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A contract ratification vote is underway for BLET members who work for Keolis Rail Services Virginia. Ballots were mailed this week to members to vote on a tentative on-property agreement governing rates of pay and health care benefits for 11 locomotive engineers who run trains for Virginia Railway Express (VRE).

The five-year tentative deal includes full retroactive payments dating to 2021 and runs through 2025. It would provide general wage increases compounded at 22.2% over the life of the agreement (2% in 2021, 5% in 2022, 5% in 2023, 4% in 2024 and 4.5% in 2025). There are no work rule changes, and membership contributions to health and welfare will be capped beginning in 2025 if the agreement is ratified.

BLET members working for VRE will receive a mailing from the BLET National Division next week with voting instructions. The deadline for receipt of ballots is at 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, November 29, 2023. Members who are eligible and have not received a ballot by Wednesday, November 15, 2023, should call the National Division at (216) 241-2630, extension 222. When connected with the extension, please leave the following information:

  • your name, address and phone number;
  • the division to which you belong;
  • the date you were promoted to locomotive engineer;
  • your date of birth; and
  • the last four digits of your Social Security number.

However, e-mail requests for ballots will not be accepted because personal information is required to verify eligibility before a ballot can be issued.

The negotiating team consists of General Chairman Mark B. Kenny, Vice General Chairman Patrick W. Darcy Jr., and Division 14 Local Chairman Jamie Wooldridge.

VRE provides commuter rail service from the Northern Virginia suburbs to Alexandria, Crystal City, and downtown Washington, D.C., along the I-66 and I-95 corridors.

(Photo courtesy of VRE)