Union Pacific and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) have reached an agreement that will provide locomotive engineers with up to seven days of paid sick leave.

The agreement calls for five days of sick leave, plus the opportunity to convert two additional paid leave days as sick leave, according to UP (NYSE: UNP). 

The agreement becomes effective Aug. 1. By reaching this agreement with BLET, UP says it has sick leave agreements in place with 12 of its 13 labor unions. This translates into approximately 68% of UP’s craft workforce having sick leave agreements, the railroad said. 

“This agreement is really about health and safety,” BLET National President Eddie Hall said in a Monday afternoon news release. “It’s not in our members’, the public’s or the railroad’s best interest for engineers to be operating trains when they’re sick. Congratulations to our BLET General Chairmen and Union Pacific’s management who reached this agreement at the bargaining table.”

UP President and CEO Lance Fritz said: “The well-being and quality of life for all employees are critically important to us. We want to thank BLET union leadership for their valuable collaboration. This agreement marks another step forward in Union Pacific’s ongoing commitment to fostering a supportive work environment that prioritizes the health and well-being of all employees.”

This latest deal comes as UP recently reached another agreement with BLET on work scheduling. The agreement, which was announced in late May and still needs to be ratified by union membership, calls for a schedule that would consist of 11 days on call and four days off. Implementation could take place within a year of ratification.

Predictable schedules and sick leave have been key issues for the unions — and particularly for train conductors and locomotive engineers — during the most recent round of collective bargaining between the unions and the Class I railroads. That round was marked by negotiation impasses, as well as the specter of a potential rail strike before Congress intervened last December.

Subscribe to FreightWaves’ e-newsletters and get the latest insights on freight right in your inbox

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Joanna Marsh.

Related links:

UP, train engineers reach ‘historic’ deal addressing work-life balance

Norfolk Southern reaches sick leave agreements with 100% of craft workforce

BNSF reaches sick leave agreement with train conductors union

The post Union Pacific and locomotive engineers ink sick leave deal appeared first on FreightWaves.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply