October 10, 2012

Chicago Transit announces crucial labor agreement

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) announced a tentative agreement with one of the CTA’s oldest labor unions that will provide more flexibility and cost savings for construction work. The changes will allow the CTA to hire additional iron workers to repair and maintain the system’s aging infrastructure more efficiently.

The one-year agreement with the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers Local Union #1 covers nearly 70 ironworkers at the CTA. Among the changes from the previous agreement are new flexibility for structuring work shifts and more flexibility to utilize foremen.

The agreement helps lower overtime costs by allowing the CTA to more efficiently run three consecutive work shifts at regular time, instead of overtime. The new work rules also lower the number of required workers on the afternoon shift, which includes the afternoon rush hour and is typically the least-efficient shift.

Also, the agreement makes foremen more productive by allowing them to both supervise and work alongside journeyman iron workers, increasing project efficiency.

The agreement also calls for a $1.04 increase in hourly wage rates for workers and foremen, and CTA contributions to the union’s health and pension funds.

The tentative agreement is expected to be ratified by Local #1’s membership and the Chicago Transit Board later this year.

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