Seniority Trades

Dear Brother or Sister,

As you have inquired about a potential seniority trade, please read the following information which has been put together for your reference. Make certain that both individuals seeking the trade complete the required Seniority Trade Request Form as quickly as possible. This is important as no action can be taken until ALL required items have been completed and submitted to this office.

Seniority trades are only allowed if both individuals have identical craft qualifications. In other words, both individuals must be engineer qualified, or not be engineer qualified. If one individual is engineer qualified, and one is not, the trade will not be pursued.

Please be advised that seniority trades require an in-depth review process by the Carrier. Trades are currently only approved by the Carrier if both respective General Managers agree to the trade. It is, therefore, imperative that prior to submitting a trade request to this office, each individual contact their General Manager to verify approval and obtain their signature on the required Seniority Trade Request Form.

Once submitted and all other actions have been completed, such Carrier review typically takes from between 4 and 9 months. If the railroad fails to respond within a reasonable amount of time, a follow-up will be sent out, reiterating the request. If the railroad refuses your request, you will be notified via email. There is no contractual right for trading of seniority, and each case must be handled individually and may, at any time, be turned down by the Carrier. Some, but not all of the reasons for which Carrier has declined trades in the past include discipline and/or attendance issues with either individual, service unit training budgets and manpower needs, and administrative staffing levels.

If successful in negotiating a trade with the Carrier, be aware that each SMART Transportation Division Local in the impacted seniority territory must approve the trade.

Please be aware, that if your trade goes through, IT WILL BE PERMANENT! There is no changing your mind after the fact, and that both individuals will receive the seniority date of the junior individual involved in the trade. After required paperwork has been submitted, all inquiries regarding status of your trade should be sent to


Seniority Trade Request Form