Train and engine service employees of Alliance Terminal Railroad located in Haslet, Texas, have voted for representation by the SMART Transportation Division, Director of Organizing Rich Ross reports.

Of 23 eligible voters, 14 voted for SMART while two cast ballots for no union.

The National Mediation Board certified the election results Dec. 30.

ATR is a Class III terminal railroad responsible for the switching and operations at the Alliance Intermodal Facility. It is owned by OmniTRAX, a North American private railroad and transportation management company with interests in railroads, terminals, ports and industrial real estate.

ATR connects with BNSF Railway at Haslet and operates over seven miles of BNSF track through incidental trackage rights, according to the company’s website.

Trainmen and engineers represented by the SMART Transportation Division and employed by Chicago Rail Link have ratified a new six-year agreement, with 95 percent of the affected employees voting in favor of the deal.

The agreement provides for annual wage increases with full back-pay, retoractive to Oct. 1, 2010; limits employee health and welfare contributions rates; freezes co-pays and deductibles for the life of the contract; improves working conditions; provides bereavement leave, pay for training, rule classes and boot allowances; establishes single-day vacations and preserves guaranteed extra boards.

Transportation Division Vice President Dave Wier, who assisted with the negotiations that were concluded in mediation, congratulated GO-CRL General Chairperson Bob Campbell, Vice Chairperson Chris O’Connell and Secretary Rod Truszowski for “the exceptional effort put forth over the past three and one-half years in presenting the members concerns at the bargaining table and negotiating an agreement with improvements in wages, working conditions and the health and welfare package. The wage increases provide the membership with outstanding daily rates of pay, with daily straight time increases of $28.24 over the life of the contract.”

Chicago Rail Link provides switching and terminal services over 72 miles of trackage in Chicago and customized intermediate switching services through the Chicago Terminal complex. In addition to serving the Port of Chicago, it is the contract-switching operator for CSXI at the Bedford Park Intermodal Facility and also provides storage to railcar owners such as Chicago Freight Car and Helm. It is owned by OmniTRAX, Inc.


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.

Doyle Turner

ATLANTA — The UTU has reached a tentative agreement on behalf of train and engine workers employed by Fulton County Railway, a 20-mile-long OmniTrax-owned shortline on the west side of Atlanta.

The shortline operates over CSX-owned track, serving warehouse and light manufacturing companies in an industrial park. 

The Fulton County Railway train and engine workers selected the UTU as their bargaining representative in August 2010, after meeting with UTU organizers Rich Ross and Mike Lewis.

UTU General Chairperson Doyle Turner (CSX, GO 347) led the lengthy negotiations, with National Mediation Board mediator John Livengood helping bring the sides together. The tentative agreement now goes out for member ratification.

“What we are trying to do is bring parity in wages, benefits and work rules to the thousands of employees in the shortline railroad industry, in addition to the many other protections offered by union membership,” said Turner, who heads the UTU’s shortline-railroad initiative.

“The seniority, scope and discipline rules these members now enjoy are what makes union membership valuable,” Turner said. “They help ensure that these members will have the protections they deserve.”

Turner praised UTU International President Mike Futhey for his “commitment to organizing the unorganized employees on shortline railroads.”

Fulton County Railway should not be confused with Fulton County Railroad, an independent 13-mile shortline in Indiana.