September 11, 2022 — SMART’s Railroad, Mechanical and Engineering Department (Mechanical Department or MD) reached a tentative agreement with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which includes the highest wage increases ever achieved in national freight rail bargaining. The tentative agreement provides our members with a 24% general compounded wage increase over five years. In addition, members would receive five annual service recognition payments of $1,000. Upon ratification, our members, including our retired and deceased members, will receive full retroactive pay consisting of the wage increases and service recognition payments.

Furthermore, the tentative agreement will provide an additional paid day off that can be used as either a personal leave day, a vacation day or on the employee’s birthday. Our healthcare benefits were enhanced to provide coverage for autism spectrum disorder and an increase in hearing aid benefits. There are no work rule changes or cuts to our healthcare benefits. The tentative agreement also includes a “Me Too” provision, where if another union reaches an agreement that provides more economic value, we can receive that same value in our agreement. The tentative agreement was reached based on the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board 250.

SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr. stated, “After nearly three years of difficult and protracted negotiations with the carriers, I’m very pleased that our Mechanical Department members are receiving the highest wage increases we have ever seen in national bargaining. Contrary to what the carriers may say, our highly skilled members’ contributions are the reason for the carriers’ extremely high profits, and it’s about time that our members receive the fair contract that we have been fighting for, and that the carriers have been fighting against, for the past several years.”

Ratification ballots will be mailed to SMART MD freight rail members soon. While SMART MD was able to reach a tentative agreement, the Transportation Division is still negotiating with the NCCC. General President Sellers calls on the NCCC to resolve the attendance policies and working conditions impacting operating employees in order to provide a better quality of life for our brothers and sisters in the Transportation Division.

February 28, 2022 — By letter dated February 24, 2022, the rail bargaining coalition made up of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference and the Mechanical Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Union petitioned the National Mediation Board (NMB) for a proffer of arbitration, requesting to be released from further mediation sessions. If granted by the NMB, the proffer of arbitration is the next step in the process towards self-help and a potential Presidential Emergency Board to settle their contract dispute with the nation’s rail carriers.

The Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC) unions, which are likewise in negotiations with the same rail carriers, support the BMWED/SMART Mechanical request to be released from mediation and agree that the parties are at an impasse and should be allowed to move the contract dispute to the next steps of the Railway Labor Act’s negotiation process. Although the CBC Unions are also in mediation with their next NMB-mediated bargaining session scheduled in March, the CBC made it clear to the NMB upon entering mediation that there is little, if any, hope of reaching a voluntary agreement in light of the rail carriers’ refusal to bargain in good faith with any of the rail unions. Therefore, the CBC fully expects to be making the same request for a release, and once all rail unions are released from mediation, the CBC will stand alongside the BMWED/SMART Mechanical Coalition through the final steps of the Railway Labor Act negotiation process to bring the bargaining round to a successful conclusion.

A copy of BMWED/SMART Mechanical’s February 23, 2022, letter to the National Mediation Board can be found by clicking here.


The unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition are: the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA); the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen / Teamsters Rail Conference (BLET); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); the International Association of Machinists (IAM); the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB); the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers/SEIU (NCFO); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU); the Transportation Communications Union / IAM (TCU), including TCU’s Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division (BRC); and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD).

Collectively, the CBC unions represent more than 105,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 80% of the workforce who will be impacted by this round of negotiations.