On August 29, 2016, Maintenance of Way (MOW) and Signalmen, employed by Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad (BPRR), voted for representation by SMART Transportation Division. The National Mediation Board certified the election results August 30.
The vote adds 36 MOW and 10 Signalmen to Local 377. MOW and Signalmen join engineers, conductors and brakemen employed by BPRR and represented by Local 377.
“I would like to thank SMART TD Organizer Larry Grutzius for all of his hard work on this campaign,” said Rich Ross, SMART TD’s director of organizing.
BPRR is a Class II railroad operating on 411 miles of track in New York and Pennsylvania and is owned by Genesee and Wyoming. Its main line runs between Buffalo, N.Y. and Eidenau, Pa., just north of Pittsburgh. The railroad connects the Allegheny Valley Railroad and runs on the former B&O Railroad tracks.
Major commodities shipped by the railroad include paper, petroleum products, chemicals, coal, steel and sand.
The CSX train yard located in New Castle, Pa., (aka Mahoningtown yard) has a long history with the railroad. The train yard was first used for the Pennsylvania Railroad, and then later the Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad and finally CSX. The Buffalo & Pittsburgh short line railroad also currently uses the yard.
The yard is a hub used by members of SMART TD Locals 1374 (New Castle), 1379 (Pittsburgh), 340 (Connellsville, Pa.), 377 (Salamanca, N.Y.) and 1948 (Youngstown, Ohio).
UTU Local 377 members — engineers, conductors and brakemen — employed by Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad have ratified a new five-year agreement by an almost 8-to-1 margin.
Balloting was by craft under provisions of the UTU constitution guaranteeing craft autonomy; and each of the crafts was solidly in favor of the agreement.
More than 90 percent of members cast ballots, which UTU International officials termed “outstanding and quite typical of Local 377’s membership.”
The newly ratified agreement provides for general wage increases, guaranteed extra boards, 401(k) plan enhancements, and personal incentive bonuses.
UTU General Chairperson John Lesniewski (GO 049), who led the negotiations, called the ratified agreement “a great contract in the best of times, and extraordinary during this lean economic climate.”
Lesniewski praised the efforts of his negotiating team, which included Vice General Chairperson Steven Mavity and Local 377 Chairperson Harry Mahaffey.
Lesniewski also thanked UTU International President Mike Futhey and GO 049 Vice General Chairperson Jeremy Ferguson “for their advice and support directed towards reaching this pact.”
Buffalo & Pittsburgh, acquired by holding company Genesee & Wyoming in 1988, is a 368-mile regional railroad serving western New York and western Pennsylvania, and connects with major railroads Canadian Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern.