Ballots on the Way

BLET mails ballots for Tentative National Agreement

Balloting has begun for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen’s (BLET) tentative national agreement with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee, which governs rates of pay, benefits and work rules for over 25,000 locomotive engineers and trainmen.

On November 9, 2017, ballots, instructions, and a synopsis of the agreement were mailed to locomotive engineer members working for the following railroads:

• Belt Railway Company of Chicago;
• BNSF Railway Company;
• Consolidated Rail Corporation;
• CSX Transportation, Inc.;
• Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company;
• Kansas City Southern Railway Company (including Kansas City Southern Railway, Louisiana and Arkansas Railway, MidSouth Rail Corporation, Gateway Western Railway, SouthRail Corporation, and Texas Mexican Railway Company);
• Longview Switching Company;
• Norfolk Southern Railway Company;
• Portland Terminal Railroad Company;
• Soo Line Railroad Company;
• Union Railroad Company;
• Union Pacific Railroad Company; and
• Winston Salem Southbound Railway Company.

Ballots, instructions, and a synopsis of the agreement also were mailed to conductor and trainmen members working for the Texas Mexican Railway Company.

Voting will conclude on Thursday, November 30. Members who have not received a ballot by Wednesday, November 15, should request a replacement by calling the BLET National Division at (216) 241-2630, ext. 222. When connected with the extension, please leave the following information:

• your name, address and phone number;
• the division to which you belong;
• the railroad for which you work; 
• the date you were promoted to locomotive engineer;
• your date of birth; and
• the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Members also have the option of leaving their e-mail address if they wish their ballot, instructions and synopsis e-mailed to them instead of receiving it via first-class mail. However, e-mail requests for ballots will not be accepted because personal information is required to verify eligibility before a ballot can be issued.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce encouraged all eligible members to closely review the ratification packet and other materials being made available online. “This has been a particularly difficult bargaining round and your Advisory Board recommends that you vote YES on the proposal before you,” President Pierce said. “Voting on your union contract and deciding your own future is one of the benefits of belonging to a Union. I encourage all eligible members to become educated on the issues and to participate in this most important process of union democracy.”

The BLET reached the Tentative National Agreement as part of a coalition with five other unions. The Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) is comprised of: the American Train Dispatchers Association; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers / SEIU; and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. Collectively, the CBG unions represent more than 85,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 58% of the workforce that will be impacted by the outcome of the current bargaining round.