BLET Conducting Strike Authorization Vote at NJ Transit

Five hundred locomotive engineers employed by NJ Transit (NJT) will begin receiving ballots in the mail this week from their national union seeking authorization to call a strike at the nation’s third-largest commuter railroad.

NJT’s locomotive engineers, members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), have been seeking a new contract since October 2019. The contract dispute has been in National Mediation Board-sponsored mediation for nearly three years.

NJT has been insisting that engineers adhere to “pattern bargaining” with other NJT work groups. The union maintains that NJT should have wages closer to engineers’ wages at other commuter railroads. With the exception of one other transit agency, NJT’s engineers are the lowest paid engineers working in commuter service in the nation.

Currently, certified locomotive engineers are in high demand at both freight and passenger railroads and can’t be easily replaced. Shortages of engineers leading to train delays and cancellations are not without precedent. NJT was forced to routinely cancel trains due to shortages of engineers during Gov. Christie’s years in office.

BLET members working for NJT will receive a mailing from the BLET National Division over the next few days with voting instructions. The deadline for receipt of ballots is at 12:00 Noon EDT on Thursday, August 31, 2023.

-via Press Release


This article was posted on: August 9, 2023