Almost 80 percent of the members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD), including its Yardmasters Division, and 88 percent of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLET) members have ratified new contract terms with the nation’s largest freight railroads.
As a result, four of the six unions in the coalition known as the Coordinated Bargaining Group (“CBG”) have now ratified tentative agreements reached with the railroads in early October. The unions in the CBG represent almost 60 percent of the 145,000 employees covered in this bargaining round.
“Ratification of these agreements demonstrates that collective bargaining in the rail industry succeeds when the parties are committed to doing the hard work necessary to find common ground,” said A. Kenneth Gradia, Chairman of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), the railroads’ bargaining representative. “These agreements serve as a pattern for the resolution of national negotiations with the rest of the rail unions.”
Two other CBG members, the American Train Dispatchers Association and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, recently announced the ratification of their tentative agreements.
The NCCC represents more than 30 railroads, including BNSF, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, in national bargaining with twelve rail unions. Bargaining began in 2015.