July 31, 2014

UTU Iowa Northern members ratify first pact

UTU-represented conductors and engineers on Iowa Northern Railway have ratified their first agreement covering wages, benefits and working conditions.

Iowa Northern T&E employees chose the UTU as their collective bargaining agent in November 2008.

The agreement was negotiated with the assistance of UTU Alternate Vice President Doyle Turner.

“We will continue to look for railroad and other unorganized transportation workers who want and need union representation,” Turner said. “We are trying hard to bring parity in wages, work rules and benefits to the unorganized.

“Among gains workers obtain with UTU representation include job security, a defined grievance procedure and discipline rules, a work schedule that enhances their quality of life, and a defined set of benefits and work rules,” Turner said. “These are benefits workers cherish and they won’t obtain them without joining a union.”

Iowa Northern, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, operates more than 160 miles of former Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific track, running diagonally through the state between Manly and Cedar Rapids, with a branch line between Waterloo and Oelwein.

It connects directly with Union Pacific, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. The railroad, which moves almost 14,000 carloads of grain annually between elevators and production facilities, calls itself “a proud link in the chain from farmer to market.”