UTU-represented maintenance-of-way employees on Georgia & Florida Railway are voting through Sept. 22 on a tentative new agreement — their first since voting “UTU, yes.”

Negotiations were led by UTU International Vice President Paul Tibbit and UTU General Chairperson Doyle Turner (GO 347). Turner heads the UTU’s shortline outreach program.

“This tentative agreement, as with others negotiated with shortlines, is intended to bring parity in wages, benefits and work rules to the thousands of employees in the shortline industry, along with the many other protections offered by union membership,” Turner said. “The seniority, scope and discipline rules these members now enjoy are what makes union membership valuable.”

Georgia & Florida Railway, an OmniTrax property, is a 264-mile shortline serving south central Georgia and extending into Florida. It interchanges with CSX and Norfolk Southern. Its principal commodities include beer, wood pulp, ethanol and agricultural products.