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INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, October 28 — Ballots will be mailed Monday, October 31, to approximately 24,000 BLET members and voting will begin on November 1 regarding the tentative national agreement. Ballots are due on November 20 by 11:59 p.m. ET. A copy of the tentative national agreement and a list of Questions and Answers (Q&As) are now available in the Members’ Area of the BLET website.

As background, the current round of national negotiations began in 2019. After nearly three years of bargaining, the dispute has worked its way through nearly all phases of the Railway Labor Act. The negotiations reached an impasse and the parties were released from mediation by the National Mediation Board (NMB) on June 17. Labor and management then made their case before Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) 250, and PEB 250 issued its recommendations on August 16. On September 15, 2022, the BLET and SMART-TD reached a tentative agreement that improved upon the PEB’s recommendations.

Following the September 15 tentative agreement, the BLET began a 15-day Q&A session with all BLET General Chairmen and Local Chairmen, in which General Chairmen could reply to the National President’s office with questions or requests for clarifications regarding the tentative agreement. Those questions were consolidated into a single document, and the BLET’s National Wage Team, alongside SMART-TD, returned to the bargaining table with the railroads to mutually agree on the answers to those questions. The Q&As were finalized on October 24 and are now available in the Members’ Area of the BLET website.

“The additional clarification gained from the Q&A process will provide more information for the membership as to the terms and conditions of the tentative agreement before they cast their vote,” BLET National President Dennis Pierce said. “The process also provides our General Committees with clearer and stronger agreement language should later disputes arise.”

To download the tentative agreement and Q&A, please go to the BLET website and click on the “Members” link at the top: .

A password is required to log in. Members may have to complete a brief registration process in order to establish an account.

Additional information regarding the current round of national contract negotiations is available in the public area of the BLET website: .