Under an agreement in the national UE contract with Hallcon, any group of non-union drivers can organize and come under the contract by collecting cards from their co-workers. If they get a majority of drivers signed up, an independent mediator checks this to a list Hallcon provides, and the workers are then covered by the contract.
In recent months this process has brought over 65 drivers into UE from Ladysmith and Pokegama, Wisconsin, and Two Harbors, International Falls, Keenan, and Proctor, Minnesota, joining Local 1177. Twenty drivers in Willard, Ohio signed cards and quickly got a side letter completed, giving them raises and union protections as they joined Local 716.
The UE contract also has accretion language and after a fight with Hallcon to recognize the language, the union and the company agreed to a process of adding new drivers to the UE unit if Hallcon picks up new contracts (at new railroads) in a city where UE is already established. This summer, that process brought in over 300 drivers at the Union Pacfic yards in and around Houston, Texas and Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport, Louisiana. These drivers are now a part of UE Local 977.