FRA Certification Helpline: (216) 694-0240

The BLET has reached a tentative contract with the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad (CFE). 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 45 operating employees.

The five-year tentative deal would run through 2028, and would provide general wage increases of 24% (27% compounded) over the life of the contract (5% in 2023; 4.5% in 2024, 4% in 2025, 3% in 2026, 3.5% in 2027, and 4% in 2028).

Other proposed contractual improvements would include:

  • Training pay increased to $15 a day;
  • Probationary period decreased to 120 days;
  • Meal allowance increased to $40 per each 24 hours on layover assignments;
  • Yard and local meals increased to 30 minutes with a built-in time limit and remedy for denial;
  • Extra Board employees can now hold down week-long temporary vacancies; and
  • Boot allowance increased 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 CF&E members belong to BLET Division 537 (Fort Wayne, Indiana) and are a part of the BLET’s Norfolk Southern-Northern Lines General Committee of Adjustment. The negotiating team consisted of National Vice President Rick Gibbons, General Chairman Dewayne Dehart, 1st Vice Chairman Bob Peters, and 2nd Vice Chairman Anthony Cerimele.

A Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary, the CFE is a 323-mile short line railroad that operates from Tolleston, Indiana, to Crestline, Ohio. It interchanges with Class I railroads BNSF, CN, and CPKC, as well as numerous short lines.