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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, February 10 — Today, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) unanimously ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Illinois Railway.

The new five-year agreement governs rates of pay, work rules, and health & welfare for approximately 50 engineers and conductors. The contract provides fully retroactive general wage increases of 22% over the life of the deal. The BLET secured a major improvement to how overtime pay is handled. Members will now earn overtime pay (at one and one-half times) after 8 hours instead of after 50 hours under the previous contract. The new contract guarantees all members will be eligible for five weeks of vacation (25 days) after 11 years of service, two paid personal days, an additional holiday, and secured overtime rates of pay for working rest days and holidays. Additionally, the BLET secured the removal of the wage step rate and incorporated training pay and a 30-minute lunch period.

Brother Pete Semenek, the new National Vice President assigned to the Illinois Railway, said the negotiating team consisted of General Chairman Dan Wells, Division 682 Vice Local Chairman Dustin Stadie, and retired Vice President Marcus Ruef.

National President Eddie Hall thanked all involved for their hard work on behalf of the BLET’s Illinois Railway membership.