July 22, 2014

UTU reaches tentative agreement on Georgia shortline

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.