LOS ANGELES and CLEVELAND, July 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Harbor Line, Inc. (PHL) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) have signed a new four-year labor agreement covering PHL's operating and maintenance of way employees.
The pact was overwhelmingly ratified by PHL employees and signed July 4 at the railroad's Family Day celebration. It included significant wage increases, employee contribution to health care, as well as modification of some rules concerning profit sharing, overtime, the selection of job assignments and productivity.
BLET's Division 214 in Long Beach, Calif., has represented PHL's employees since the railroad was formed in 1998. Union employment on this property has grown from 27 employees initially to nearly 120 in the past 15 years.
PHL President Otis Cliatt II said, "This was a win-win agreement reflecting teamwork, persistence and determination by both parties. PHL and its workforce are committed to providing stellar freight railroad service to the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and the San Pedro Bay Port community."
"Sometimes the wheels of progress move slowly and it took us a few years to get this agreement right," said BLET General Chairman Bill Hannah, "But in the end, the company made some essential changes and we negotiated the best agreement possible for our membership, which allowed us to achieve ratification."
Hannah said a key component of the agreement is an enhanced profit sharing provision, which greatly improves the earning power of BLET members.
BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce, who along with BLET First Vice President Lee Pruitt personally attended multiple negotiating sessions between the parties, recognized the invaluable efforts of General Chairman Hannah, Vice President Mike Twombly, Vice General Chairman John Eutsler and Division 214 Local Chairman Jose Covarrubias. Pierce also thanked former BLET Vice President Stephen Speagle, who assisted with negotiations prior to his retirement. The PHL negotiating team included Otis Cliatt and past PHL presidents Andrew Fox and Mike Stolzman.
The BLET is a division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and represents more than 57,000 employees in the United States. Founded as the Brotherhood of the Footboard on May 8, 1863, the Brotherhood is the oldest labor union in the United States and celebrated its 150th anniversary earlier this year.
Pacific Harbor Line, Inc. provides railroad switching services to customers in the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. It also dispatches all BNSF Railway and Union Pacific trains within the ports. PHL is a subsidiary of Anacostia Rail Holdings (www.anacostia.com), a firm that operates local and regional freight railroads.
SOURCE Pacific Harbor Line, Inc.; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen