BNSF misleads its employees in an article it released on April 13, 2022, claiming to be a “Bargaining Round Update.” In this release, BNSF indicated that it “continues to set aside funds for pay raises,” misleading readers to believe BNSF is bargaining in good faith or, in fact, has made any substantive proposal for increasing the pay and compensation of the workers it has relied on to generate its enormous profits in the middle of our current economic situation.
BNSF and its fellow railroads have made no reasonable effort to work with rail labor in coming to a voluntary agreement. It instead chooses to defer meaningful action and delay any pay increases to its employees, who have not seen a pay increase since 2019. There has been no comprehensive proposal put forward by the railroads’ bargaining committee, the NCCC, which maintains that any voluntary agreement reached would require substantial concessions by our members on health and welfare benefits. BNSF and the other railroads have taken the position that they will only consider fair wage increases if their employees pay more for their healthcare, effectively forcing our members into a status quo situation or actually resulting in a net pay loss for our hard-working men and women. Against this position, the BMWED and other rail unions have presented comprehensive proposals to come to a voluntary agreement, to which the railroads have not responded. BNSF seemingly intends to use the current economic crisis and political climate to its advantage, delaying any voluntary agreement and profiting off the labor of our underpaid and overburdened members. BMWED recognizes that BNSF’s intent is to push a one-sided contract to protect its profits— a contract unacceptable to our members.
While BNSF tells employees on its internal “news” feed that it “remains hopeful all parties will come together,” this railroad has yet to demonstrate a good faith attempt to do right by the very members that kept its operation safe and running through the pandemic. BNSF’s statement is shameful and misleading.