217.370.8505 cory@bletislb.org

Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) ratified their first union contract with the Illinois Railway LLC last week, the union announced.

Negotiations for an agreement began after the railroad’s train and engine service employees voted in August 2014 to join BLET. More than 80 percent of members who cast a valid ballot voted in favor of the contract, according to a BLET press release.

The four-year pact governs 32 members and sets hourly wage rates overtime and the concept of a basic day, which guarantees members a minimum of eight hours pay for each tour of duty. The contract runs through Jan. 1, 2020.

The agreement also establishes a seniority system for job bidding and placement, which makes job assignment an objective function, BLET officials said. In addition, the contract establishes a discipline rule to ensure job security to protect members from arbitrary treatment, and requires the railroad to establish just cause for disciplinary action.

Illinois Railway workers hold membership in BLET Division 682 and belong to the BLET’s Indiana Harbor Belt General Committee of Adjustment.