FRA Certification Helpline: (216) 694-0240

A contract ratification vote is underway for BLET members at the Portland & Western Railroad (PNWR). Ballots were mailed this week to members to vote on a tentative on-property agreement governing rates of pay, benefits and work rules for approximately 55 operating employees.

The five-year tentative deal would run through December 31, 2028, and would provide general wage increases of 21.5% (23.4% compounded) over the life of the contract (6% in 2024; 3% in 2025, 3% in 2026, 4% in 2027 and 5.5% in 2028).

Other proposed contractual improvements would include:

  • Addition of Martin Luther King Day as an 11th holiday;
  • One extra PL day and one additional day of vacation;
  • Increased the training pay from $9 to $35 per day;
  • Basic day reduced from 10 hours to 8 hours, with overtime accumulating after 40 hours each week;
  • Eliminated the 80% rate of pay for probationary employees, so all employees receive 100% rate of pay; and
  • Increased PPE allowance to $300 per year.

Ballots are due on Thursday, January 11, 2024. Members who have not received a ballot by Thursday, December 21, should request a replacement by calling the BLET National Division at (216) 241-2630, ext. 222. When connected with the extension, please leave the following information:

  • Your name, address and phone number;
  • The division to which you belong;
  • The railroad you work for;
  • Your date of birth; and
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number.

The above information is needed in order to verify membership and eligibility before a replacement ratification packet can be sent.

The PNWR members belong to BLET Division 416 and are a part of the BLET’s Union Pacific-Western Region General Committee of Adjustment. The negotiating team consisted of National Vice President Gary Best, General Chairman Steve Leyshon, Vice General Chairman Will Wallace, and Division 416 Local Chairman Matt Keene.

A Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary, the Portland & Western is a 516-mile Class II railroad that operates throughout Washington and Oregon. It interchanges with Class I railroads BNSF (at Vancouver, Wash. And Portland, Ore.) and Union Pacific (at Eugene, Ore. And Portland, Ore.).