July 15, 2011: Teamster rail workers are urging fellow unionists in the United Transportation Union (UTU) to reject a substandard contract negotiated by UTU leaders.
“The UTU rank and file should say No to this deal,” reads a leaflet other rail unions are distributing. The leaflet points out that the carriers are making record profits, so it is time to make gains, not give concessions.
The rail carriers want to use the UTU contract as a “pattern” in bargaining with all other rail unions, to drag them down to subpar gains and concessions on health care.
The rail industry is heavily unionized, but divided among several unions. Most work together through the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition. The UTU broke ranks and signed a deal which is unacceptable to the bulk of rail workers.
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE), two of the larger rail unions, are both affiliated with the IBT.
More information about the struggle of rail workers to win a fair contract is available here.