WASHINGTON – Track maintenance employees of the Appalachian and Ohio Railroad have unanimously approved their first contract as members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED) of the Teamsters Union.
This is the first union contract on the short line railroad since being sold by Watco Companies.
“This contract will provide an immediate increase in wages,” said Randall Brassell, General Chairman of the BMWED’s Eastern Federation. “The contract language standardizes pay rates and gives employees access to a 401(k) plan. This is a good first contract.”
The contract ratification vote took place Aug. 3 in Buckhannon, W.Va.
“I am looking forward to better pay and a set schedule of holidays,” said Dustin Huffman, a trackman who has worked for A&O Railroad for the past 10 months.
A&O Railroad has about 150 miles of track in West Virginia and carries freight cargo from coalmines, warehouses and plastic plants. Originally part of CSX Corp., it sold the short line to Watco Companies, which recently sold it to Four Rivers Corporation.
The BMWED is a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, which represents 70,000 people who work on freight and commuter railroads across the country.