Members of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) have ratified new contract terms with the nation’s largest freight railroads. The BRS is the second in the six-union coalition known as the Coordinated Bargaining Group (“CBG”) to ratify the tentative agreements reached with the railroads in early October. The American Train Dispatchers Association announced that its agreement was ratified by the membership on Nov. 27.
“We’re glad to hear that BRS members have endorsed this agreement,” said A. Kenneth Gradia, Chairman of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), the railroads’ bargaining representative. “We are hopeful that similar announcements will be forthcoming in the next few days from other unions in this coalition. As I’ve noted, these agreements serve as a pattern for the resolution of national negotiations with the rest of the rail unions.”
The other four unions in the CBG are: the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers and Helpers; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers; and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD), including its Yardmasters Division.
The unions in the CBG represent 85,000 employees, almost 60 percent of the 145,000 employees covered in this bargaining round, which began in 2015.
The NCCC represents more than 30 railroads, including BNSF, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, in national bargaining with the rail unions.