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Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen to hold strike vote

By | June 23, 2022

Authorization ballot planned although appointment of presidential board, which would delay possible strike, is likely

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Logo of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen union

Logo of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen unionINDEPENDENCE, Ohio — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen will hold a strike authorization vote, the organization’s president announced in a Wednesday conference call with other union officials.

Even if members authorize a strike, a walkout is not likely to occur soon. Unions and railroads entered a 30-day cooling-off period on June 17, after the National Mediation Board released the labor organizations from mediation required under the Railway Labor Act. The two sides were then offered arbitration, but unions said they would reject that offer [see “Mediation ends in rail contract negotiations …,” Trains News Wire, June 15, 2022].

By the time the cooling-off period ends on July 18, President Joe Biden is expected to have appointed a Presidential Emergency Board, which would investigate the two sides’ inability to reach an agreement and issue settlement recommendations. In the interim, a strike or lockout would be prohibited.

“While we anticipate that President Biden will appoint a Presidential Emergency Board near the deadline, we must be prepared for all eventualities,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said in a press release. “BLET members have been without a contract raise for nearly three years. The strike vote is an opportunity for all BLET members to deliver a unified message to the carriers that we deserve significant pay increases that recognize the essential contributions we make to their ongoing record profits.”

The union said additional details on the planned vote will be announced soon.

4 thoughts on “Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen to hold strike vote

  1. Once they get an agreement and receive back pay they should get interest owed on all that earned and unpaid money!

    If the RR’s really valued their workers perhaps they should have immediately begun paying what they offered while negotiations continued. That might well result in the RR’s getting a better deal if workers became used to the increase in pay and declined to vote strike! Ever think of that Mr. CEO?

    1. No they shouldn’t get interest and/or back pay…I call BS on the statement they’re underpaid…a 6 figure salary is not underpaid. Since they could be replaced by automation, I wouldn’t be so demanding about getting a huge pay increase, the RR’s could just eliminate their jobs entirely.

  2. Ok mr McFarland let’s call on the railroads to fire all trainmen and engine crews tomorrow and see real quick how the country falls into complete and total irreversible meltdown. That’s how valuable they are and by the way the railroads acknowledge that every time they run to the government to block work stoppages( bnsf hi viz). So good luck with your ideas. At any rate the carriers refuse to acknowledge the fact that train crews are very valuable and pay should reflect that as such. That’s why thousands are leaving account they are tired of being slighted and abused and that’s why the unions are calling for pay to reflect that fact amongst other things. Pay isn’t at all the only grievance the unions have. Time off and health care are big sticking points to name a very few.

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