INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, January 1 – On December 28, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) overwhelmingly ratified a new collective barraging agreement with Canadian National’s Wisconsin Central subsidiary (CN-WC). The two-year agreement governs rates of pay, benefits and work rules for over 600 members.
The agreement provides a 2.5% general wage increase effective January 1, 2018, and a 3% general wage increase effective January 1, 2019 (with full retroactivity to January 1, 2018).
The settlement is patterned after the recently ratified National Agreement settlement reached by the Coordinated Bargaining Group (including BLET). It protects all work rules and freezes monthly health care contributions at the current levels. The agreement becomes amendable again on January 1, 2020.
BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce thanked National Vice President Marcus J. Ruef, CN-WC General Chairman John W. Reynolds and their negotiating team for bringing the negotiations to a successful conclusion.
“Informed participation in the balloting process is a cornerstone of union democracy and I wish to thank all of our Wisconsin Central members who took the time to vote,” President Pierce said.
The BLET organized the Wisconsin Central property in 1997, and the railroad was purchased by CN in 2001 for $1.2 billion. At the time of its purchase, Wisconsin Central operated over approximately 2,850 miles of track and trackage rights in Wisconsin, Illinois, Illinois, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Ontario.