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On March 20, a majority of BLET members ratified a new contract with the Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad (M&NA) by a vote of 42-10. The on-property agreement governs rates of pay, benefits, and work rules for approximately 57 operating employees.

The five-year deal runs through January 1, 2028, and provides general wage increases of 25% (27.5% compounded) over the life of the contract (7% at signing in 2024; 5% in 2025, 5% in 2026, 4% in 2027, and 4% in 2028).

The new contract provides members with the ability to cash 40 hours of scheduled vacation each calendar year, eliminating the ability to carry over unused vacation days. Employees are also allowed to accumulate up to 12 flex days. Upon reaching 13 days, an automatic trigger payment of one day would return the employee to the maximum of 12 days.

The M&NA members belong to Division 178 (Carthage, Mo.) and Division 116 (Batesville, Ark.) and are a part of the BLET’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe (former STL&SF) General Committee of Adjustment. The negotiating team consisted of National Vice President Billy Lyons, General Chairman Jeff Thurman, Vice General Chairman Kyle King, and Division 178 Local Chairman Cody Potter, and Division 116 Local Chairman Jason Seay.

A Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary, the Missouri & Northern Arkansas is a 490-mile short line railroad that operates throughout Missouri and Arkansas. It interchanges with three Class I railroads: BNSF, Canadian Pacific Kansas City, and Union Pacific.