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BLET members have voted to ratify a tentative contract agreement with the Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad (CF&E). This on-property agreement will govern rates of pay, benefits and work rules for 45 operating employees.

The five-year deal will run through 2029, and will provide general wage increases of 29.5% (33% compounded) over the life of the contract (5% in 2023, 4% in 2024, 4% in 2025, 4% in 2026, 4% in 2027, 4% in 2028 and 4% in 2029).

Other contractual improvements will include:

  • $2,000 signing bonus;
  • 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;
  • Extra Board employees can now hold down week-long temporary vacancies; and
  • Boot allowance increased to $300 per year.

The CF&E members belong to BLET Division 537 (Fort Wayne, Ind.) 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, 2nd Vice Chairman Anthony Cerimele, and Local Chairman Joe Vasquez.

A Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary, the CF&E 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.

Photo courtesy of Cory Rusch, BLET Division 659