BLET

SMART-TD Says “No”; BLET Ratifies (UPDATED Nov. 22)

Conductors and yard workers represented by the Transportation Division of International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD)—who constitute almost the full 30% of unionized rail employees bargaining over

Commentary

Rail Labor Update: A FUBAR Lurks

Although six of 12 rail labor unions have ratified amendments to contracts setting wages, benefits and work rules on most Class I railroads and many smaller ones, two unions—the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the Teamsters Union (BMWED)—have rejected the tentative deal, creating a likelihood of a nationwide rail work stoppage as early as November 19.

MRL helper locomotives assist at the rear end of a BNSF grain train climbing Bozeman Pass, west of Livingston, Mont. (Photo and caption by Bruce Kelly)

BLET: BNSF-MRL Implementing Agreements Ratified

An “overwhelming majority” of participating Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members have ratified an implementing agreement and Oregon Short Line Protective Agreement with BNSF regarding its resumption of service on Montana Rail Link (MRL), BLET reported.

Railroads Prepping for Strike Action: AAR (UPDATED)

The six Class I freight railroads participating in national bargaining will begin taking steps as early as Sept. 12 to manage and secure shipments of hazardous and security-sensitive materials “in light of the possibility of a rail labor strike,” the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said the evening of Sept. 9. The SMART-Transportation Division (TD) and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen spoke out on embargoes* on Sept. 11.

Commentary

Labor Update: Avoid Misinformation Cesspool (UPDATED)

Increasingly likely on Sept. 16, or shortly thereafter, is a rail labor strike or management lockout creating a nationwide rail shutdown that almost certainly will elicit from Congress back-to-work legislation and third-party determination of wage, benefits and work rules amendments to end this almost 33-month-old round of collective bargaining.

BMWED, IBB, SMART-MD Reach Tentative Agreements With NCCC

More than three weeks after Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250 issued its recommendations on the stalled contract negotiations between 12 rail labor unions and the carriers, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED) of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB); and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Mechanical Department (SMART-MD) have reached tentative agreements with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents most major railroads (and many smaller ones) in national collective bargaining.

NMB Orders Labor Back to Washington

In a final effort to avoid a nationwide rail shutdown as early as Sept. 16, the National Mediation Board (NMB) has ordered railroad negotiators and the leadership of unions still at the bargaining table to return to Washington, D.C., Sept. 7 for an NMB-guided try at reaching tentative agreements on amending wage, benefits and work rules contracts.

IBEW Reaches Tentative Agreement With NCCC

Two weeks after Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250 issued its recommendations on the stalled contract negotiations between 12 rail labor unions and the carriers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced on Sept. 1 that it has reached a tentative agreement with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents most U.S. Class I freight railroads in national collective bargaining.

SMART-TD, BLET ‘Remain Committed’ to Negotiate PEB 250 Issues

The Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), along with the other 10 unions involved in national bargaining, met on Aug. 22 via Zoom, followed by in-person meetings held on Aug. 25 and Aug. 26 in Chicago, to “determine if Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250’s recommendations could serve as a basis for a tentative agreement,” SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson and BLET President Dennis Pierce announced in an Aug. 27 joint statement.

BLET, SMART-TD Weigh In on PEB 250

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) President Dennis Pierce and SMART Transportation Division (SMART-TD) President Jeremy Ferguson on Aug. 1 released a joint statement to their members, providing an update on the hearings of Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250, which within weeks is slated to make non-binding recommendations in the now more than 2-1/2 year-old dispute between most major railroads (and many smaller ones) and their 12 labor unions, including BLET and SMART-TD.