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'Crew consist' accords.

Crew consist' accords Following the recommendations of Emergency Board No. 219, which was established to report on the 1-day nationwide railroad stoppage last April, the Illinois Central Railroad and the United Transportation Union, which represents the carrier's 1,000 conductors and brakemen, agreed to cut the size of train crews. (Locomotive engineers, who are represented by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, are not covered under the agreement.) The emergency board had recommended that the union and the Nation's large railroads, including the Illinois Central, resolve the crew-size issue in local negotiations, and failing that, submit the dispute to binding arbitration. (The Illinois Central operates about 2,800 miles of track in Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama.)

Under the agreement, the standard crew (one conductor and two brakemen) on local and road-switch operations would be cut to one conductor and one brakeman. On "through" trains, which make less than three stops (about 90 percent of Illinois Central's runs) the crew would consist of only a conductor. In return, employees who voluntarily leave before January 1, 1992, would receive a $60,000 lump-sum payment; and those who leave after that date would receive $50,000. Other terms of the agreement included a $1,000 signing bonus for all employees and a $48 increase (to $58 per trip) in productivity pay.

The Illinois Central pact is just one of several crew-consist agreements that the Transportation Union recently has negotiated. Earlier, the union had negotiated a similar crew-consist reduction agreement covering about 5,000 conductors and brakemen at the Burlington Northern Railroad. Under this agreement, the carrier can reduce the size of Transportation Union-represented crews on the southern two-thirds of its system from three or four in a crew to one or two on many runs. Through trains would be run with only a conductor, and local and switching operations would run with one conductor and one brakeman. In return, surplus crew members who resign would receive a $60,000 lump-sum payment, and those who decide to continue with the company would be put on reserve status and would receive health and welfare coverage and 75 percent of their pay. In addition, all employees would receive a $1,000 signing bonus, and those working on reduced crews would receive additional adjustments from special allowances and increases in the parties' productivity fund.

At the Norfolk Southern Corp., about 6,000 operating employees represented by the Transportation Union were offered incentives to resign. In exchange for the elimination of the second brakeman on all freight runs immediately and a two-person crew (one conductor and one engineer) on all "direct" freight runs within the next 5 years, redundant employees would be given the option of receiving a $50,000 lump-sum payment or being placed on reserve status and receiving 75 percent of their pay and full benefits. The parties also agreed to eliminate their productivity fund in exchange for an initial $20,000 lump-sum payment for each adversely affected employee and an additional $40,000 when the employee permanently terminates employment with the carrier.

The Norfolk Southern offered a similar separation payment to its 3,000 engineers. Under the terms of the proposal, engineers aged 55 or older on December 3, 1991, who leave the carrier's service would receive a $50,000 lump-sum bonus, a $10,000 death benefit, and limited medical insurance coverage.
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Title Annotation:size of railroad crews
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Feb 1, 1992
Previous Article:OECD conference on further education and training.
Next Article:Saturn contract amended.

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