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SANTA FE RAILWAY AND UTU REACH MAJOR AGREEMENT

 SANTA FE RAILWAY AND UTU REACH MAJOR AGREEMENT
 SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Santa Fe Railway now has


an agreement to run two-man crews on the eastern half of its system. Similar agreements are in place on the western half of the railway, allowing the company to run through freight trains across the entire system with two-person crews.
 Members of the United Transportation Union (UTU) on the eastern half of Santa Fe Railway ratified a significant new agreement at midnight Friday that will enable the company to operate its through freight trains with two person crews, while establishing additional security and benefits for employees.
 The eastern lines agreement provides that all through freight trains will have no brakemen. The crew will consist of a locomotive engineer and a conductor. Locomotive engineers are not involved in this agreement. Previously, about 80 percent of through freight trains on the eastern half operated with both a conductor and a brakeman, in addition to the engineer.
 Also, similar to agreements on the western half, the new contract eliminates the so-called "productivity fund" in exchange for a lump sum payment of $10,000 and deferred pension of $65,000 for each covered employee. The agreement further enhances employees' security and compensation by extending existing reserve board protection and paying $15 per trip to each conductor and $7 per trip to any brakeman working through freight service. None of the approximately 1,850 employees involved will be furloughed as a result, although an employee may voluntarily terminate his employment and depart with a lump sum payment and pension, for a total cash payment of $75,000.
 John J. Fleps, assistant vice president-labor relations said, "Combined with similar contracts we reached earlier this year on the western half of the railroad, this new agreement completes a historic phase of crew consist reform on the Santa Fe. Now, every one of our through freight trains not making an unusual number of stops between terminals will operate with an efficient, two-person crew, regardless of the train's length or composition. Importantly, we have been able to achieve these improvements while assuring a high level of protection for all UTU represented employees affected by these developments."
 Santa Fe began a critical thrust to improve the productivity of its train crew in September 1989 through crew consist agreements and expanded crew district. The railway's average crew size has been reduced from 3.7 in 1989 to about 2.5 today. Also, in 1989 it took as many as 68 crew members to get a single train over the main line from Chicago to Los Angeles. By October 1992, nearly every train will complete the run from Chicago to Los Angeles with only 20 crew members.
 Russell E. Hagberg, vice president-transportation, hailed the agreement as another win/win accomplishment by Santa Fe and its UTU represented employees. "This agreement lets us sharpen our competitive edge in the face of a still uncertain economy and reduced crew arrangements established on other western railroads. The union's leaders, in particular General Chairman Joe Bailey, should be recognized for their roles in promoting both their members' job security and the Santa Fe's future as a major player in the transportation industry."
 -0- 9/28/92
 /CONTACT: Linda Gustis of Santa Fe Railway, 708-995-6202/ CO: Santa Fe Railway; United Transportation Union ST: Illinois IN: TRN SU:


PS -- NY042 -- 3957 09/28/92 12:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 28, 1992
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