David Eldon Hiatt, a retired general chairperson of GO 377 (Canadian National/Grand Trunk Western), passed away November 11, 2020. He was 73 years old.
“I looked up to Brother Hiatt, he was what I strived to be like once I became a union officer,” said current GO 377 General Chairperson Bill Miller. “Brother Hiatt bled union and the SMART-TD.”
Brother Hiatt hired out on the GTW in 1969 in Battle Creek, Mich., and was a lifelong SMART-TD/UTU member. He was the local chairperson for Local 72 (Battle Creek, Mich.) for a number of years, then served as general chairperson for GO 377 from 2003 until his retirement in 2012.
“One of his big accomplishments was being able to get an hourly agreement approved on the GTW, which gave a better quality of life for the conductors with scheduled off days, five-day work week and great wages,” Miller said. “Brother Hiatt was a mentor to many officers on the GTW, especially me.”
Brother Hiatt was an Army veteran, serving in South Korea along the demilitarized zone in 1968 and ’69, and was a VFW and American Legion member.
He is survived by his wife, Kathryn and children Tracy Hiatt, Larry Hiatt, Jeffrey (Shawn) Bowdidge, Owen (Ellie) Bowdidge; and his brother, Thomas (Sheila) Hiatt.
SMART Transportation Division offers its sincere condolences to Brother Hiatt’s family, friends and to his Local 72 brothers and sisters.
SMART Transportation Division-represented conductors and trainmen employed by the Canadian National/Grand Trunk Western Railroad unanimously ratified a new six-year agreement March 17, Vice President Doyle Turner reports.
The agreement provides for six annual wage increases retroactive to Aug. 1, 2010, with the final wage increase to be effective Aug. 1, 2015, totaling 18.6 percent and resulting in a cumulative wage increase of 20.08 percent over the life of the agreement.
The accord includes conductor certification pay rolled into the rates of pay and full retroactive back-pay for all active trainmen and employees, and to retired or deceased employees who earned compensation subsequent to Aug. 1, 2010.
The agreement provides that all employees on guaranteed extra boards will have a five-day work week, with two consecutive scheduled rest days per work week, provides “smart-rest” benefits, improves bereavement leave, provides for a furlough retention board and institutes provisions for temporary transfer to other CN properties.
Participation in the UTU National Health and Welfare plans continues.
Turner, who assisted with the mediated negotiations, expressed his appreciation to CN/GTW GO 377 General Chairperson Jason E. Reineke (1075), Vice General Chairperson William T. Miller. Jr. (72) and General Committee Secretary John R. Purcell II (1075) for their exceptional effort in bringing the members’ concerns to the bargaining table.
This agreement makes GTW employees some of the highest paid rail employees in the country.