New Five-Year Agreement for Locomotive Engineers
By better than a 9-to-1 margin, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with Amtrak on April 2, 2018.
The final tally was 90.5% in favor and 9.5% against, with nearly 65% of eligible members casting a ballot.
The five-year deal protects all existing work rules and provides members with general wage increases of 18.84% compounded over the life of the contract. It runs through December 31, 2021, with full retroactive pay dating to July 1, 2015. Employee health care contributions are frozen at $228.00 per month over the life of the deal. The new contract provides much needed improvements for employees entitled to paid time off for active duty in a branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
The agreement governs more than 1,400 locomotive engineers who operate Amtrak’s passenger and commuter trains over its 21,000-mile, 46-state route system.
BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce thanked BLET members for participating in the balloting and ratification process. He also thanked Amtrak General Chairman Mark Kenny and his negotiating team for their diligent work at the bargaining table.
“Coming on the heels of our National Freight Agreement, this contract protects the work rules that our Amtrak members work under while also capping their health care contributions and providing real wage increases,” President Pierce said. “I want to thank Brother Kenny and his negotiating team for bringing this round of bargaining to a successful conclusion.”
General Chairman Kenny said: “Given the stalemated status of our previous collective bargaining efforts with Amtrak prior to the settlement of the 2017 National Freight Agreement, and the exorbitant health care costs proposed by the Carrier at that time, it stands plainly evident that this agreement represents a significant improvement in both general wage increases and employee health care contributions over the life of the agreement, and without forfeiture of any existing work rules.”