NJ Transit union workers push for better wages as agency prepares move to new HQ
While NJ Transit prepares to sign a 25-year commitment to lease a new corporate headquarters building in Newark, locomotive engineers say they haven’t had a pay raise since 2019 and should be considered first.
Workers protested Wednesday outside the current headquarters at Penn Plaza East.
A spokesman for the union says taking better care of them in turn takes better care of those who use NJ Transit.
Jim Brown, of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen for NJ Transit, says, “We have many engineers that leave for other railroads as soon as they start hiring.”
NJ Transit’s plan is to sign a new lease at the nearby 2 Gateway building. Union members say millions of dollars were spent during the pandemic to remodel NJ Transit’s existing headquarters, even though the agency’s office workers were working remotely and many continue to do so.
Union members claim they are among the lowest paid locomotive engineers working for a transit agency in the entire nation.
A spokesperson for NJ Transit wrote in a statement, "We have made a fair and pattern-based contract offer that has been accepted and ratified by 14 of our 15 rail unions covering 91% of our rail union employees. The BLET is the only union to not accept these terms."