Six of the seven unions making up the Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition, which represents more than 85,000 rail workers, ratified their contracts with the National Carrier’s Conference Committee (NCCC).

The National Carrier’s Conference Committee represents the major rail lines Union Pacific Corp. (UNP), Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (BNI), Norfolk Southern Corp. (NSC), CSX Corp. (CSX) and Kansas City Southern (KSU) in national labor negotiations.

The Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition said the new agreement, which lasts until Dec. 31, 2009, includes a wage increase of 17%, or 18.2% over the life of the agreement, and expanded medical benefits.

The Rail Labor Bargaining Coalition represents the American Train Dispatchers Association, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, National Conference of Firemen and Oilers/SEIU and the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association. The American Train Dispatchers Association did not ratify the agreement. (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)