News & Reviews News Wire BLET members ratify engineer scheduling agreement with Union Pacific

BLET members ratify engineer scheduling agreement with Union Pacific

By Bill Stephens | June 30, 2023

The deal will improve quality of life by providing engineers with more predictable schedules

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Freight train with two yellow locomotives with small town in distance
An eastbound Union Pacific freight train climbs away from Rock River, Wyo., in September 2022. David Lassen

Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen approved a landmark agreement with Union Pacific that will provide engineers with more predictable schedules.

The union’s six general chairmen reported today that 90% of the BLET divisions representing 5,600 UP engineers had voted in favor of the agreement.

The agreement provides locomotive engineers in unassigned service with scheduled rest days and more predictable schedules that will improve their quality of life, the railroad and union say. Engineers will be available for 11 days and then have four guaranteed days off.

UP expects to implement the scheduling agreement systemwide in phases within the next year.

“The General Chairmen and their General Committee Officers would like to thank their members for ratifying this industry-changing agreement that will greatly augment their quality of life,” the union said in a statement.

UP has said the scheduling system will enable the railroad to better manage staffing levels in support of more consistent and reliable service.

The scheduling agreement replaces a system under which engineers were required to be on call 24/7/365 outside of federally mandated rest periods.

When the tentative agreement was announced in May, UP CEO Lance Fritz said the railroad “values its craft professionals and their candid feedback, which have led to these historic changes, improving the quality of life for the locomotive engineers who move the goods Americans rely on every day. Last fall, we promised to address their concerns and find solutions, and we want to thank union leadership for their collaboration on this industry-leading agreement.”

One thought on “BLET members ratify engineer scheduling agreement with Union Pacific

  1. Wonderful news, as long as it is just not an excuse to attempt to slow down hiring to get back to pre pandemic levels as promoted by Uncle Pete and Frtiz himself..

    If it turns out to be that, then Chairman Oberman and the STB needs to come down hard on UP for violating the public trust in an effort to backtrack or end-run back to the Operating Ratio way of doing things which does not fit the dynamic of a growing economy that needs a well run and FLUID railroad system.

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