CSX will pay more workers ahead of anticipated rail raises

CSX has accepted to pay some of its employees more before the railroad agrees to raises as part of ongoing negotiations for a national contract.

CSX will pay more workers ahead of anticipated rail raises

CSX stated that the monthly payments of up $600 per month will begin next month for members who are part of the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Transportation Division union. The Jacksonville-based railroad intends to reach similar agreements and other unions.

The side agreement that CSX announced Tuesday night may be a positive sign for larger contract negotiations between the National Railway Labor Conference coalition railroads, which has been negotiating directly with unions since fall 2019. These talks were in mediation and have been stagnated .

A spokesman from the NRLC group, which is negotiating for more than 30 railroads, declined to comment on Wednesday's announcement by CSX. The group stated that both sides are still at odds, but they are making progress with mediators. In-person negotiations should resume in the summer after the pandemic has passed. These negotiations are being held by all major freight railroads including CSX and Union Pacific as well as Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, and BNSF.

Jim Foote, CEO of CSX Corp., stated that the railroad decided to pay its employees more in order to deal with high-inflation which is driving up prices for food and fuel higher.

Foote stated that the tentative agreement with SMART TD was good for employees and that he and his team are committed to working together with all labor unions to make this happen for all employees.

A spokesperson for the SMART TD union did not immediately respond to questions Wednesday morning.

After major freight railroads have cut almost one-third their workforce in six years, the unions are not willing to make any concessions in negotiations. To keep freight moving, workers also continued to work during the pandemic.

Talks about the contract also address the complex issue whether railroads should have the ability to reduce their crew size from two to one in certain circumstances. Because of safety concerns and the desire for jobs to be protected, unions have opposed this change. Federal regulators have stated that they are looking into issuing a rule regarding crew sizes.

Railroads claim that the new systems, known as Positive train Control,, which automatically stops trains under certain conditions, have made it unnecessary for them to employ a second person in locomotives.

Labor agreements require two-person crews on major freight railroads. However, some short-line railroads operate with one-person crews.


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