Settlements Avert Immediate Threat of Strike; Last Unsettled Union Agrees to Extend Negotiations
WASHINGTON (December 1, 2011) – The nation’s major freight railroads today reached tentative agreements with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the American Train Dispatchers Association, which together represent about 26,500 employees in collective bargaining. The last remaining union without a settlement, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE), has agreed with the railroads to extend the “cooling off” period until Feb. 8, 2012, eliminating the immediate threat of a national rail strike.
“We’re pleased that we have now settled with 12 of the 13 unions in this bargaining round. Everyone wins when we reach voluntary agreements,” said A. Kenneth Gradia, Chairman of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), the railroads’ bargaining representative. “In a tough economy, these agreements offer a terrific deal for rail employees. They lock in well-above market wage increases of more than 20 percent over six years, far exceeding recent union settlements in other industries.”
The NCCC represents more than 30 railroads, including BNSF, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific in national bargaining with the 13 major rail unions.