Members of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers have ratified their tentative agreement with the nation’s major freight railroads by a sweeping margin.
The NCFO is the latest union to embrace the terms of the national settlement. All told, the railroads have now reached agreements with unions covering 116,000 employees, about 80 percent of the 145,000 employees in this bargaining round.
There has been a steady cascade of contract ratifications by rail unions in recent days. Those ratifications follow tentative agreements reached between the railroads and unions since the fall. Tentative agreements must be ratified by the various unions.
“We’re pleased to see yet another ratification of a tentative agreement,” said A. Kenneth Gradia, Chairman of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), the railroads’ bargaining representative. “It is another important step in the resolution of national negotiations with all the rail unions.”
NCFO, which represents 2,800 rail employees in this bargaining, is part of a six-union coalition known as the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG). As a result, five of the six unions in the CBG have now ratified tentative agreements reached with the railroads in early October. The unions in the CBG represent 85,000 employees, almost 60 percent of the employees covered in this bargaining round.
The NCCC represents more than 30 railroads, including BNSF, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, in national bargaining with twelve rail unions. Bargaining began in 2015.