JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — CSX Transportation announced it has reached a tentative agreement with one of its operating unions to provide monthly advance payments against future wage increases expected when current bargaining over a national rail labor contract is completed.
The railroad agreed to pay trainmen and yardmasters represented by the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division (SMART-TD) up to $600 per month. The payments will begin in May and continue through the end of the year or when a new contract is reached between unions and Class I railroads, whichever is sooner.
The railroad also said it intends to reach similar agreements with all union employees.
“Our union employees have waited nearly two years for a pay raise and are now dealing with the challenge of high inflation,” CSX CEO Jim Foote said in a press release. “This tentative agreement with SMART-TD is good for our employees, and we are committed to working with all of our labor unions to get this done for all union employees, who should not be left behind for months and months as we await the complex issues in national bargaining to be settled.”
Negotiations between the National Rail Carrier Conference, representing railroads, and a coalition of labor unions began in November 2019. They are currently in mediation, although the unions are seeking a move to arbitration [see “Railroads say unions’ request to end mediation is premature,” Trains News Wire, March 11, 2022].