BLE-T Division 622

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BLET Weekly News Recap, 1-12-24
Jan 12, 2024

The BLET exists to promote and protect the rights, interests, and safety of its members through solidarity, aggressive representation, and education.


January 12, 2024

Follow the BLET online and stay up-to-date on all the latest union news and information.
Click the icons below to visit the BLET's social media pages and website.
Important dates and BLET meetings in 2024

The year 2024 is shaping up to be a busy one for the BLET and its members. The National Division will host two regional meetings, while the BLET Education & Training Department will offer numerous opportunities for officer training. Members will have a chance to get even more involved in the union when Triennial Elections for Local Division offices begin in September.
Please mark your calendars for these important meetings and events coming up in 2024:

  • February 3: First anniversary of the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio
  • Week of February 26: Workshop for Secretary-Treasurers who file LM-2 reports, National Division Headquarters
  • March 1: Deadline for dependents of BLET members to apply for James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarships
  • March 20: National General Chairmen’s Association meeting, National Division Headquarters
  • May 28-29: National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen meeting, Columbus, Ohio
  • Week of June 3: Western Regional Meeting, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Week of July 29: Eastern Regional Meeting, Washington, D.C.
  • September: Triennial Division Election cycle begins with the nomination of candidates at the first Division meeting in September
  • October: Open enrollment for the 2025 Plan Year Health FSA program
  • November 5: Presidential Election
  • December: Division Elections at the first Division meeting in December

The BLET’s Education & Training Department will conduct training classes at the regional meetings in Kansas City and Washington, D.C. Several additional workshops are planned for 2024, but dates have not been finalized. A tentative list of in-person classes and times are as follows:

  • General Chairman workshop (April)
  • Legislative Representative workshop (Early June)
  • Local Chairman workshop (Spring/Summer)
  • Secretary-Treasurer workshop (Spring or Fall)

Members ratify new contract with Portland & Western
PNW BLET members will get a general wage increase of 21.5% (23.4% compounded) over the life of the new contract as well as a number of other contractual improvements. Photo courtesy: Cory Rusch, BLET Division 659
On January 11, BLET members ratified a new on-property agreement with the Portland & Western Railroad (PNW). The five-year contract governs rates of pay, benefits and work rules for approximately 55 operating employees.
Members will earn general wage increases of 21.5% (23.4% compounded) over the life of the contract (6% in 2024, 3% in 2025, 3% in 2026, 4% in 2027 and 5.5% in 2028).
Other proposed contractual improvements include:
  • Addition of Martin Luther King Day as an 11th holiday;
  • One extra PL day and one additional day of vacation;
  • Increased training pay from $9 to $35 per day;
  • Basic day reduced from 10 hours to 8 hours, with overtime accumulating after 40 hours each week;
  • Eliminated the 80% rate of pay for probationary employees, so all employees receive 100% rate of pay; and
  • Increased PPE allowance to $300 per year.
The PNW members belong to BLET Division 416 and are a part of the BLET’s Union Pacific-Western Region General Committee of Adjustment. The negotiating team consisted of National Vice President Gary Best, General Chairman Steve Leyshon, Vice General Chairman Will Wallace, and Division 416 Local Chairman Matt Keene.
A Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary, the Portland and Western is a 516-mile Class II railroad that operates throughout Washington and Oregon. It interchanges with Class I railroads BNSF (at Vancouver, Wash. And Portland, Ore.) and Union Pacific (at Eugene, Ore. And Portland, Ore.).
St. Lawrence & Atlantic replacement ballots are available
Get those ballots in the mail: Ballots will be counted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024. If you need a replacement ballot, call the National Division.
There is still time for BLET members who work for the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad (SL&A) to make their voices heard regarding the BLET’s tentative contract agreement that is currently out for ratification. Ballots were mailed on December 29, 2023, and will be counted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
Members who have not received a ballot may 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 you work for;
  • Your date of birth; and
  • The last four digits of your Social Security number.
The above information is needed in order to verify membership and eligibility before a replacement ratification packet can be sent.
Last call for BLET Time Books
There is still time to order your BLET Time Book in the Members' Area of the BLET website.
Throughout the final two weeks of 2023, the BLET National Division mailed Time Books to all members who completed the opt-in process. While more Time Books are available and can still be mailed to members upon request, this will serve as the final reminder.

To receive a Time Book, members must log in to the Members’ Area of the BLET National Division website and click the button that reads, “Yes, send me the 2024 BLET Time Book”.
Participation grows in National Division’s private members-only Facebook group
Since its unveiling last year, the BLET National Division’s private Facebook group for members-only has grown at a steady pace with over 1,400 members. Have you joined yet? Once you do, you are encouraged to invite your Facebook friends/fellow BLET members to also join the new page (but company officials are not eligible).

Membership eligibility will be verified through UnionTrack, and all requests for membership on the page will be processed as quickly as possible. If BLET membership cannot be determined (for example, your Facebook name differs from what is in UnionTrack), then one of our Administrators will contact you through Facebook for more information.
Links to all of our social media outlets can be found here.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen
7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131

PH (216) 241-2630   |

If you are a member of the BLET, then please consider signing up for the Members’ Area of the BLET website:  

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen · 7061 East Pleasant Valley Road · Independence, OH 44131 · USA

BLE-T Division 622

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