WASHINGTON (April 29, 2011) – The nation’s major freight railroads and the United Transportation Union (UTU), the country’s largest rail union, have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract covering wages, benefits and other issues. The agreement with the UTU, covering more than 38,000 employees, is the first in the current round of bargaining.
UTU represents almost a third of the rail employees covered in negotiations that began in January 2010. Details of the agreement reached on April 21 were not released pending ratification by UTU members.
“Our agreement demonstrates the strength of the collective bargaining process when both sides are acting in good faith and are committed to the hard work that leads to agreement,” said A. Kenneth Gradia, chairman of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), the railroads’ bargaining agent. “We are confident that this first agreement will set the pattern for successful resolution of our national negotiations with the other rail unions.”
Mr. Gradia thanked National Mediation Board Members Linda Puchala and Elizabeth Dougherty who were instrumental in assisting the parties to a successful resolution of their negotiations.
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.