Local 33 members were at the Helping Hands soup kitchen in Toledo, Ohio, where they volunteered to remove an old stove from the basement and installed a new one in its place.
Helping Hands, a ministry of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo, serves low-income and homeless families and individuals. The outreach center includes a soup kitchen, food pantry and clothing center. Additional services include providing hygiene packs to families, plus hot showers and hygiene and snack kits to the homeless. Since 1982, Helping Hands has served more than 1.5 million meals to people in need. An average of 250 meals are now served each day, Monday through Friday, through the generosity of the local community.
UTU-represented employees of Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway and Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway have ratified new five-year agreements. Negotiating assistance on both railroads was provided by UTU International Vice President Dave Wier.
On EJ&E, the ratified contract provides that conductors, brakemen and yardmen receive wage increases, back-pay, an employment guarantee with furlough protection, guaranteed extra boards, elimination of rate progression for conductors/foremen, and 90 percent entry rates for brakemen and helpers that rises to 100 percent after one year of service.
Also established by the new agreement is a 401(k) plan and disability insurance, more liberal qualification for vacations, and coverage under the National Railway Health and Welfare Plan that includes early retirement and four months of additional health care insurance for dismissed or furloughed employees.
Wier praised the efforts of General Chairpersons Cory Mayberry (GO 329) and Rich Barandela (GO 330), Vice General Chairperson Kevin Wright (GO 329), and Local 740 Chairpersons Mike Caudillo and Ed Cox for “the exceptional effort put forth during the long and difficult negotiations that resulted in an agreement with dramatic improvements in wages and benefits, and provides employment security and parity for members.”
On TP&W, the ratified contract provides for wage increases with additional compensation for conductors certified as engineers, participation in the RailAmerica Incentive Compensation Plan (with an opt-out provision providing an additional 1 percent annual wage increase), improved working conditions and special allowances.
Wier congratulated General Chairperson Rob Ferrier (GO TPW) and Local 198 Vice Local Chairperson Steve Benedict for “the outstanding effort put forth. The wage increases, coupled with quarterly incentive payments provide members with outstanding pay increases,” Wier said.”
EJ&E, a Class II railroad and a U.S. subsidiary of Canadian National Railway, operates in Illinois and Indiana suburbs surrounding Chicago.
TP&W, a short line and RailAmerica property, operates in Illinois and Indiana.