BLET Members Voting on Two New G&W Contracts

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
(G&W Photograph)

(G&W Photograph)

Contract ratification votes are under way for Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members at Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad (M&NA) and Portland & Western Railroad (PNWR), both of which are Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) subsidiaries.

BLET on Sept. 8 reported that ballots are due Oct. 11 for the approximately 60 M&NA and about 50 PNWR employees to decide on tentative on-property agreements governing rates of pay, benefits and work rules.

M&NA’s five-year tentative deal would run through Dec. 31, 2028, and provide general wage increases of 25% (27.5% compounded) over the life of the contract: 6% in 2024; 3% in 2025, 3% in 2026, 5% in 2027 and 8% in 2028. “Contractual changes under the proposed agreement would provide members with the ability to cash out up to 40 hours of scheduled vacation each calendar year, eliminating the ability to carry over unused vacation days,” according to BLET. “Employees are also allowed to accumulate up to 12 flex days. Upon reaching 13 days, an automatic trigger payment of one day would return the employee to the maximum of 12 days.”

BLET members at the 490-mile M&NA belong to Division 178 (Carthage, Mo.) and Division 116 (Batesville, Ark.) and are a part of the union’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe (former STL&SF) General Committee of Adjustment. The short line interchanges with BNSF at Aurora, Mo., Joplin, Mo., and Springfield, Mo.; Canadian Pacific Kansas City at Joplin, Mo.; and Union Pacific at Kansas City, Mo., and Newport, Ark.

(G&W Photograph)

PNWR’s five-year tentative deal would also run through Dec. 31, 2028, but would provide general wage increases of 19.5% (21% compounded) over the life of the contract: 3% in 2024; 3% in 2025, 3.5% in 2026, 6% in 2027 and 4% in 2028. According to BLET, other proposed contractual improvements would include the addition of Martin Luther King Day as an 11th holiday, as well as one extra Personal Leave day and one more day of vacation; an increase in training pay from $9 to $35 per day; the elimination of the 80% rate of pay for probationary employees, so all employees receive 100% rate of pay; and an increased Personal Protective Equipment allowance to $300 per year.

At the 516-mile PNWR, members belong to BLET Division 416 and are a part of BLET’s Union Pacific-Western Region General Committee of Adjustment. The regional interchanges with BNSF at Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore., and with Union Pacific at Eugene, Ore., and Portland, Ore.

Separately, BLET members on July 21 ratified a new five-year on-property agreement that secures a general wage increase of 29% with the 154-mile Illinois & Midland.

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