Joe Biden signed into law on Dec. 2, 2022, imposed the Tentative Agreement resulting from President Emergency Board 250; it did not include paid sick leave.

While the House on Nov. 30, 2022, passed two resolutions (H.J. Res. 100 and H.Con. Res. 119) to impose on four holdout rail unions the Tentative Agreement accepted by eight others, and to amend that Tentative Agreement to include seven days of paid sick leave (that unions couldn’t gain in collective bargaining), the Senate on Dec. 1, 2022 agreed only to impose the Tentative Agreement.

In a precedent-setting move for the railroad industry, CSX on Feb. 7 reached agreements with the BMWED and the BRC for paid sick leave; on Feb. 10, it added the IAM and NCFO; on Feb. 14, added the IAM Roadway Mechanics division and the BRC Carmen for Fruit Growers Express Company division; and on March 22, added the IBEW.

On Feb. 22, Norfolk Southern reported reaching an agreement with the BMWED; on Feb. 24, it included the NCFO; on March 10, it added the SMART-MD and the IBEW); and on March 15 added the IBB, IAM and BRC.

BNSF on Feb. 23 announced that it would grant individual paid sick days to its railroaders who are members of the Transportation Communications Union and the NCFO; on March 9 added the IAM, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) and the SMART-MD; and on March 17, added IBB.

CN on March 3 reported reaching agreements with the IAM, NCFO, SMART-MD and IBB in the U.S.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,