Purdy can publish numbers, but not names, of BNSF salary information

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A St. Paul federal judge has ruled that Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. has first rights to use the letters "BNSF" as its identifying trademark and has denied BLE Member William Purdy's claim to the mark for his website, the St. Paul Pioneer Planet reported.

U.S. Judge Donovan Frank stated that while Purdy, a retired BNSF engineer and member of BLE Division 27 (St. Cloud, Minn.), has made some use of the call letters "BNSF" since 1993, the railroad has maintained continuous use of them since its merger in 1994. He also noted that a Texas federal judge ordered the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel Purdy's federal registration of BNSF.

The railroad alleges Purdy, a railroad safety activist and Burlington Northern critic, accidentally received an e-mail message because of ongoing confusion about the web addresses. The railroad argues that letting Purdy publish the e-mail message on his website would irreparably harm the railroad and its employees, disclosing highly private information.

Purdy was not shut out in the ruling by U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, however. In an unusual clash of privacy rights and freedom of speech, Purdy is free to publish the salary information with job descriptions he received, but not names of jobholders.

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Amtrak derailment causes 29 injuries

CARBONDALE, Kan. -- An Amtrak train heading for Los Angeles derailed before dawn on March 15 alongside a cornfield, injuring 29 passengers -- one critically, a wire service reported.

Sixteen cars of the Chicago-to-Los Angeles train carrying 140 passengers and 15 crew members went off the track shortly after 2 a.m. near Carbondale, about 15 miles south of Topeka in eastern Kansas. One passenger remained hospitalized in critical condition. The others were treated and released.

The cause of the derailment was not immediately known, and personnel from the NTSB were at the scene within five hours.

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Working women seek balance of work, family, AFL-CIO says

WASHINGTON -- A poll commissioned by the AFL-CIO finds nearly half of working women -- 46 percent -- work a different shift than their significant other, sometimes by choice. The labor federation released on March 9 the Jan. 6-11 telephone survey of 765 working women over age 18.

The poll is part of the AFL-CIO's effort to keep tabs on the priorities of working Americans and mobilize them to vote in this fall's elections.

The poll found that working women share some concerns men have raised in other surveys, including improved health care and retirement security. But women also highly ranked better equal pay laws, improved child care, and expanded family and medical leave laws that guarantee paid time off.

Karen Nussbaum, director of the AFL-CIO's working women's department, said those concerns seem to be "directly related to the strains of balancing their work and family." The AFL-CIO survey was conducted by pollsters Lake Snell Perry and Associates Inc. and has a margin of error rate of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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How much your railroad's CEO get paid?

WASHINGTON -- As new executive compensation figures are revealed this month, the updated AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch website (www.paywatch.org) gives visitors the tools they need to get the real scoop on CEO pay, including 10 shocking examples of CEO pay at major global corporations that are driving down living standards for workers around the globe.

The expanded website will also allow visitors to compare their pay to updated CEO pay figures at 1,500 companies as proxies are filed.

CEO pay is growing faster than all major economic indicators - up 23%, according to the New York Times. The average CEO of a major US corporation made $11.9 million in 1999, 476 times what the average blue-collar American worker made. That's up from 42 times more in 1980, and 85 times more in 1990.

U.S. CEO pay dwarfs foreign CEO pay. German CEOs make 13 times more than the average German manufacturing employee. In Japan, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio is just 11-to-1.

"What looks excessive in the context of U.S. workers is truly outrageous when viewed globally," said AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka. "The global economy is not working for working families when boards of directors hand U.S. CEOs tens of millions of dollars while paying the people who actually do the work less than ten dollars a day." ·


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