By Gretchen Wehmhoff
In a joint press release Tuesday afternoon White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad (WPYR) and the SMART Transportation Division (SMART-TD) announced the two parties have come to a tentative agreement (TA).
The agreement, should it be approved by SMART-TD members, would run through 2027. SMART-TD voted in June to authorize their leadership to call a strike when the process allowed.
“The members I represent will carefully consider the provisions of this agreement,” said General Chairperson Jason Guiler, who led the labor union’s local negotiating team and represents the unionized operating employees working for the WP&YR.
“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,” he stated in the release.
SMART-TD members are in the process of voting on the TA and results are expected midweek.
“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 shows the respect, value and appreciation we hold for the work our people do,” said WP&YR Executive Director Tyler Rose as part of the press release.
The union and WPYR have been without a new contract since 2017. This announcement follows a series of mediation sessions as well as a session going into this past weekend without a mediator present.
This is a developing story and The Skagway News will include a follow-up article in Friday’s issue.