Ballots on the Way

BLET mails ballots for Tentative National Agreement

Balloting has begun for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen’s (BLET) tentative national agreement with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee, which governs rates of pay, benefits and work rules for over 25,000 locomotive engineers and trainmen.

On November 9, 2017, ballots, instructions, and a synopsis of the agreement were mailed to locomotive engineer members working for the following railroads:

• Belt Railway Company of Chicago;
• BNSF Railway Company;
• Consolidated Rail Corporation;
• CSX Transportation, Inc.;
• Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company;
• Kansas City Southern Railway Company (including Kansas City Southern Railway, Louisiana and Arkansas Railway, MidSouth Rail Corporation, Gateway Western Railway, SouthRail Corporation, and Texas Mexican Railway Company);
• Longview Switching Company;
• Norfolk Southern Railway Company;
• Portland Terminal Railroad Company;
• Soo Line Railroad Company;
• Union Railroad Company;
• Union Pacific Railroad Company; and
• Winston Salem Southbound Railway Company.

Ballots, instructions, and a synopsis of the agreement also were mailed to conductor and trainmen members working for the Texas Mexican Railway Company.

Voting will conclude on Thursday, November 30. Members who have not received a ballot by Wednesday, November 15, 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 for which you work; 
• the date you were promoted to locomotive engineer;
• your date of birth; and
• the last four digits of your Social Security number.

Members also have the option of leaving their e-mail address if they wish their ballot, instructions and synopsis e-mailed to them instead of receiving it via first-class mail. However, e-mail requests for ballots will not be accepted because personal information is required to verify eligibility before a ballot can be issued.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce encouraged all eligible members to closely review the ratification packet and other materials being made available online. “This has been a particularly difficult bargaining round and your Advisory Board recommends that you vote YES on the proposal before you,” President Pierce said. “Voting on your union contract and deciding your own future is one of the benefits of belonging to a Union. I encourage all eligible members to become educated on the issues and to participate in this most important process of union democracy.”

The BLET reached the Tentative National Agreement as part of a coalition with five other unions. The Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) is comprised of: the American Train Dispatchers Association; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers / SEIU; and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. Collectively, the CBG unions represent more than 85,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 58% of the workforce that will be impacted by the outcome of the current bargaining round.

Proposed National Agreement

Brothers and Sisters,

The ballots for the proposed National Agreement will be mailed soon.  As most of you know our General Committee supports this proposal along with all the other BLET General Committees across the country.  

I have seen some negative comments along with complete misinformation on this proposal on social media.  I feel it is my responsibility to inform you with the correct information before you vote.  I had previously posted my thoughts on the proposal on this our website and that post is still available to view.  

If you have any questions please ask your BLET Local Chairman and we will get you an answer.


Ronnie Rhodes



TRRA General Order

This fixes the errors in the new TRRA Timetable. 



File attachments: 
PDF icon GO 37-17.pdf53.6 KB


Did You Know that there is a new A&S Timetable available, effective November 1. If you would like an electronic version you can access it using your MYUP. 


On the left side menu click REFERENCE then RULE BOOKS.

On the next screen click on BOOKS at the top and then MISCELLANEOUS BOOK on the drop down. 


On the next screen click where it says SELECT A BOOK. From this menu you can access the A&S TIMETABLE, GENERAL ORDERS, and BULLETINS.


I have not gone over any of the content to see what changes have been made. I will post some highlights when I do. As a reminder, we are required to have a copy of foreign railroad timetables and general orders.

National Contract Update

The Two attached documents are from National President Pierce. 


File attachments: 

Drone Testing


  As some of you know or have heard today all of the Local Chairman sat down with the Supt as well as the DRO and discussed the use of Drones for FTX testing. 
  They began by showing us videos taken by the drones currently being used by 5 managers on the service unit. The videos are very high quality, most of the footage was recorded with the drone 250+ feet in the air above the "events". The targeted area for drone usage is in the yard and industries, mainly focused in the tracks where a manager couldn't typically observe a crew from the switching lead. While you can not positively identity the members of the crew its not hard to piece together by use of the radio communications who the crew member is on the ground. 
  The carrier is targeting critical behaviors that could get a crew member seriously hurt or possibly killed. At this time the footage is shown to the crew imeaditatly following the event, if no exceptions are taken then the footage is destroyed. 
  The Drones they are using are very sophisticated and very small. They brought the drones over head and at 40 feet you could hear the buzzing of the machine, yet at 100 feet you could not hear them, they will not be operating them this close overhead they will keep them 200+ feet above and off to the side. Needless to say you wont know they are there! 
  The intent of the drones is to isolate behavior that could lead to a critical violation and stop it before it happens. I would hope that we are all taking our time to have proper job briefings and working by the rules as efficiently as possible. If you are not I would work toward that goal. We should never be cutting corners when it comes to critical rules, now more than ever. 
  The model of drone the carrier is using as of now is the DJI MAVIC PRO, it has a flight time of about 30 minuets, and with multiple operators who can "hand off" its range is limitless. Managers carry multiple batteries that can be swapped out in a matter of minutes for even greater flight time. 


Nation Contract - Letter from BLET National President Dennis Pierce



   I urge you all to take the time and read the attached letter..... 



File attachments: 





If you are working as an Engineer on November 15, 2017 your vacation will be scheduled as an Engineer. You will need to turn in a vacation request to the BLET.



The BLET only accepts Vacation request by use of the Request form any bids placed into CMTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. 

File attachments: 
PDF icon 2018 Vacation Request Sheet.pdf96.59 KB

STL - YC Long Pool Update

I know there are alot of rumors floating around about the long pool to Yard Center. I spoke with the General Chairman's office toady and there is nothing solid to report. 


There have been no official notices on the long pool, there have been a few discussions that maybe December 1st is a possible start date and there is another suposesd start date of January 1st. 


I will do my best to keep everyone updated as the information comes in....