INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, December 28 — On December 27, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railway (CF&E). The agreement governs rates of pay, benefits and work rules for about 40 members.
The seven-year deal is retroactive to 2017 and runs through 2023. It provides a 26.6% wage increase over the life of the agreement. Members also receive a $500 bonus upon ratification and are eligible for a $2,000 retention bonus in 2023.
Health and welfare benefits, 401K and vacation days are now part of the union contract. Meal allowances are increased to $30 and the boot allowance is increased to $250.
BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce thanked Vice President Rick Gibbons and General Chairman Dewayne Dehart and their negotiating team for a job well done.
“Our short line Brothers and Sisters are an important part of our Brotherhood,” President Pierce said. “I thank our CF&E members for participating in this all-important balloting process, which is so important to our strength and success as a labor union.”
The BLET organized the CF&E property in 2005. The railroad operates over 323 miles of track from Crestline, Ohio to Tolleston, Ind., east of Chicago. It is a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary.