What's Inside
Volume 15 - Number 4
April 2001

BLE divisions announce ID convention delegates

UP's housing policy has Texas engineers sleeping in cars

In The Line of Duty: Brother R.J. St. Marie

BNSF challenged on safety

Unmaintained tracks cause derailments to increase 18%

NJ transit faces $297,000 in FRA fines

Health care rate increases effective June 1

May 25 deadline approaches for SMA 2001

Rail labor, carriers reach 'cram down' deal

Industry news briefs

List of House, Senate co-sponsors of Railroad Retirement bills

North Dakota governor signs railroad taxi bill

BLE Senior Report

May 6 deadline looms for IWC hotel registration

Advisory Board February Activity

Calendar & Events


Railroad Retirement legislation rolls in Congress

Rail labor lobbyists made great strides in securing support for the Railroad Retirement and Survivors' Improvement Act of 2001 in both the House and Senate during March, but negative statements from the White House threaten to derail timely passage of the legislation.

Complete Story

BMWE, BLE derail BNSF genetic testing

In a major victory for organized labor and workers' rights, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company has settled a lawsuit filed by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes in February to stop the coercive genetic testing of its employees by BNSF, the BMWE and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers announced on April 9.

The BMWE filed suit on February 9 against BNSF and Athena Diagnostics in Sioux City, Iowa (Western Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa) and was soon joined by the BLE, seeking "to remedy the illegal, compulsory regime of genetic testing of injured employees" by the BNSF.

Complete Story

BLE, UTU to hold safety summit with BNSF

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) and the United Transportation Union (UTU) will hold a joint safety summit with management of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) on April 30 in Kansas City, Mo.

The original call for the summit came from UTU International President Byron A. Boyd Jr., on March 14. After BLE International President Edward Dubroski applauded the initiative, stating that "safe working conditions for operating employees, and indeed for all railroad workers, is an issue that must transcend rivalries between unions," Boyd proposed that both unions participate in the summit together.

Complete Story

Biased report threatens Amtrak

In another misguided and biased report, the Amtrak Reform Council on March 20 proposed dividing Amtrak into separate companies -- one responsible for train operations, a second government-owned corporation to oversee tracks and stations, and a third consolidated government oversight agency.

The main flaw with the proposal, however, is that it's been tried in Great Britain -- where it failed miserably.

Complete Story


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