MINNEAPOLIS — The United Transportation Union and Progressive Rail have finalized a first-time collective bargaining agreement for Progressive Rail train and engine workers represented by the UTU.

Progressive Rail is a shortline with four locations around Minneapolis, interchanging with major railroads.

UTU International Vice President John Previsich, who assisted in the negotiations – aided by a mediator with the National Mediation Board – said the agreement “provides for significant wage increases with pay classifications equal for all, a grievance process and a seniority preference for assignments and bidding. Overall, this is an excellent first agreement that dramatically improves wages, rules and working conditions for Progressive Rail employees.”

Previsich said the agreement received “overwhelming approval by the covered employees, who are to be commended for their solidarity and perseverance through a long and drawn-out negotiating process.

Praised were the negotiating efforts of General Chairperson James Nelson (GO 261), “who was instrumental in obtaining the fair and equitable agreement that the Progressive Rail employees deserve,” Previsich said. “Also deserving of recognition are Minnesota State Legislative Director Phil Qualy and the officers and members of UTU Local 911, all of whom supported the negotiating effort during every step of the process.”