By Railfan & Railroad Staff
WASHINGTON — Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents more than 6,000 locomotive machinists and maintenance personnel, will soon vote on a new contract about two weeks after they had rejected another deal.
Earlier this month, the machinists had voted against a tentative agreement that had been negotiated by its leadership with six of the seven Class I railroads (all five U.S. roads, plus Canadian National’s operations south of the border). The vote came just days before many union members across all crafts were expected to walk off the job following two years of contract talks with the railroads. A nationwide strike was later averted when federal officials helped negotiate a tentative deal with the two largest unions, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen and SMART Transportation Division. Those members still need to vote on the new deal and passage is not a sure thing.
On September 27, IAM leadership announced that a new deal had been reached that included caps on healthcare costs as well as promises to negotiate on travel expenses and overtime. Those came in addition to provisions of the previous deal that called for 24 percent raises and a $5,000 bonus. Union members will vote on the new deal in the coming days.