The Power of Many
A coalition of eight railroad labor unions have joined forces in Pocatello,
Idaho, to battle relentless harassment from management of the Union Pacific
Carriers turn down compromise Railroad Retirement
A compromise proposal by Representative Jim Oberstar (D-MN) to resolve
the impasse over changes to the railroad retirement system was rejected
in late March by Ed Hamberger, President of the American Association of
BLE member angry over current Railroad Retirement
As almost everyone knows, this is our money that has been part of our
compensation packages over the last two decades. To me, it sounds unethical
that this money was always mentioned as our compensation. It has been used
as leverage against us for getting substandard pay increases. Now, it seems
as though it is being leveraged against us again. They have been taking
this money away from us for two decades up front and now, want to take it
away from us on the back end.
Social Security changes to benefit railroad
On April 7, President Clinton signed into law the elimination of the
earnings cap for Social Security, and, in doing so, also eliminated the
earnings cap for recipients of Railroad Retirement who are between the ages
of 65-69. By law, the Railroad Retirement Board applies the Social Security
Act earnings restrictions to railroad retirement annuities, in addition
to certain other work restrictions specified by the Railroad Retirement
Act that are not changed by this legislation.
The "cram down" breakdown
Talks between the AFL-CIO affiliated rail unions and the National Railway
Labor Conference (NRLC) to end the practice known as "cram down"
collapsed during the last week of March. To understand why the negotiations
failed, as well as what the future holds, it is important to know how "cram
down" came to be, and how an agreement recently reached by the United
Transportation Union (UTU) actually made "cram down" worse.
The Tex Mex saga
Why the UTU fought to eliminate craft lines on Laredo shortline
BLE scores second major victory for post-85
A tentative contract agreement between the Brotherhood of Locomotive
Engineers and Grand Trunk Western will give locomotive engineers a fully
retroactive 12 percent pay hike and eliminate substandard deadhead pay for
Wisconsin two-person crew bill awaiting governor's
A two-person crew bill was approved by the Wisconsin State Assembly and
Senate on March 19, and is now awaiting the signature of Governor Tommy
Tornado hits BLE General Committee office in
The month of March went out like a lion for members of the Brotherhood
of Locomotive Engineers in Fort Worth, Texas.
Secretary-Treasurers get hands-on training
Seven BLE members participated in a hands-on workshop for Secretary-Treasurers
in Cleveland earlier this month.
Statement by John J. Sweeney on UTU disaffiliation
"The leadership of this union has attempted to destroy another AFL-CIO
union's bargaining rights at Union Pacific and take away members from that
union -- a direct violation of the AFL-CIO constitution. They have had every
opportunity to abide by the decisions of the AFL-CIO arbitrators who, according
to our constitution, resolve differences on membership issues among unions.
The UTU's leadership petition was also dismissed by the National Mediation
Two-person crew bill gets vetoed by Wyoming
The BLE encourages all members in the State of Wyoming to contact Governor
Geringer, a Republican, to voice their displeasure with his veto of this
much-needed safety legislation.
Injunction against Springfield Terminal upheld
by First Circuit
The First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's determination
that Springfield Terminal Railway Company (ST) violated the Railway Labor
Act by transferring switching work to Aroostook and Bangor Resources, Inc.
(ABR), with whom ST shared common ownership.
Why we blow whistles
A locomotive engineer's first-hand account of a highway-rail grade crossing
Crew watches in 'helpless horror'
Three students killed in school bus-train collision; NTSB investigates
FRA gathers data on locomotive horn regulations
Federal Railroad Administrator Jolene M. Molitoris announced on April
3 a series of public hearings were held on proposed rulemaking and draft
environmental impact statement (DEIS) concerning the use of locomotive train
horns at highway-rail grade crossings.
Legislative Update: DC Feedback
"Did President Clinton sign into law that whistle blowers, who report
unsafe acts that are sanctioned by the railroad and its officials, can not
be fired or disciplined?" The statute you refer to is found in U.S.
Code Title 49 Section 20109.
Hazmat safety plan
George Meany Center offers free training course to railroaders
BLE Senior Report: RRB sets minimum customer
The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board's Customer Service Plan promotes the
principles and objectives of customer-driven quality service agency-wide.
The Board's plan states specifically the level of service that customers
can expect, and an important part of the plan is a pledge to keep beneficiaries
informed of how well the Board is meeting the plan's standards. The plan
is reviewed and updated periodically as the Board gains more experience
with it, compares its service with the best in business and considers feedback
received from its customers.
Railroad Retirement informational conferences
The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board will conduct free informational conferences
this year. On-site registration begins at 8 a.m. for each conference. All
sessions begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and end at 12:15 p.m.
STB puts the brakes on BNSF-CN merger
Following four days of hearings, the Surface Transportation Board announced
on March 17 that it was placing a 15-month moratorium on all rail mergers,
effectively halting the proposed Burlington Northern Santa Fe-Canadian National
combination for more than a year.
Management shake-up at CSX; Conway out, Snow
Bedeviled by rising customer frustration and falling stock prices, Ronald
J. Conway was ousted on April 11 after only nine months as president of
CSX , the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
BNSF fined $10 million for falsifying evidence;
A judge who fined Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. $10 million for
presenting what he called "false, concocted" evidence in a wrongful
death trial threw out the penalty and removed himself from the case on March
26, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Teamster strike going strong in 26th week
Contract negotiations between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
and Overnite Transportation resumed on April 4, 5 and 6, making it a very
busy month for the Teamsters. The unfair labor practices strike is entering
its 26th week and is still going strong.
Industry, labor news briefs
Purdy can publish numbers, not names, regarding BNSF salaries
Amtrak derailment injures 29
Working women seek balance of work, family, AFL-CIO says
How much does your railroad's CEO get paid?