Train dispatchers ratify Class I railroad contract agreement

By Bill Stephens for

The American Train Dispatchers Association becomes the fourth union to approve a contract

WASHINGTON — Train dispatchers today became the fourth union to ratify their contract agreement with the Class I railroads.

The American Train Dispatchers Association, which represents 1,500 dispatchers, voted in favor of the deal by a 64%-36% margin, the union said in a statement.

The agreement follows the recommendations of the Presidential Emergency Board, which include a 24% wage increase during the five-year period from 2020 through 2024 — with a 14.1% wage increase effective immediately — and five annual $1,000 lump sum payments.

The agreement covers dispatchers who work for the Belt Railway of Chicago, BNSF Railway, Conrail, CSX Transportation, Indiana Harbor Belt, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, and Wisconsin Central, the union said.

The unions representing carmen, clerks, and electrical workers previously ratified their agreements with the railroads represented by the National Carriers Conference Committee.

Eight unions have yet to ratify their tentative agreements with the railroads. Vote tallies for all the unions — including the two biggest, the SMART-TD union that represents conductors and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen — are scheduled to be completed no later than Nov. 20, according to the National Railway Labor Conference.

Dispatchers in BNSF Railway’s Network Operations Center in Fort Worth were among those to approve the new contract on Oct. 4. BNSF Railway

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December 2023