CSX Reaches Paid Sick Leave Agreements with Four Unions; BLET Ratifies Agreement with SL&A

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
(G&W image)

(G&W image)

CSX announced Feb. 1 that it has reached agreements with four additional groups of railroad workers to provide paid sick leave benefits. The unions include Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division Conductors/Trainmen (SMART-TD C&O), SMART-TD Yardmasters, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, and Carrolton Road-Transportation Communications Union-represented Engineers/Yardmen/Maintenance of Way employees.

According to the Class I, these agreements extend coverage to more than 600 employees, “further solidifying CSX’s industry-leading initiative of providing paid sick leave to its workforce.” In 2023, CSX became the first U.S. Class I railroad to extend paid sick leave agreements to its contract workers. Since that time, the company has successfully negotiated with several unions, including the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED), Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC), SMART-TD, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), National Conference of Firemen and Oilers (NCFO), and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

“CSX values our employees and understands that their wellbeing is critical to our success,” said CSX President and CEO Joe Hinrichs. “We are grateful to our labor partners for their collaboration in solidifying these agreements and helping us lead the way toward a more inclusive and supportive work environment.”

Separately, BLET members on Jan. 23 ratified a new six-year agreement with the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (SL&A), a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) that operates more than 162 miles of track and interchanges with the New Hampshire Central Railroad (NHCR) in North Stratford, N.H., and Pan Am Railways at Danville Junction, Maine. Its top commodities include chemicals, plastics, lumber and forest products, petroleum products, pulp, and paper.

According to BLET, the agreement provides retroactive pay dating to January 1, 2022, for all active employees, and general wage increases of 24% over the life of the agreement (5% in 2022; 4.5% in 2023; 4% in 2024; 3% in 2025; 3.5% in 2026; and 4% in 2027).

Additional contractual improvements include:

  • A fifth week of vacation after 22 years (as opposed to 25 years currently).
  • Annual safety shoe allowance would be increased to $400.00.
  • All employees would be paid at time-and-a-half for training or examinations on their rest days.

BLET first organized SL&A in August 2013. The membership belongs to BLET Division 274 in Gorham, N.H., and they are represented by the BLET’s CPR-D&H/PanAm (ST), SL&A, NYS&W, CSOR, and NECR General Committee of Adjustment. The BLET negotiating team consisted of National Vice President Randy Fannon, General Chairman Kevin Moore, and Division 274 Local Chairman Daniel Couture.

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