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BLET Ratifies Agreement with Amtrak

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members on Dec. 6 ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with Amtrak.

The new seven-year contract, which was approved by a 550-479 vote of the 1,029 (73%) ballot cast, governs locomotive engineers who operate Amtrak’s passenger and commuter trains over its 21,000-mile, 46-state system.

According to BLET, the contract provides full retroactive payments dating to July 1, 2022, and will run through 2028. Highlights of the deal include:

  • 30% general wage increase (34.12% compounded).
  • 10 weeks of paid parental leave.
  • A significant increase in away-from-home expenses.
  • Significant improvement to vacation arrangements in PTO (33 days).
  • 90-minute instructor engineer allowance.
  • Improvement to bereavement leave, transitioning from three calendar days to three working days.
  • Addition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday.
  • Double the current certification allowance.

General Chairman Mark B. Kenny thanked the entire Amtrak Executive Committee, which includes Vice Chairman P.W. Darcy; Secretary-Treasurer B.J. Cleary; Eastern Regional Chairman J.J. O’Neill; Midwest Regional Chairman G.L. Perez; and Western Regional Chairman C.M. Skinner, for their efforts in negotiating the deal. General Chairman Kenny also thanked National Vice President Jim Louis for his help throughout the negotiating process.

TrueBallot, Inc., conducted the contract vote. Ballots were mailed on Nov. 15 following a tentative agreement that was reached on Nov. 10, and were counted on Dec. 6.

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