(BLET Editor’s Note: The following updates an earlier press release and contains corrections to paragraphs 4 and 5.)
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, May 6 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has reached a tentative on-property agreement with the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DM&E), National President Dennis R. Pierce announced today. Ballots will be mailed in the coming days to active members of the BLET employed by DM&E who are eligible to vote in the ratification of this agreement.
The tentative agreement provides General Wage Increases (GWIs) of 24.75% (27% compounded) for the life of the contract (January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2024). There are no major work rule changes and no health care concessions contained in the tentative pact. Online voting will be conducted by TrueBallot, Inc.
President Pierce advised all eligible members to be on the lookout for ballots and urged them to participate in the ratification process. “This is an important opportunity for BLET members who work for the DM&E to become engaged in our union,” President Pierce said. “I encourage all of our DM&E members to make their voices heard by voting in the contract ratification process. The general wage increases offered in this tentative agreement are far greater than the increases being offered by the rail carriers in national handling and stand in stark contrast to the insulting low-ball offers we have received from those carriers.”
BLET members who work for the DM&E belong to four BLET Divisions: Division 117 in Mason City, Iowa; Division 200 in Davenport, Iowa; Division 266 in Savana, Ill.; and Division 393 in Kansas City, Mo. For collective bargaining purposes they are represented by the CP Rail System/U.S. General Committee of Adjustment. “I would like to thank General Chairman Pete Semenek and assigned Vice President Marcus Ruef for staying at the bargaining table until they obtained an agreement worthy of the membership’s consideration,” President Pierce said.
The DM&E is a Class II railroad and a subsidiary of the Canadian Pacific Railway. It operates from Marquette, Iowa, to Kansas City, Mo. and Mason City, Iowa; from Davenport to Chicago; and also to St. Paul out of Marquette over trackage rights on Soo.