District Lodge 19

where it all begin


Local Lodge 2600, Chicago IL honors one of their own fallen members 

 More than 100 IAM members, family and friends gathered Monday April 30, 2018 to mourn and honor working people who have been killed, injured or sickened on the job this past year.

The IAM Safety and Health Department hosted the annual Workers’ Memorial Ceremony at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.

At this year’s ceremony Local Lodge 2600, Chicago, IL mourned and honored one of their own fallen members. Members of Local Lodge 2600 placed a memorial brick honoring eleven year Member, Machinist Martin Rivera-Lira at this years Workers’ Memorial at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD.  On January 16, 2018 Brother Rivera-Lira was fatality injured while working at the Chicago Union Station Amtrak Rail-yard. General Chairman, Mike McCarthy, Josh Hartford and Jason Gibbs attended this year’s Workers Memorial Ceremony honoring Brother Martin Rivera-Lira.

The Workers’ Memorial Program is held once a year at the IAM Worker’s Memorial on the grounds of the Winpisinger Center, in Hollywood, MD which was dedicated in 2001 to recognize and remember the union members who are no longer with us.

Watch the live stream of the Ceremony

Brothers and Sisters,

I am proud to say that on April 5 and 6th, 2018 Pan Am Rail Road members of Local Lodge 409 and 481 separately, yet overwhelmingly ratified the Tentative Agreement between the IAM - District 19 and Pan Am Rail Road.  This new contract went into effect on April 9, 2018.   Their first raise is as of the effective date of the Agreement despite the fact that the preceding contract did not become amendable until October 1, 2018.   The negotiating committee was able to bring this deal together in record time on this property.  I would like to say thank you to them, for their unwavering commitment and guidance on the negotiating of this deal.  Following is a summary of the many improvements in this Agreement:

  • A 5 Year Deal
  • Yearly wage increases starting at ratification date and not on October 1, 2018 when the previous contact expires. (members are enjoying a second raise in less than a year)
  • A forty percent (40%) increase in Skill Differentials
  • A tool allowance that increases yearly over the term of the Agreement until it reaches $225.00
  • Language that states when  members work a holiday they can now bank that holiday for use at a later date
  • No Health & Welfare increases for the first half of the Agreement with minimal increases in the last two years of the Agreement   

I would like to thank all the Pan Am members and officers of Local Lodge 409 and 481 for their support in this round of successful  negotiations with Pan AM.   

In Solidarity,

Gary Naylor

General Chairman                

All members covered under the National Freight Agreement are encouraged to contact your Local Representative, or General Chairman, to obtain access to the District Lodge 19 National Agreement Survey. This survey is only for members covered by the National Freight Agreement.


The IAMAW, District Lodge 19 reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) with the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC) on December 7, 2017 and released a statement on December 27, 2017 that in the month of January Our Membership would vote on this TA.  All ballots were to be postmarked by February 5, 2018. 

After the ratification votes were counted the Tentative Agreement was rejected.  President/Directing General Chairman (PDGC) John Lacey will notify the NCCC and National Mediation Board (NMB) today of this news with hopes of returning to the bargaining table at the earliest time available.   Additional information will be put out shortly as updates become available.




“This week District Lodge 19 mailed out the National Freight Railroad Tentative Agreement to all of our Local Lodges and traveling mechanics. The ratification vote will be held in the month of January, with results returned to the District, no later than February 5, 2018. See the attached packet for details or contact your servicing General Chairman for instructions.”


RAILWAY AGE   Written by 


Second freight rail labor pact reached

Major U.S. freight railroads have reached a tentative contract agreement with the second of three coalitions representing unionized employees.

The National Railway Labor Conference representing employers announced that it had reached agreement with Brotherhood Railway Carmen (BRC), the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), and the Transportation Communications Union (TCU).

The new agreements cover wages, benefits and other issues for more than 31,000 employees and are subject to membership ratification. The Transport Workers Union, which represents a limited number of employees in this bargaining, is also a party to these agreements.

The railroads have now reached agreements with unions covering 116,000 employees, or 80% percent of the 145,000 employees in this bargaining round. The following unions, which represent 81,000 employees in the bargaining, have already ratified their agreements with the railroads: American Train Dispatchers Association; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen; Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, and International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers ─ Transportation Division including Yardmasters.

Contracts are still to be worked out with the third labor coalition consisting of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers representing the final 20% of affected unionized rail workers.

“These new agreements, which follow the terms established in the earlier agreements, bring us closer to the resolution of negotiations with all the unions,” said A. Kenneth Gradia, Chairman of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), the railroads’ bargaining representative.

The NCCC represents more than 30 railroads, including BNSF, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, in national bargaining with 12 rail unions. Bargaining began in 2015.

General Chairman John Denny wins double time pay for BNSF Traveling Mechanics.  Traveling Mechanics on the BNSF Railroad are monthly rated employees and have not been paid double time for time worked over sixteen (16) hours.  GC Denny argued to BNSF that Roadway Mechanics are paid at the overtime rate of time and one-half in accordance with their Working Agreement. BNSF argued that double-time provisions did not apply to Traveling Mechanics because they are monthly rated employees. He then argued that the provisions of the overtime rule applied to time and one-half on hours worked over ten (10), therefore, the double-time rules for hours worked over sixteen (16) also applies.  GC Denny convinced the Carrier that he was right and now has received confirmation that the change has been made and all Traveling Mechanics will now be paid double-time for all hours worked over sixteen (16). 
Congratulations GC John Denny for a job well done. 


Ratifications make rail strike unlikely Written by 

Ratifications make rail strike unlikely

The probability of a national railroad strike has likely been reduced to single digits with ratification of a new national wage, benefits and work rules agreement by four rail unions comprising more than half of unionized rail workers.

The ratified agreements will now be considered by railroads as patterns to be accepted by the unions that have yet to reach and/or ratify a tentative agreement. Those unions remain at the bargaining table with the National Railway Labor Conference, which represents U.S. Class I railroads and many regionals and short lines. Class I carriers include BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific.

Under the Railway Labor Act, contracts never expire, but continue in force until periodically amended. The National Mediation Board (NMB) controls the process, providing skilled mediators who work to focus the parties on common interests and constructive dialogue.

The Railway Labor Act prohibits strikes or lockouts until the NMB releases the parties. Even then, there is a lengthy process leading to non-binding recommendations by a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), followed by additional talks before a strike or lockout may occur.

This round of national bargaining over wages, benefits and work rules began almost three years ago. Railroads have been negotiating as a single coalition, while the 12 labor unions voluntarily separated into three separate coalitions.

The largest union coalition, which reached the tentative agreement in October, includes the American Train Dispatchers Association; Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen; Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers and Helpers; and Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) Transportation Division (including yardmasters).

Four of those six unions, representing conductors, dispatchers, engineers and signalmen, ratified. The boilermakers rejected the tentative agreement, while the firemen and oilers haven’t completed the ratification vote.

Two other coalitions remain at the bargaining table. One, comprising 22% of unionized rail workers, includes the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Transportation Communications International Union; and Brotherhood Railway Carmen. The third coalition, comprising 20% of unionized rail workers, includes the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes and the shopcraft side of SMART.

Provisions of the ratified agreement are retroactive to January 2015, and its terms are not subject to renegotiation before January 2020.

There now will be pressure on remaining unions to accept the pattern set. In fact, the NMB can keep those unions at the bargaining table indefinitely – especially if the NMB determines they are not engaged in good-faith bargaining.

If one or more do not reach a tentative agreement that is ratified by its members, the NMB eventually will release them from bargaining, which begins a series of three 30-day cooling-off periods punctuated by appointment of a PEB that will make non-binding settlement recommendations. Should those recommendations—typically mindful of the pattern already set—be rejected, a strike could then occur.

There has not been a national railroad strike since 1991. Historically, Congress steps in within hours with legislation ending a national railroad work stoppage, imposing a third-party settlement most often mirroring PEB recommendations. Railway Labor Act procedures would delay such an unlikely outcome at least until spring. Congress can and has imposed less generous terms on overly truculent unions, and there is practical reason to assume that this current conservative congressional majority would not look kindly on a holdout after most other unions have settled.

In fact, the ratified agreements reflect realization among workers of an economic environment characterized by wage stagnation and increasing healthcare cost burdens on most American workers, and a rail industry coping with a significant reduction in its bedrock coal traffic. Viewing the tentative agreement as equitable in this environment, BLET and SMART-TD members ratified it by overwhelming margins – 80% for SMART-TD and near 90% among BLET members.

The ratified contract, which is still on the table for the unions that have yet to settle, puts at least $33,000 more into the pockets of the highest paid rail workers within just two years and more than $16,000 by mid-2019 to those in the lower wage rungs. And there is not a single work rules change.

Although healthcare co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums rise—but more slowly than medical cost inflation, and barely for those in good health—employee monthly insurance premiums are capped at the current level until at least mid-2020. By contract, other private sector and federal workers pay significantly more. In fact, railroads will be paying some 90% of all employee healthcare costs.

Both labor and carrier negotiators were complimentary of the guidance provided the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition by NMB mediator Eva Durham, and in the latter stages by NMB member Linda Puchala, who was a NMB mediator for many years prior to her 2009 elevation as a Senate-confirmed NMB seat.



Frank N. Wilner, Contributing Editor

Frank N. Wilner is author of six books, including, Amtrak: Past, Present, Future; Understanding the Railway Labor Act; and, Railroad Mergers: History, Analysis, Insight. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and labor relations from Virginia Tech. He has been assistant vice president, policy, for the Association of American Railroads; a White House appointed chief of staff at the Surface Transportation Board; and director of public relations for the United Transportation Union. He is a past president of the Association of Transportation Law Professionals. Wilner drafted the railroad section of the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Change (Volumes I and II), which were policy blueprints for the two Reagan Administrations; and was a guest columnist for the Cato Institute’s Regulation magazine.







October 5, 2017

TO:       All General Chairman and Local Lodge Officers with Members under the National Agreement

SUBJECT: Tentative Agreement reached by the CBG Dear Sisters and Brothers:

A tentative National Agreement has been reached by the six Rai l Unions who comprise the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG). Details are set forth in their Press Release attached.

These six Unions are now in the process of submitting the tentative agreement to the specific ratification process of each Union. This is a major development in a long and contentious bargaining round with the industry. While the 1AM is not a part of the CBG, the tentative agreement will undoubtedly form the basis of any agreement we are able to reach. Historically, an agreement reached by a Union or Unions in National Negotiations forms the basis of subsequent agreements by other Unions. Moreover, its contents have been the subject of much discussion in Negotiations.

Sincerely and fraternally yours,

John Lacey

President Directing Genera l Chairman District 19


5 KNOLLWOOD DRIVE • BRANFORD, CT 06405 • PHO NE: 203-483-4241 • FAX 203-483-4258

TRENT                                       3 P A INTI NG

National Negotiations update: Coordinated Bargaining Group unions reach tentative national contract agreement

Independence, Ohio, October 5 - Rail Unions making up the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) announced today that they have reached a Tentative National Agreement with the Nation's Freight Rail Carriers . The CBG is comprised of six unions: the American Train Dispatchers Association; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers/ SEIU; and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART TD).

On Wednesday, October 4th, the CBG's full Negotiating Team met in Independence, Ohio for a review of the terms of the proposed voluntary agreement. Following that review, each of the CBG Unions' Negotiating Teams unanimously endorsed the Tentative Agreement. On Thursday, October 5th, the involved General Chairpersons of SMART TD, BRS and BLET met as well and those groups also unanimously endorsed the Tentative Agreement for consideration by the respective membership of each Union.

The Tentative Agreement, which will be submitted to the memberships of each involved Union in the coming weeks, includes an immediate wage increase of 4%, with an additional 2.5% six months later on July 1, 2018 and an additional 3% one year later on July 1, 2019. In addition, wage increases of 2% effective July 1, 2016 and another 2% effective July 1, 2017 will be fully retroactive through implementation, for a compounded increase of 9.84% over an 18-month period and 13.14% over the 5- year contract term (this includes the First General Wage Increase of 3% implemented on January 1, 2015).

All benefits existing under the Health and Welfare Plan will remain in effect unchanged and there are no disruptions to the existing healthcare net works. While some employee participation costs are increased, the tentative agreement maintains reasonable maximum out-of-pocket protections for our members.

The TA also adds several new benefits to the Health and Welfare Plan for the members of the involved unions and, importantly, it requires that the Rail Carriers will, on average, continue to pay 90% of all of our members' point of service costs.

On a matter of critical importance, the employees' monthly premium contribution is frozen at the current rate of $228.89. The frozen rate can only be increased by mutual agreement at the conclusion of negotiations in the next round of bargaining that begins on 1/1/2020.

In addition, the CBG steadfastly refu sed to accept the carriers' demands for changes to work rules that would have imposed significant negative impacts on every one of our members. As a result of that rejection, the Tentative Agreement provides for absolutely no changes in work rules for any of the involved unions.

"This Tentative Agreement provides real wage increases over and above inflation, health care cost increases far below what the carriers were demanding, freezes our monthly health plan cost contribution at the current level, provides significant retroactive pay and imposes no changes to any of our work rules," said the CBG Union Presidents. "This is a very positive outcome for a very difficult round of negotiations. We look forward to presenting the Tentative Agreement to our respective memberships for their consideration."


Collectively, the CBG unions represent more than 85,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations' national agreements, and comprise over 58% of the workforce that will be impacted by the outcome of the current bargaining round.

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