Rail Unions Heads ‘Neutral’ on Contract Vote

Both letters indicated that their purpose is to provide information about the agreement so members can decide for themselves how to vote.

Ferguson, however, engaged in some inflammatory rhetoric, telling members, “I understand the desire amongst many of you to strike. I know the contempt the carriers treat you with at work and have faced it in negotiations.”

BLET and SMART-TD are the largest of 12 railroad labor unions that reached tentative labor agreements with the National Carriers Conference Committee on the eve of a potential national rail work stoppage on Sept. 16.

Three of those unions have since voted to ratify those contracts. Another union representing mechanical workers rejected a tentative agreement, but its leadership agreed to another contract in subsequent negotiating. That second tentative agreement is now in the ratification process.

Leaders of the BLET and SMART-TD have said they don’t expect to announce results of the ratification voting until mid-November.

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