Labor Negotiations Update

The National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents the nation’s freight railroads in national collective bargaining, announced the national bargaining round between the nation’s freight railroads and all 12 rail unions will be fully resolved tomorrow when President Biden is expected to sign legislation passed on an overwhelming bipartisan basis by Congress earlier today.


This legislation will implement tentative agreements for the four unions that had not previously ratified their agreements – the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division (SMART-TD), with respect to only one of its contracts; Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (BMWED); Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers and Helpers (IBB).


The service freight railroads provide to customers would not be possible without the dedicated efforts of the entire workforce, and the railroads value the vital contributions made by employees to keep the economy moving. Union Pacific is pleased that we can return our collective focus to what our team does best – Building America – providing uninterrupted service to customers, communities and the public throughout the holiday season and beyond.


More than 100,000 employees in the bargaining round will now be covered by new collective bargaining agreements based on the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) 250. The new agreements include a 24 percent wage increase, maintain platinum-level health care, add an additional day of paid time off and address several craft-specific issues, including issues relating to quality of life.


Many employees have already begun to receive the well-deserved compensation increases, bonus payments and other benefits provided by these agreements. With portions of the wage increases and lump sum payments retroactive, UP now is working to promptly deliver this historic wage increase to all union employees.


We look forward to using these agreements as a springboard for further collaboration with unions regarding opportunities to enhance rail careers, promote safety, support the environmentally friendly and efficient transport of freight, and strengthen the nation’s freight railroads’ role as the backbone of the U.S. economy. We have heard and recognize the deeply felt concerns regarding paid leave benefits and will work with rail union leaders in future bargaining rounds to assess the structure of these provisions.


The railroads wish to thank President Biden and members of his administration – particularly Secretary Walsh and his team at the Department of Labor; Secretary Buttigieg; Secretary Vilsack; National Economic Council Director, Brian Deese; and the members and staff of the National Mediation Board – for their support of the Railway Labor Act bargaining process and the collectively bargained outcomes. We also wish to thank Congressional leaders and members for recognizing the criticality of freight rail service to the nation’s supply chain and economy and for acting quickly to avert a shutdown.


Finally, thank you to colleagues at the rail labor organizations for their professionalism throughout the bargaining process and their steadfast determination in representing their members.


Click here for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), the latest updates and to learn more about the collective bargaining process under the Railway Labor Act.


For more information about the current national round or the bargaining process, please see the National Railway Labor Conference’s website.