White Pass Railroad & union come to terms; ratification vote under way

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A railroad strike in Alaska has been averted. White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad and the SMART Transportation Division union announced the successful negotiation of a tentative agreement for the more than two dozen railroad’s train and engine workers.

The agreement, which is set to extend through 2027, is undergoing a ratification vote by the unionized operating employees. Once the voting process is complete, the specifics of the agreement will be released publicly.

Mark Taylor, WP&YR Superintendent of Rail Operations, said, “Growing up in train and engine service, I have a deep respect for the craft and have worked hard over my tenure to help further that tradition on the railroad. With this agreement, we can now move forward together, continuing the WP&YR’s 125-year legacy.”

General Chairperson Jason Guiler, who led the labor union’s local negotiating team and represents the unionized operating employees working for WP&YR, commented, “The members I represent will carefully consider the provisions of this agreement. This long process has allowed us to express our concerns and urge the carrier to offer a contract that is fair and addresses workers’ needs.”

SMART-TD Vice President Brent Leonard, who was instrumental in facilitating the negotiations, said, “SMART-TD White Pass members, once again have something to be proud about in their jobs.”

WP&YR Executive Director Tyler Rose noted that the agreement reflects the respect, value, and appreciation both parties hold for the work performed by the employees.

“It has certainly been a challenging process, but we are happy that both parties have been able to come together and get this done in the best interest of our employees. It is a good agreement for both sides, and we believe it shows the respect, value, and appreciation we hold for the work our people do,” Rose said.

Earlier this summer, the workers had authorize a strike if the two sides could not reach an agreement. The railroad, which is one of the main tourist attractions in Skagway, could have ground to a halt near the end of tourist season if the tentative agreement had not ben reached.

1 COMMENT

  1. The exact reason why unions need to be eliminated. They have served their purpose in history, through the adoption of labor laws. They now are nothing more than an archaic political financial laundry service. Do public servants honestly need to be unionized? Do they understand they are servants of the public? Basically a socialist welfare system.

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