PHOENIX LOCAL 1081

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Change is Fast Coming!

Please share with our Brother's & Sister's - 2/23/2012

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

Open Attachment Hildebrand $2718653 00 Verdict (Wipff v BNSF).pdf Open

>>>
STB slates hearing on effect of BNSF purchase price - 2/23/2012

Written by  Luther S. Miller, Senior Consulting Editor

·      SHARE

STB slates hearing on effect of BNSF purchase price

The Surface Transportation Board announced that it will hold a public hearing March 22 “to explore the impact of the Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. acquisition of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. on certain costing determinations.” The board will look at the effect of the $43 billion purchase price on its annual Uniform Rail Costing System (URCS) and revenue-adequacy findings for BNSF.

URCS is the general purpose rail costing system used to estimate variable and total unit costs for Class I railroads. The Western Coal Traffic League and other parties argue that BNSF's acquisition price produced an $8.1 billion write-up in the railroad's net investment base for URCS costing purposes, and decreased BNSF's 2010 annual depreciation calculations by $128 million. WCTL suggests that the Board should, beginning with its 2010 findings, adjust BNSF's URCS costs by removing the $8.1 billion write-up and correspondingly adjusting the railroad's annual depreciation

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Make your voice heard about attacks on workers in Phoenix Friday - 2/22/2012

Dear John,

Last week in Tucson, working families and community members participated in a public hearing to express their opposition to attacks on firefighters, teachers and other public workers.  Leigslation is moving through the House and Senate right now.  There were so many people who attended, we could barely fit everyone into the hall.  There is no doubt that a vast majority of Arizonans oppose these bills.

That’s why we are holding another public hearing in Phoenix this Friday so more Arizonans can publicly show their opposition to these attacks on public workers and our communities.  Can you join us this Friday at 4:00 p.m.?  Click here to RSVP.

Extreme politicians in both the House and Senate and Gov. Jan Brewer don’t want to hear that these bills are unpopular and divisive.  They would rather silence the voice of Arizonans who oppose bills attacking firefighters and teachers and fast-track them with as little public input as possible.

It is important for them to know, though, that working families and community members will not stay silent and will speak out against these partisan political assaults on working families and our communities.

John, we want to hear from you.  Can you come to Friday’s hearing at 4:00 p.m. in Phoenix?  Click here to let us know you are coming.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Public hearing on bills attacking public workers and our communities
WHEN: Friday starting at 4:00PM
WHERE: Local 640, 5808 N. 7th Street, Phoenix

We are making a difference and helping to stop these dangerous bills that put public workers and our communities at risk solely to support a partisan political agenda that only helps the 1%.

In Solidarity,
Rebekah Friend
Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director, Arizona AFL-CIO

P.S. Can’t make it Friday?  Call your elected leaders and let them know you oppose this bill.  Click here to find out how to contact your Senator and Representatives.
 


 

This message was sent to john abbott by Rebekah Friend, Arizona AFL-CIO from the SignOn.org system. MoveOn.org Civic Action sponsors SignOn.org, but does not endorse specific campaigns or the contents of this message

>>>
UTU aiding locked out workers in six states - 2/21/2012

 

UTU aiding locked out workers in six states

Posted On February 21, 2012 @ 3:30 am In News,Recent Updates |

UTU locals and state legislative boards in Minnesota and North Dakota are collecting non-perishable foods to aid union brothers and sisters who have been locked out of their jobs in six states by American Crystal Sugar (Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International) and Cooper Tire & Rubber (United Steel Workers).

This Journey for Justice, which involves other labor organizations, follows a December holiday toy drive benefitting children of the locked-out workers.

Beginning with a solidarity rally in Fargo Feb. 22, the Journey for Justice will make stops in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio.

Cooper Tire & Rubber locked out more than 1,000 workers at its Findlay, Ohio, plant just after Thanksgiving, while American Crystal Sugar locked out some 1,300 of its workers at seven facilities more than six months ago, refusing to negotiate.

Journey for Justice leaders are using social media – Twitter and Facebook – to help publicize the effort on behalf of the locked-out workers, which is expected to add to the collection of non-perishable foods for their families.

“These anti-union employers think nothing of treating their workers as nothing more valuable than a used No. 2 pencils, to be discarded at will,” said UTU Alternate National Legislative Director John Risch, who formerly was state legislative director in North Dakota.

Said Minnesota State Legislative Director Phil Qualy: “These loyal and productive workers — our union brothers and sisters — have been locked out of their life-long jobs through no fault of their own. As fellow middle-class Americans and trade unionists, their plight is our plight and they need and deserve our help.”


Article printed from United Transportation Union: http://utu.org

>>>
SB 1484 - 2/16/2012
>>>
Help stop this bill: Contact Congress - 2/15/2012

Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 10:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: Help stop this bill: Contact Congress

Never underestimate the impact of your communications to Congress.

Combined with the tens of thousands of messages from others, the House
Republican leadership has pulled back a planned vote Feb. 17 on a draconian
transportation bill that would cost jobs, menace transportation safety and
threaten the future of Railroad Retirement.

As phone call, email and fax communications flooded House offices in Washington
– many from UTU members asked to voice their concern -- House Speaker John
Boehner (R-Ohio) delayed at least for another week a vote on H.R. 7, the
misnamed American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act.

Boehner’s fellow Republicans were refusing to get in line with the speaker, 
taking note of voter displeasure with the bill. Separately, President Obama said
he would veto the measure if it reached his desk.

The fight is not over.

“Your contacts with Congress helped make this postponement of a vote necessary,”
said UTU National Legislative Director James Stem. “With Congress in recess next
week, and House members back in their districts taking the voters’ pulse, it is
important you continue to call and email your House representative and renew
your plea that they vote “no” on H.R. 7, the misnamed American Energy and
Infrastructure Jobs Act.”

Here are the facts on how damaging that bill, if passed into law, could be for
UTU members.

* It would facilitate privatization of public transit system by directing more
federal funds to systems that contract out at least 20 percent of the jobs.

* It denies transit systems the flexibility to use federal funds to maintain
service and retain workers during times of economic crisis, as we now are
enduring.

* It eliminates federal minimum wage and overtime requirements for van drivers
that transport rail crews between terminals, meaning these already low-paid and
fatigued drivers would become more of a safety hazard when transporting crews.

* It delays mandatory implementation of positive train control on passenger rail
lines from late 2015 to late 2020.

* It allows freight railroads to implement alternatives to installing of
positive train control, which would provide crews and the public far less
protection.

* It eliminates grants for hazmat train-the-trainer program, which would
dramatically reduce or end training programs at the National Labor College.

* It eliminates capital grants for states seeking to expand and improve Amtrak
service.

* It reduces long-term capital funding for Amtrak, limiting Amtrak’s ability to
upgrade tracks and bridges on the Northeast Corridor.

* It prohibits Amtrak from using specialized outside counsel to recover from
those at fault in Amtrak collisions, likely causing Amtrak to bear full
responsibility for deaths and injuries cause by a non-Amtrak entity – even where
it is clear the other operator was solely responsible for the entire accident.

* It requires Amtrak to contract-out its food and beverage service to the lowest
bidder, threatening 2,000 Amtrak jobs and contributions to Railroad Retirement
by shifting those jobs to non-union low-wage, low-benefits operators.

* It makes permanent a pilot program that allows any passenger rail provider to
bid for any of Amtrak’s routes.

* It prohibits California from using any highway, transit, or passenger rail
funds for development of high-speed rail.

To contact your House member and urge a “no” vote on H.R. 7, the American Energy
and Infrastructure Jobs Act, use the following link:

www.contactingthecongress.org/

Then select your state, click on the name of your representative, and you have
the information needed to send an email or fax, or make a phone call.

Freight rail, Amtrak and transit jobs, safety and Railroad Retirement are at
risk if this bill is passed by the House of Representatives. 

>>>
Classic Corporate Greed - 2/15/2012

Dear John,

A classic tale of corporate greed is unfolding in Ohio, and we need your help to put a stop to it.


In 2008, when Cooper Tire & Rubber Company was losing money, workers at its Findlay, Ohio plant gave up $31 million in pay and benefits to help the company stay afloat.

Thanks to the workers' sacrifices and productivity, Cooper has made more than $300 million in profits since 2009. Cooper paid its executives millions of dollars in bonuses and bought a new corporate jet. What did its employees get? Locked out on Thanksgiving weekend.

Despite soaring profits, Cooper pushed a new contract on its employees with higher healthcare premiums and undisclosed wage terms. Do you think CEOs would accept a contract if they didn't know if they were getting a raise or a pay cut? Not a chance.

Still, Cooper's employees were more than willing to keep working through negotiations to reach a fair deal after their contract expired last fall. But Cooper refused to budge—leaving 1,050 workers out in the cold since November 28.

The workers in Findlay, Ohio are counting on you! Email Cooper Tire NOW! Go to:
http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=3699


Cooper can easily afford to set things straight and still turn a profit. Cooper CEO Roy Armes received $4.7 million in compensation in 2010.3 And the company has purchased a plant in Serbia for $17.3 million!4

Cooper wants to cry broke, but greed—not need—is driving this lockout. As Chico Ramirez, who's logged 25 years with the company, explains, "The thing that bothers us is that we gave them concessions to help them get back on their feet, and they are paying out bonuses instead of paying back the backbone of the company."

Around the country, people are fighting back against corporate greed and standing up for the 99%. Will you stand up and fight for Cooper's workers too?

Tell Cooper Tire that its bullying and greed must end now:
http://act.aflcio.org/c/18/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=3699


Thanks for all that you do for workers everywhere.

In solidarity,

Manny Herrmann
AFL-CIO Working Families e-Activist Network

1. http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/01/02/U-S-senator-drops-in-to-cheer-up-locked-out-Findlay-tire-workers.html
2. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204319004577084441182793280.html
3. http://people.forbes.com/profile/roy-v-armes/22977
4. http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2012/01/19/Cooper-closes-on-deal-to-buy-Serbia-tire-plant.html

 

>>>
Restricted speed: A warning not to be ignored - 2/14/2012

Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax


-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 7:19 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: Restricted speed: A warning not to be ignored

As most railroaders can attest, there are times that procedures and operating
rules set by the FRA or imposed by carriers can be difficult to understand. The
language may seem vague, and the ballast-level application often is left up to
interpretation, which leads to ambiguity and confusion.

Other rules and procedures are crystal clear, but the ballast-level application
depends on an individual’s level of training and professionalism.

With conductor certification, this responsibility has been highlighted and
enhanced, and retaining certification can depend on proper ballast-level
application of operating rules.

This brings us to the proper application of one of the most important and
consistent rules throughout the nation, which was put into place by the FRA to
protect life, limb and property during circumstances that require the utmost
attention to detail and all crew members’ undivided attention: restricted speed.

The foundation of restricted speed for all rail carriers is found at Code of
Federal Regulations, Section 49, Part 236, Subpart G-Definitions § 236.812,
dealing with speed restriction. It requires “A speed that will permit stopping
within one-half the range of vision, but not exceeding 20 miles per hour.”

Many will read that statement and proceed at the limits of that definition -- a
speed of 20 miles per hour -- completely overlooking the true intent of the
regulation.

Restricted speed is not a posted speed that we strive to maintain. It is as
crystal-clear a word that can be used in a procedure: Restricted based on
circumstance --circumstance that only those in the locomotive cab can truly
apply to ensure safe operation.

Is there a train ahead? Broken rail? Faulty signals? The circumstances
surrounding the use of restricted speed may vary, but the importance of
protecting life, limb and property never changes.

In short, restricted speed is a warning that something in front of you has the
ability to get you fired, hurt or killed.

When restricted speed is required, the warning should bring one out of your seat
– make the hair on the back of your neck stand – because that is how dangerous
the situation is at that point.

When speed is restricted, every element of your job should have your undivided
attention, looking for what lies ahead -- moving at a speed that will allow
stopping in an instant when the unknown becomes known.

An in-depth job briefing among crew members is a must, and at times should
include contacting the dispatcher for as much pertinent information as possible.

When speed is restricted, engineers and conductors must insist that each other
drop all other activities, remain vigilant and attentive at the task at hand.

Conductors must be in position to stop the movement immediately should any doubt
arise that the train is not under control using the provided emergency brake
handle on their side of the locomotive.

With conductor certification, you are now held accountable, and it is only
logical that you place the train into emergency 10 times than to gamble with
your life once.

In some cases, we struggle to find examples of others' misfortune to bring to
light our urgency to comply with rules and procedures. Unfortunately, during
2011 there were five serious accidents where, according to the National
Transportation Safety Board, crewmembers “failed to operate their trains at the
required restricted speed.” Two of these accidents resulted in crew fatalities:

* Red Oak, Iowa, April 17, 2011, on BNSF

* Low Moor, Va., May 21, 2011, on CSX

* Mineral Springs, N.C., May 24, 2011, on CSX

* DeWitt, N.Y., July 6, 2011, on CSX

* DeKalb, Ind., Aug. 19, 2011, on Norfolk Southern

Be wise and learn from the mistakes of others who failed to follow rules,
procedures and signal systems that were designed over decades to prevent such
collisions.

The UTU Safety Task Force urges you to operate at a speed that will allow you to
go home to your family in once piece -- never allowing others to set your level
of personal safety.

Fraternally,

UTU Safety Task Force

Greg Hynes

Steve Evans

Jerry Gibson

To read other Rail Safety Alerts from the UTU Rail Safety Task Force, use the
following link:

http://utu.org/safety/utu-rail-safety-task-force/

>>>
Please Forward - 2/12/2012

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax


-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Shearer [rrdave1@aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2012 7:55 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: Please Forward

WASHINGTON -- A little-noted provision in the House Republicans'
controversial energy and transportation bill would strip several
thousand workers within the rail-industry of their federal minimum-wage
and overtime protections, potentially making low-wage jobs pay even
less.

Listed in the bill under the heading "Technical Correction," provision
6602 would exempt several companies who transport rail workers from
their obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the 1938 law that
guarantees basic worker rights. The carveout would allow a handful of
boutique contractors to pay no overtime to their drivers who haul rail
workers between worksites, often driving long distances of 300 miles or
more.

"It's outrageous that House Republicans are trying to take away
overtime protections for a class of workers at the behest of a special
interest," Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) said of the provision in a
statement to HuffPost. "These workers deserve the right to overtime
pay. It's not only a matter of fairness, but also a matter of public
safety."

Earnings for rail-crew drivers often work out to little more than
minimum wage, and many drivers must remain on-call for long stretches.
Miller and others worry that by depressing wages further, the quality
of the work -- and, hence, roadway safety -- could decline. Miller is
expected to offer an amendment to the bill this week that would
maintain the labor protections for rail drivers.

The House's transportation committee, which is chaired by Rep. John
Mica (R-Fla.) and approved the bill, did not return a request for
comment from The Huffington Post. Officials at several of the companies
that could potentially benefit from the change -- including
Professional Transportation, Inc., RailCrew Express and Coach America
-- also did not respond to requests for comment.

Jim Stem, legislative director at the United Transportation Union, said
he just recently became aware of the provision's implications, given
that the bill would merely tweak a few words in existing law. He called
the provision a giveway to contractors in the rail industry. According
to Stem, many of the rail drivers already earn low wages and work long
hours; the loss of overtime, he said, would have an immediate effect on
their paychecks.

"It amuses me when [House Speaker] John Boehner says there are no
earmarks in there," Stem said of the bill. "This is an earmark for a
handful of wealthy people who own these companies. This is a windfall."

It isn't merely Democrats who are angered by the transportation plan
put forth by House Republicans. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood,
who was a Republican congressman before taking the helm at the
department, last week declared it "the worst transportation bill I've
ever seen during 35 years of public service," saying it "hollows out"
the department's top priority of safety and "guts" the administration's
transportation efforts of the last three years.

"This is the most partisan transportation bill that I have ever seen,"
LaHood told Politico.

The $260 billion, five-year bill calls for more highways and toll roads
to be paid for with offshore drilling. In addition to cutting funding
for bike and pedestrian projects, the bill would slash subsidies for
Amtrak by 25 percent; privatize food and drink vending on Amtrak trains
while guaranteeing such sales with taxpayer money; and substantially
increase the size of trucks allowed on roadways, a potential boon for
the trucking industry but a change that's opposed by environmental
groups.


Dave Shearer, VLC
UTU Local 807
RRDave1@aol.com
(520) 661-9331 - Cell
(520) 622-6902 - Off

>>>
Great Lakes Airlines pilots need our help - 2/12/2012

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2012 2:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: Great Lakes Airlines pilots need our help

By RICK JOHNSON
Colorado State Legislative Director

Safety is job number one for UTU-represented pilots employed by Great Lakes
Airlines.

Yet their current contract with the carrier is substandard in terms of working
conditions and wages that daily puts pressure on their ability to fly passengers
safely.

The image of airline pilots earning high wages and access to company-paid
top-flight hotel rooms does not apply to our Great Lakes brothers and sisters.

Under the current contract with Great Lakes Airlines, pilots are the lowest paid
of any scheduled passenger airline in the United States.

On Great Lakes Airlines, a first officer can expect to make less than $15,000 in
the first year. These pilots are professionals with extensive training and
expertise, and some of them are paid less than entry-level retail and food
service jobs.

Imagine a pilot on food stamps, or having to sleep in passenger lounges in
airports. Don’t imagine. Just ask a Great Lakes pilot.

Their UTU Local 40 has been in negotiations with Great Lakes management for more
than two years, with negotiations locked-down in difficult mediation under
provisions of the Railway Labor Act, which also applies to airline workers.

Local 40 flight attendants, also represented by the UTU, recently ratified a new
agreement, but negotiations dragged for – yes – 10 years! The pilots are hoping
to reach an equitable settlement with Great Lakes Airlines more quickly.

In a recent poll of pilots, 97 percent supported a job action, but that is not
possible until the National Mediation Board releases the parties from mediation.

Based in Cheyenne, Wyo., and with hubs in Albuquerque, N.M.; Denver; Los
Angeles, Minneapolis and Phoenix, Great Lakes Airlines serves 48 of its
destinations through federal subsidies provided by the congressionally created
Essential Air Service program. The airline is the nation’s largest provider of
Essential Air Service.

The pilots fly 30-passenger Embraer and 19-passenger Beechcraft aircraft.

UTU members can help their brothers and sisters at Great Lakes Airlines by
contacting city council members in the cities Great Lakes serves, and by
contacting members of Congress.

The message is straight forward: For the safety of the flying public, pilots on
Great Lakes Airlines deserve a contract that provides for a livable wage and
appropriate accommodations at layover points to ensure they receive undisturbed
rest.

To contact your congressional lawmaker on behalf of our brothers and sisters at
Great Lakes Airlines, use the following link:

www.contactingthecongress.org/

Then select your state, click on the names of your senators and representative,
and you have the information needed to send an email or fax, or make a phone
call.

>>>
FRA amends conductor certification rule - 2/9/2012

Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2012 7:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: FRA amends conductor certification rule

WASHINGTON – Responding to petitions for reconsideration to its Nov. 9, 2011,
final rule on conductor certification, the FRA has delayed for six months the
testing implementation dates and clarified other mandates affecting territorial
qualifications and the definition of hostlers.

The FRA, in a Feb. 8 Federal Register notice, said that because its final rule
was published Nov. 9, 2011, six months later than contemplated, carriers were
not permitted sufficient time to formulate training programs and have them
approved by the FRA in time for testing to begin March 1, 2012.

Therefore:

* By Sept. 1, 2012 (rather than March 1, 2012), each railroad (other than Class
III) shall designate as "certified conductors" all persons authorized by the
railroad to perform the duties of a conductor as of Jan. 1, 2012; and issue them
certificates of certification.

* Class I and Class II (regional) railroads, Amtrak and railroads providing
commuter services, will have until Sept. 30, 2012, to submit to the FRA for
approval their programs for training, testing and evaluation. Class III
(shortlines, switching and terminal) railroads will have until Jan. 31, 2013 to
do so. The programs submitted by railroads will require collaboration with UTU
general chairpersons.

* After Sept. 1, 2012, each railroad (other than Class III) shall designate as a
"certified conductor" those authorized by the railroad to perform the duties of
a conductor subsequent to Jan. 1, 2012, upon successful completion of testing,
training and evaluation.

* After Dec. 1, no Class I or Class II railroad, Amtrak or railroad providing
commuter service shall initially certify or recertify a conductor unless that
conductor has been tested and evaluated. For Class III railroads, that date is
April 1, 2013.

* No later than March 31 of each year (beginning in calendar year 2014), all
railroads other than Class III railroads, shall conduct a formal annual review
and analysis concerning the administration of its program for responding to
detected instances of poor safety conduct by "certified conductors" during the
prior calendar year.

* If a conductor lacks territorial qualifications on main track physical
characteristics, that conductor shall be assisted by a person who meets the
territorial qualification requirements.

* For a conductor who has never been qualified on main track physical
characteristics of the territory over which the conductor is to serve, the
assistant shall be a "certified conductor" who is not an assigned crew member.

* For a conductor who was previously qualified on main line physical
characteristics of the territory over which the conductor is to serve, but whose
qualification has expired for one year or less. and who regularly traversed the
territory prior to the expiration of the qualification, the assistant may be any
person, including an assigned crew member, who meets the territorial
qualification requirements for main track physical characteristics.

* For a conductor who previously qualified on main track physical
characteristics of the territory over which the conductor is to serve, and whose
qualification has been expired for one year or less, but who has not regularly
traversed the territory prior to the expiration of the qualification, or a
conductor whose territorial qualification on main track has been expired for
more than a year, the assistant may be any person, including the assigned
crewmember other than the locomotive engineer, so long as the serving assistant
would not conflict with that crewmember’s other safety sensitive duties and who
meets the territorial qualification requirements for main track physical
characteristics.

* As for qualification, and since territories differ in their complexity,
railroads will be given discretion to determine how many times a conductor must
pass over a territory to be considered to have regularly traversed a territory.

* Each of these territorial qualification issues will be included in each
railroad’s plan filed with the FRA and will contain the input from general
chairpersons.

Hostler Type Assignments Not Covered

* A person who moves a locomotive or a group of locomotives within the confines
of a locomotive repair or servicing area -- or moves a locomotive or group of
locomotives for distances of less than 100 feet, and this incidental movement of
a locomotive or locomotives is for inspection or maintenance purposes -- is not
subject to conductor certification requirements.

Theproposed new minimum training standards for those in in safety sensitive
positions, announced by the FRA in aFeb. 7 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (see
link, below), will also apply to conductor certification training programs.
"With many thousands of new employee coming on board in the near future, the new
training standards will help provide adequate training," said UTU National
Legislative Director James Stem.

Use the following link to read the changes to conductor certification as
published Feb. 8 in the Federal Register:

http://utu.org/2012/02/10/fra-amends-conductor-certification-rule/

Use the following link to read the proposed new minimum training standards for
those in safety sensitive positions (that will also apply to conductor
certification training):

http://utu.org/2012/02/08/fra-proposes-new-minimum-training-standards/ 

>>>
Unemployment Insurance on the Chopping Block - 2/8/2012

  

OUTRAGE

Tea Party legislators are trying to punish and humiliate people who are out of work—they’re even threatening to take away unemployment insurance from some people completely.

If you think Congress should be focusing on jobs instead of punishing and even humiliating people who are out of work through no fault of their own, take action now.

Facebook   Twitter

   

Dear John,

Unemployment insurance as we know it is on the chopping block.

Tea Party Republicans are leading the charge to reduce coverage and throw up barriers to benefits like GED requirements. And they’re even threatening to force people who are jobless—through no fault of their own—to endure humiliating drug tests just to get survival aid.

Tell Congress: It’s time to pass a clean, yearlong extension of unemployment aid now.

It’s great news that the economy added jobs last month. But for working America, the economy still is in the gutter. We’re climbing out of a deep, deep hole. Unemployment remains sky high, and it’s projected to stay there through the next year and beyond.

But Tea Party politicians are holding America’s jobless hostage to their extremist agenda.

Urge Congress to act now to extend unemployment benefits for a full year—with no strings attached, no barriers to benefits and no brutal humiliation.

We have to force Congress to renew unemployment insurance benefits again—and this time, the stakes are higher than ever before. Tea Party politicians are pushing plans to:

  • Slash federal unemployment funding by more than half in the states with the highest unemployment.
     
  • Let states whose governments have been taken over by the Tea Party divert premium money away from unemployment insurance as we know it—and use it to experiment with right-wing social engineering programs (like “workfare,” where people are forced to work for free to get unemployment benefits.)
     
  • Mandate drug-testing requirements. Politicians are ready to humiliate people who are out of work—by making them urinate in a cup to get benefits they paid for and are entitled to.
     
  • Make jobless workers pay for their re-employment services. People who are out of work through no fault of their own and have paid into the system aren’t asking for a handout—but a helping hand. Now, the radical lawmakers want to make them pay for the privilege.
     
  • Deny benefits to people who never got their high school diploma—they’d have unemployment insurance taken out of their paycheck, but would get nothing should they lose their job. Shame!
     
  • Cut federal employee pensions—or freeze wages for yet another year. Federal workers already have done more than their fair share to balance the budget—while the richest 1% of Americans have been asked to do absolutely nothing.

Outraged? You aren’t alone. Demand Congress extend unemployment insurance for a full year—with no barriers, no strings attached and no brutal humiliation.

Let’s make this happen.

In Solidarity,

Manny Herrmann
Online Mobilization Coordinator, AFL-CIO


To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at www.aflcio.org.

>>>
FRA Proposes Rule Establishing Training Standards for Railroad Employees - 2/7/2012

FRA Proposes Rule Establishing Training Standards for Railroad Employees


DOT Logo

U.S.Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.
www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm

News

 


FRA 3-12

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Contact: Rob Kulat

Tel.: 202-493-6024

 

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a proposal to require railroads to train and qualify employees in safety-related positions on federal railroad safety laws, regulations and orders.


“Safety is our highest priority and we will continue to work to create a safer operating environment for employees, passengers and communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We have made dramatic progress in improving safety, but there is always more we can do to reduce incidents.”


The proposed rule would require each railroad or contractor with safety-related railroad employees to develop a training program designating the qualifications of each employee and them submit that program for Federal Railroad Administration approval. Employers would conduct periodic oversight of their own employees to determine compliance and conduct annual written reviews of their training programs to close performance gaps. The proposed rule is a requirement of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.


“Well-designed training programs have the potential to further reduce risk in the railroad environment,” said Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo. “We believe that better training can reduce the number of accidents, particularly those caused by human factors, which account for the vast majority of reportable accidents each year.”


Under the Federal Railroad Administration Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), training would apply to relevant railroad rules and procedures used to implement those federal railroad safety laws.


The NRPM was developed with the input from officials in numerous federal and state government agencies, industry, and labor. The NPRM is available at http://www.fra.dot.gov/rcc/pages/fp_321.shtml.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

>>>
NMB vote-change rule survives in new FAA bill - 2/7/2012

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Monday, February 06, 2012 11:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: NMB vote-change rule survives in new FAA bill

WASHINGTON – The House and Senate agreed Feb. 6 on legislation authorizing
increased future funding for new air traffic control technology and the
Essential Air Service subsidy program to rural airports as part of a
reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration..

Lawmakers voted to scrap an attempt by House Republicans to overturn a 2011
National Mediation Board (NMB) ruling making organizing under the Railway Labor
Act comport with rules of all other elections in the U.S.  President Obama says
he will sign the bill into law.

The UTU's National Legislative Office visited dozens of House and Senate members
over the past few weeks explaining how the NMB rule change assures democratic
elections and should not be overturned as House Republicans sought. "The
congressional decision to allow that rule to stand was an important victory for
workers covered under the Railway Labor Act," said UTU National Legislative
Director James Stem.

The NMB last year -- with support from the UTU -- revised its rule on
representation elections, providing that in all representation elections under
the Railway Labor Act (which also covers airline employees), only ballots from
those actually voting would be counted. Previously, those not voting were
considered to have voted “no” for representation. In changing its outdated
75-year-old representation election rule, the NMB said no other elections in the
United States count those not voting as having voted 'no.'

However, the legislation does make a new change in NMB representation rules by
requiring 50 percent of eligible employees sign an authorization card (rather
than 35 percent) before a representation election may be held. The UTU has long
required more than 50 percent before seeking a representation election on
railroad and airline properties it seeks to organize.

The legislation also requires public hearings for future NMB rulemakings, and
requires Government Accountability Office audits of the NMB every two years.

While continuing the Essential Air Service subsidy program for rural airports,
the legislation does cut service to some rural airports, but not those served by
Great Lakes Airlines, whose crews are represented by the UTU.

The legislation provides some $13 billion for airport improvements and $38
billion for Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control operations.

>>>
Goldwater Institute's power grab in Arizona - 2/3/2012

The Arizona Democratic Party

 

 

This past Wednesday, the Tea Party Republicans in the state Senate fast-tracked an all out assault on the middle class and working families.   A series of bills were introduced that completely ban collective bargaining and essentially eliminate the rights of workers to organize. These bills were introduced late in the night, and were passed by committee less than 48 hours later – hardly enough time to vet bills that decimate public unions.

These bills attack our most valuable public safety workers – police and firefighters.  They ban the right for teachers to collectively organize to solve our most pressing issues in our schools.

Click here to send a message that the assault on Arizona working class families and public safety workers has gone too far.

These heavy-handed bills were crafted by a conservative think tank, the Goldwater Institute - and that organization is already proudly touting these bills as ‘tougher than Wisconsin’s.’  The Goldwater Institute is funded by secret special interests and conservative donors like the Koch brothers.

We know the extreme policies crafted by Tea Party Republicans, and their organizations, do not represent the real Arizona. 

Arizona is a mainstream state.  We value the hard work and dedication of our public employees and our great state will not stand for this undue influence from extreme politicians and outside special interests.  Let’s focus on jobs, growing our economy, and putting Arizona families back to work.

Please contribute $10, 25, or $100 to help send a message to tone deaf Republicans.

Yours in the fight,

Luis Heredia
Executive Director
Arizona Democratic Party

 

Tell a Friend

Get Involved

Contribute

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Today In Washington - 2/3/2012

Today In Washington

http://ad.doubleclick.net/N4218/ad/CQ/;dcove=r;email=dailybriefing;pos=top;tile=1;sz=300x250;ord=1234567890?

THE HOUSE: Convened at 9 and has just finished for the week, after voting 248-169 for the final compromise on a long-overdue update of aviation programs. (The Senate will send Obama the bill next week.) The measure, authorizing $63.4 billion for the Federal Aviation Administration in the next four years, would slightly ease the path to unionization of airline and railroad workers, allow 16 more long-distance flights every day at Reagan National, accelerate implementation of the high-tech revamp of the air traffic control system known as NextGen and prohibit new subsidies on unprofitable routes. The FAA has existed on a series of stopgap measures since September 2007.

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
UTU member killed in Ind. rail accident - 2/3/2012

UTU member killed in Ind. rail accident

February 3, 2012

GARY, Ind. – Michael M. Shoemaker, 55, a conductor and member of UTU Local 1383 was killed Jan. 30 in a switching accident on at U.S. Steel’s Gary Works here. Reports are that he was wedged between two freight cars.

Shoemaker, or Hobart, Ind., was an 10-year employee, of Gary Railway, which is owned by U.S. Steel.

Reports indicate he was working as a foreman in a three-person conventional switching operation when the car he was riding “impacted the side of the standing equipment that the crew had placed” on an adjacent track, pinning him.

The accident is being investigated by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Shoemaker is the first UTU member to be killed in a rail accident in 2012. In 2011, there were 10 rail fatalities among UTU members; and 12 in 2010.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Our petition to the Legislature - 2/3/2012
>>>
House committee kills killer truck effort - 2/3/2012


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 02, 2012 11:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: House committee kills killer truck effort

WASHINGTON – UTU members can make a difference in Congress, and your emails and
phone calls --as requested by the UTU International -- helped derail an attempt
by House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.)
to permit longer and heavier killer trucks on more of the nation’s highways.

The enabling provision – to permit extended use of triple trailers and trucks
weighing almost 100,000 pounds -- was pulled from a proposed highway funding
bill by committee members following significant public opposition made known to
members of Congress.

Instead, the committee voted to delay consideration of the provision for three
years so as to properly study the impact of longer and heavier trucks, which
includes the shifting of freight from rails to the highway.

The Association of American Railroads, citing a study out of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, estimated that extending, nationwide, current limited
use of longer and heavier trucks would reduce rail traffic by 19 percent and put
almost eight million more trucks on the road.

“Before we put the public safety at risk, we should do the study and make an
informed decision,” said Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.).

The Senate previously voted for a study on the issue.

>>>
A victory for now - 2/3/2012

A victory….for now.

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

To:    State Legislative Directors 

From:  James Stem and John Risch

 

The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee just voted on an amendment sponsored by  Barletta-Costello to strike most of the bad truck size and weight  language and replace with a study.  The amendment passed 33-22.

  

The 4 missing members (Landry, DeFazio, Sires, Filner) likely would have voted with us as well, so this is a decisive win in Committee and much of the credit goes to the efforts you made at the state level.

 

There may very well be another vote on House floor later this month, but this is a good start. 

 

 

304 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE                                        

Washington, DC   20003-1147

   (202) 543-7714

      Fax (202) 544-3024

            stem@utu.org

            risch@utu.org

 

 

Member

Vote

Mica, John

N

Rahall, Nick

Y

Altmire, Jason

Y

Barletta, Lou

Y

Bishop, Timothy

Y

Boswell, Leonard

Y

Brown, Corrine

Y

Bucshon, Larry

Y

Capito, Shelley

N

Capuano, Michael

Y

Carnahan, Russ

Y

Coble, Howard

N

Cohen, Steve

Y

Costello, Jerry

Y

Cravaack, Chip

N

Crawford, Rick

N

Cummings, Elijah

Y

DeFazio, Peter

---

Denham, Jeff

Y

Duncan, John

Y

Edwards, Donna

Y

Farenthold, Blake

Y

Filner, Bob

---

Fleischmann, Chuck

N

Gibbs, Bob

N

Graves, Sam

Y

Guinta, Frank

N

Hanna, Richard

N

Harris, Andy

Y

Herrera Beutler, Jaime

N

Hirono, Mazie

Y

Holden, Tim

Y

Hultgren, Randy

Y

Hunter, Duncan

N

Johnson, Eddie Bernice

Y

Johnson, Timothy

Y

Landry, Jeff

---

Lankford, James

N

Larsen, Rick

Y

Lipinski, Daniel

Y

LoBiondo, Frank

N

Long, Billy

N

Meehan, Patrick

Y

Michaud, Michael

N

Miller, Candice

Y

Miller, Gary

Y

Nadler, Jerrold

Y

Napolitano, Grace

Y

Norton, Eleanor

Y

Petri, Tom

N

Ribble, Reid

N

Richardson, Laura

Y

Schmidt, Jean

N

Shuler, Heath

Y

Shuster, Bill

N

Sires, Albio

---

Southerland, Steve

N

Walz, Tim

N

Young, Don

N

>>>
What have Unions ever really done for us? - 2/3/2012

A very good video.

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iObqguaNDdA 

>>>
Wisconsin-style attacks in Arizona - 2/2/2012

Dear John,

  

Can you also take a moment to share on Facebook and Twitter? Thanks.

Facebook   Twitter

   

It was almost a year ago that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and their political allies launched an all-out assault on firefighters, nurses, teachers and other public service workers.

Now, extreme Arizona lawmakers are pushing a package of bills that are even worse—they would take away all collective bargaining rights from public workers.

These bills are moving quickly—they passed out of committee yesterday and are expected to be debated in the full Senate next week.

Click here now to tell your lawmakers to oppose these bills and stand up for the hard-working firefighters, teachers and nurses who keep our communities safe and strong.

Corporate politicians are pushing these bills to scapegoat working families and fulfill their extreme, right-wing agenda—to the detriment of our schools and the health and safety of our communities.

These bills are not about the budget and they’re not about jobs. They’re about satisfying deep-pocketed donors and right-wing organizations like the Goldwater Institute and the American Legislative Exchange Council to further their political agenda to help the 1%.

Click here to send a strong message to our lawmakers that instead of attacking public service workers, we must focus on what’s best for all of us.

We need to tackle tough problems by sitting down together, not engaging in political games. Together, we can stand up to this corporate-funded assault and protect firefighters, police officers, teachers, nurses and other public service workers who keep our communities safe and strong.

In Solidarity,

Rebekah Friend
Secretary-Treasurer/Executive Director, Arizona AFL-CIO

P.S. Even if you have already e-mailed your lawmakers, please do so again. Click here now to take action.


To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at www.aflcio.org.

>>>
BNSF plans $3.9 billion capital program in 2012 - 2/2/2012

BNSF plans $3.9 billion capital program in 2012

PDF

Print

E-mail

 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

 

BNSF plans a 2012 capital commitment program of approximately $3.9 billion, a $400 million increase over its 2011 capital spend of $3.5 billion.

The largest component of the capital plan is spending $2.1 billion on BNSF's core network and related assets. BNSF also plans to spend approximately $1.1 billion on locomotive, freight car and other equipment acquisitions. The program also includes about $300 million for federally mandated positive train control (PTC) and $400 million for terminal, line and intermodal expansion and efficiency projects. BNSF's expansion and efficiency projects will be primarily focused on coal routes to improve velocity and throughput capacity and the new intermodal facility at Kansas City.

"Investment in BNSF's rail freight infrastructure is an investment in American jobs and competitiveness. It will ensure our infrastructure remains strong and improve the efficiency of our operations," said Matthew K. Rose, BNSF chairman and chief executive officer. "BNSF remains committed to making the necessary investments to maintain and grow the value of our franchise's capacity to meet customers' needs and to provide the nation's supply chain with more efficient freight transportation."

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Recall referendum likely in Indiana - 2/2/2012


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax


-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 11:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: Recall referendum likely in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed into law right-to-work (for less)
legislation in Indiana that prohibits union-shop agreements and prohibits union
contracts that require those who decline to join a union from paying any fees
for representation – essentially encouraging free riders and severely damaging
the financial ability of unions to serve members.

Contracts covered by the Railway Labor Act are not affected; but union contracts
covering bus and local transit workers are.

Indiana becomes the first manufacturing state in the Midwest to have such a law,
which is more common in the South. Twenty-three states have right-to-work (for
less) legislation.

The Indiana AFL-CIO said, in a statement, that the Republican majority in
Indiana has “set our state upon a path that will lead to lower wages for all
working Hoosiers, less safety at work, and less dignity and security in old age
or ill health. Sadly, the passage of this bill not only means that workers’
rights and ability to collectively bargain will be significantly weakened, it
means that strong arm tactics, misinformation and big money have won at the
Indiana Statehouse.”

Anti-union legislation signed into law by Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich last
year was repealed in a voter referendum supported by the UTU Collective
Bargaining Defense Fund and union members throughout Ohio. That law sought to
restrict collective bargaining rights.

In Wisconsin, there was a successful recall of two senators who supported
legislation to curtail collective bargaining rights, and a recall of Gov. Scott
Walker, an architect of the legislation, is underway.

It is expected that a voter referendum will be launched in Indiana to repeal the
right-to-work (for less) law, and the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund
will participate in that effort.

To learn more about the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund, click on the
following link:

http://utu.org/utu-collective-bargaining-defense-fund-2/

>>>
Brewer, AZ GOP's Next Fight Against Unions - 2/1/2012

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

 

From: RRDave1@aol.com
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 23:18:08 -0500
Subject: Brewer, AZ GOP's Next Fight Against Unions
To: greg.hynes@cox.net


Jan Brewer, Arizona GOP Prepared To Spearhead Next Fight Against Unions

The fight over union rights may be headed to a new battleground in Arizona, as the state's Republican legislature and Gov. Jan Brewer (R) are gearing up to push a full slate of anti-union legislation targeting public workers.
Brahm Resnik of the Arizona Republic writes that the package of legislation is more extensive than similar efforts in Wisconsin, which last year ground the Badger State's legislature to a halt and eventually spurred a highly popular recall election drive against its Republican governor, Scott Walker, and other state lawmakers.
Resnik provides the details on what the Arizona proposals are intended to do:

--Make it illegal for government bodies to collectively bargain with employee groups. Public safety unions would be included in the ban. --End the practice of automatic payroll deductions for union dues.
--Ban compensation of public employees for union work.


Brewer has also announced plans to strip civil-service protections for state employees, making it easier to fire public workers.
"Our current system would not be tolerated by any business in this country," she told the American Legislative Exchange Council at a policy conference in December. "It's much better if we have an employment process and policies that works more like the private sector so that you get rewarded if you're a good worker. The way that it is today, you don't get rewarded. There's no incentive."

Brewer has reportedly been pursuing the measure since mid-2011, when she asked legislators to take up her proposal, but submitted her request too close to the end of the legislative session.

The package of bills is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Government Reform Committee, Resnik reports.
Arizona is no stranger to legislative conflict. In 2010, the state pioneered a controversial immigration enforcement law, Senate Bill 1070, which has sparked countless legal challenges and civil disputes. The legislation, which has since been followed by similar measures in a number of other states, will be heard by the Supreme Court later this year.
Russell Pearce, who, as Arizona State Senate president helped draw up the blueprints for SB 1070, was ousted by a Republican challenger last year in a recall election. The group behind that successful effort has since announced that it is looking into potentially mounting a similar campaign against Brewer.
With the potential culmination of conflicts over both union rights and immigration enforcement -- two of the most controversial issues at play on the state level -- Arizona could well become ground zero for the conservative agenda, as well as the focus for the inevitable pushback from those who oppose the measures.
Jan Brewer, Arizona GOP Prepared To Spearhead Next Fight Against Unions

>>>
Fact vs. Fiction Using Automatic Air Brakes - 2/1/2012
>>>
Anti Union Bills on the Agenda - 1/31/2012

  

Government Reform Committee Agenda

 February 1, 2012

9 AM

Senate Room 3

 

   

John,

 

Well, here we go again.  The Republicans in the Legislature have decided to go after Union workers again.  Instead of focusing on the creation of jobs and improving education for our children, they have decided you have no right to a collective voice. At this time we do not have the court’s decision on the last round of anti-worker bills they attempted to put into law last session, but the Goldwater Institute has called on their “friends” at the Legislature to try and make sure your freedom to belong to a Union is tied up in endless regulations and restrictions. Why does the Goldwater Institute want your rights compromised?

SB 1484   Paycheck Deductions

SB 1485  Unions; Public Employees; Prohibitions

SB 1486  Public Employees; Activities; Unions; Compensation

SB 1487  Government Employees; Union Dues; Withholding

These bills are on the agenda for the Senate Government Reform Committee Wednesday, 2/1/12 at 9am, in Senate Room 3.  Please e-mail and call the following committee members to let them know you want a NO vote on these bills.  Ask them to focus on the agenda of the voters of Arizona.  Tell them we need jobs in Arizona and not restrictions on workers.

Government Reform Committee:

 

Chairman Rick Murphy: (602) 926-4444  rmurphy@azleg.gov 

Vice Chairman:  Lori Klein: (602) 926-5284 lklein@azleg.gov

GOP: 

Frank Antenori:  (602) 926-5683 fantenori@azleg.gov

Judy Burges: (602) 926-5861 jburges@azleg.gov

Steve Smith: (602) 926- 5685   stevesmith@azleg.gov

Dem:

Steve Gallardo:  (602) 926-5830   sgallardo@azleg.gov

David Lujan: (602)926- 5829 dlujan@azleg.gov

 

 

In Solidarity.

 

Rebekah Friend

Executive Director

>>>
Union Membership - 1/30/2012


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Shearer [rrdave1@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2012 1:05 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: Union Membership

By Eve Tahmincioglu

The downhill slide in U.S. union membership has stalled.

After steep declines since 2008, the unionization rate leveled off last
year, pointing to what is either a number that just can’t go any lower,
a lull in yet more union membership hemorrhaging, or the beginning of a
labor turnaround.

Union membership plummeted by nearly 1.4 million workers between 2008
and 2010, but “hit a plateau in 2011,” according to the Center for
Economic Policy Research, an economic think tank that reviewed data
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The private sector led the way with a union membership increase of
110,000 employees, while the public sector saw a 61,000 decline, mainly
due to government cutbacks.

The data shows a stabilization following years of unionization
declines, but could it be the early signs of a union renaissance?

“No, not yet,” surmised John Budd, a professor of work and
organizations at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of
Management and director of the Center for Human Resources and Labor
Studies.

“We’ve reached a core group that doesn’t have much left to shrink,” he
said, about traditional unionized workers in industries such as auto,
airlines, and healthcare. On the other hand, he added, it could be a
sign “people are turning to unionization again.”

The growing perception among many that economic inequities are rampant
could fuel a rethinking of the role unions can play, he maintained.
“That’s something that unions fight for, equality and economic
fairness,” he said. “In terms of workers getting frustrated and unions
turning the corner as a result, the signs of that potential have been
around for a number of years now.”

A positive sign, he noted, is that in a political environment that has
vilified organized labor and has spawned movements to hamper organizing
rights in states such as Minnesota and Wisconsin, membership numbers
have stabilized.

Others aren’t as hopeful.

Gary Chaison, professor of Industrial Relations at Clark University’s
Graduate School of Management, believes the worst is yet to come.
“There will be greater layoffs in the public sector as cities and
states have to lay off workers to narrow the budget shortfalls caused
by excessive pension obligations,” he said. “And as the economy stalls,
perhaps the result of continuing high employment and low consumer
confidence, or the banking crisis in Europe, employers in manufacturing
will be reluctant to add to their workforces.”

Here are some details of the CEPR report:
  •The largest net increases in unionization came from health care and
social assistance; construction; and durable goods manufacturing.
  •The biggest declines came from professional and business services;
utilities; and non-durable manufactured goods.
  •Florida saw the biggest gains in union members in 2011; followed by
Michigan Colorado, Illinois and Missouri.
•New York, the most heavily unionized state, saw the sharpest drop,
followed by California.

Overall, women represented the biggest increase in union membership
with an increase of 36,000 female members, compared to about 12,000
men.

“I don't think that men or woman have a greater natural propensity to
join unions, but it's all about industry,” Chaison said. “Apparently
there have been fewer job losses or health care occupations or service
occupations -- hotels and restaurants -- dominated by women.” 

>>>
BIG VERDICT AGAINST BNSF THIS WEEK IN FT. WORTH - 1/30/2012

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Volesky [mrvolesky@gmail.com]


BIG VERDICT AGAINST BNSF THIS WEEK IN FT. WORTH

Mr. Anthony Petru and I tried a case against BNSF for a lady who hurt
her back in
a slack action case.  The engineer on the job slammed on the engine brakes
hard
while leaving the throttle in number 4 position on 2 occasions while
the young lady
was on the side of a car due a set out move.  The engineer had a bad
reputation
with the railroad and had seven discipline events in 10 years, including one
for
threatening to shoot a trainmaster.  The railroad argued that the
engineer acted
intentionally to hurt the lady because he was mad at her.  Intentional acts
of a
co-worker generally do not make the company liable. However, the BNSF
argued the
engineer's conduct was not negligent.

After a two week trial the jury found on January 24, 2012 that the
BNSF was negligent
and awarded the injured worker over 2.7 million. The jury awarded over a
million
in wage loss and over a million in pain and suffering and mental anguish.
The
amount for pain and suffering was unusual as juries quite often don't award
much
for this category. Clearly the jury was mad at the BNSF for failing
to admit the
engineer was negligent.

The accident happened in Seligman, Arizona but was filed in Texas as the
injured
worker lived in Texas.  Mr. Petru is Designated Legal Counsel located
in Oakland,
California who did a fine job for his client.  It is unknown at this time if
the
BNSF will appeal the decision.

This is a victory for the working men and women on the railroad and
serves notice
that juries are typically not sympathetic to any person or company that will
not
accept responsibility for its conduct. We were excited to be a part
of the victory!

If you would like to read more about the case check out Worker Victory
[http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=hkc5xpeab&et=1109166562587&s=2030&e=001lNXqiX
y9gpTvvaE9yGIM8xaTR0WohoM8fJOEEWzcjTPDsRU24aaIeeXNca9p6eo-ZOAVRBNhtyA1YS4g-v
xrLQUUVb3j7llme7G62MhYajeTQWty_BUu383Gcnxg7LP0fv54bjXdXzg=].
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~

MEDICAL INSURANCE
Dear Michael,
As we reported last month there are some changes coming to the health
and welfare
medical insurance for active railroad workers covered under GA 23000.
The changes
for UTU members went into effect January 1, 2012 and the changes for
BLET members
will probably be phased in beginning July 1, 2012.  You can go to our
web page and
check out the changes.
However this is truly one of the Cadillac policies in America today.
It has so many
nice benefits that other plans do not have.  For example, if an employee is
hurt
on the job or off the job and/or just gets sick, the employee has full
coverage
under the plan for the year of the injury or illness plus two more.
For example,
if one has a car wreck and is badly injured in August 2011, he/she
will have full
coverage under GA 23000 for 2011, 2012 and through 2013 and all dependents
will
coverage for one year less, i.e. through December 31, 2012.

Additionally, if in the year of the injury or illness the employee has
worked enough
to earn a vacation for the next year and vacation pay is received the
next year,
an additional year of coverage is added.  For example, if the injured person
had
earned a vacation for 2012 at the time of injury in 2011 and vacation
pay is received
in 2012, the employee would have coverage for 2011, 2012, 2013 and
through December
31, 2014.  All dependents would have coverage through 2013.  During this
period,
the employee does not pay the monthly $200.00 premium.

The employee must keep United Health Care informed of the fact that
he/she is off
work and under the care of a doctor during this period of time, by
routinely submitted
a UHC proof of disability form.  The form is completed by the treating
doctor and
faxed to UHC on a regular basis indicating the employee is unable to
work. The form
is available on our web site in the library.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~

WRONGFUL DISCHARGE

One of the issues that comes up everyday is whether an employee
disciplined by the
railroad can sue the railroad because of the discipline.  For example,
if an employee
is disciplined for allegedly drinking at work, or laying off too much, or
making
some kind of sexual slur, can the employee sue the railroad?
The answer is generally no.  Railroad disciplinary matters are
governed by a Federal
Law, called the Railway Labor Act. Under this law the recourse for
most discipline
cases is arbitration as provided for under the Act and pursuant to the
labor agreements
negotiated pursuant to the Act.   For example, if an employee is discharged
for
laying off too much, the remedy for the discharge is to appeal the
discipline to
arbitration.  There is no viable lawsuit for wrongful discharge or any
similar
cause of action.

Thus under the Act the aggrieved employee must take his/her case to
arbitration
and live or die by how the arbitrator rules. Further the decision of
the arbitrator
is final and binding and thus there is no further appeal after the decision,
nor
is there any real chance of changing the decision by filing a lawsuit.

There are rare exceptions to this rule, such as disability
discrimination, but they
are rare and costly.  Thus, if one is faced with a disciplinary issue,
remember
that the case is going to rise or fall with arbitration under the Railway
Labor
Act and not in the courthouse.  Finally, remember the arbitrator is
generally restricted
to evidence adduced the the investigation, so helpful evidence must be
admitted
or it will not be considered.  Check out our lecture series on
investigation procedure
entitled NO RULES
[http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=hkc5xpeab&et=1109166562587&s=2030&e=001lNXqiX
y9gpTvvaE9yGIM8xaTR0WohoM8fJOEEWzcjTPDsRU24aaIeeXNca9p6eo-ZOAVRBNhtyA1YS4g-v
xrLQUUVb3j7llme7G62MhYajeTQWty_BUu383Gcnxg7LP0fv54bjXdXzg=]
which shows how to get ANY evidence to the arbitrator.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~

THE COMPANY DOCTOR
When can the railroad make me see the company doctor?  It is well known that
an
employee who is injured at work does not have to see the company
doctor in connection
with the treatment and care of his/her injuries.  In fact, it is now a
violation
of Federal Law for a railroad to interfere with the medical treatment
of an employee
who is injured at work.
However, the railroad as an employer does have the right to have an
employee examined
by a doctor of its choosing when the employees physical or mental
condition becomes
a safety issue.  For example, if an employee has a bad knee and is
limping at work
to the extent that he/she might not be able to safely get on or off
equipment or
walk on ballast, then the railroad would have a right to have the
employee produce
medical records proving he/she was safe to work and/or have the
employee see a doctor
of its choosing for an examination.
Many worry about being wrongfully withheld from service for a
condition that really
does not interfere with their ability to safely perform their job.
The Americans
with Disability Act provides one with a lot of protection in these
situations.
Pursuant to this law, an employer generally may not withhold an
employee from service
so long as the employee can perform the essential functions of the
job.  Thus, if
an employee has a limp, but can safely get on and off the equipment, walk on
the
ballast and perform the other essential functions of the job, it
would be illegal
for the railroad to withhold the employee from service.
Today Federal Law is there to protect one from seeing the company
doctor in connection
with the treatment of an  injury and to prevent the company from
wrongfully withholding
one from service.  Great rights that we didn't have 20 years ago.  If
you want to
learn more about this, visit our library and check out NUTS & BOLTS
[http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=hkc5xpeab&et=1109166562587&s=2030&e=001lNXqiX
y9gpTvvaE9yGIM8xaTR0WohoM8fJOEEWzcjTPDsRU24aaIeeXNca9p6eo-ZOAVRBNhtyA1YS4g-v
xrLQUUVb3j7llme7G62MhYajeTQWty_BUu383Gcnxg7LP0fv54bjXdXzg=].
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~

BRIEFLY
If you have not upped your underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage on
your personal
vehicles, do so.  You should get at least $300,000.00. Remember this may
provide
protection in a van accident, crossing accident and/or certainly in
off duty vehicular
accident. Contact your local agent and get protection.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

>>>
A CALL TO ACTION, TODAY!!! Please call your Congressperson. - 1/30/2012

The 1-855-284-4874 number will direct you to your representative. Please act now.

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

Sisters and Brothers: CALL 1-855-284-4874 to stop bigger trucks from overrunning our highways!!

Below you will find a few suggestions on how to reach out to your Congressperson in regards to a bill coming before Congress this week, that would allow for a significant increase in the weight and length of truck on the roads and highways.

We need your help in making as many calls as possible, TODAY!!. Get your friends and neighbors to call as well wherever possible. This language puts your job in jeopardy, your family in jeopardy and your neighbors and friends in jeopardy whenever traveling on our roads and highways.

The bill would:

* allow states to increase truck weight limits from 80,000 to 97,000 lbs.;

 

* permit the operation of longer combination vehicles (i.e., triple trailer trucks) on ALL roads in states where ANY such use was grandfathered as part of the 1991 highway law;

 

 

* legalize twin double trailers longer than those presently permitted under federal law in ALL states;

 

 

* allow special, higher and longer limits for specified groups of shippers; and

 

 

* allow weight limit increases up to 126,000 lbs. on certain 25-mile interstate segments.

 

* divert up to 19% of intermodal rail traffic, jeopardizing your job.

 

 

TO CALL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

 

Dial the toll free number: 855-284-4874. You will hear a brief campaign update then you will be asked to put in your zip code (this will route you to your Representative’s office).

 

Introduction - In a few sentences, state why you are calling:

 

“Good Morning/Afternoon, my name is _______________ and I am a constituent.

 

I would like to ask that the Congressman(woman) oppose any bills or amendments allowing heavier or longer trucks that may be considered as part of the House Transportation Bill or the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act.

 

NOTE: The office will likely ask for your address to confirm you are a constituent.

 

Substance - State why you are concerned about bigger trucks. Pick one or two of the talking points below to convey:

 

· Heavier trucks could divert up 19 percent of rail traffic. That threatens my job.

· This means more trucks on our already crowded highways. Studies say there will be 8,000,000 more truck loads.

· Trucks do not pay their fair share. We cannot afford, as a country, to increase their subsidies.

· Personally, I try to avoid these bigger trucks when I am driving. They make me nervous. Knowing that they are heavier will only make it worse.

· Knowing that my family drives next to big trucks is bad enough. The thought of them driving next to a 100,000 pound rig is more than I want to think about.

· Trucks are already big enough. Increasing the weight or length of trucks will create greater safety issues for our traveling public.

· A bigger truck is more likely to wear out its important equipment sooner, such as brakes, suspension and tires. This creates a greater risk of accidents.

· Heavier single trailer trucks are more difficult to control, more likely to roll over, and much harder to stop and steer.

Closing - Close the call by thanking the staff for their time and restating your opposition to increases in truck size and weight and asking them to pass along your concerns to the Representative.

>>>
A CALL TO ACTION, TODAY!!! Please call your Congressperson. - 1/30/2012

The 1-855-284-4874 number will direct you to your representative. Please act now.

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

Sisters and Brothers: CALL 1-855-284-4874 to stop bigger trucks from overrunning our highways!!

Below you will find a few suggestions on how to reach out to your Congressperson in regards to a bill coming before Congress this week, that would allow for a significant increase in the weight and length of truck on the roads and highways.

We need your help in making as many calls as possible, TODAY!!. Get your friends and neighbors to call as well wherever possible. This language puts your job in jeopardy, your family in jeopardy and your neighbors and friends in jeopardy whenever traveling on our roads and highways.

The bill would:

* allow states to increase truck weight limits from 80,000 to 97,000 lbs.;

 

* permit the operation of longer combination vehicles (i.e., triple trailer trucks) on ALL roads in states where ANY such use was grandfathered as part of the 1991 highway law;

 

 

* legalize twin double trailers longer than those presently permitted under federal law in ALL states;

 

 

* allow special, higher and longer limits for specified groups of shippers; and

 

 

* allow weight limit increases up to 126,000 lbs. on certain 25-mile interstate segments.

 

* divert up to 19% of intermodal rail traffic, jeopardizing your job.

 

 

TO CALL YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE

 

Dial the toll free number: 855-284-4874. You will hear a brief campaign update then you will be asked to put in your zip code (this will route you to your Representative’s office).

 

Introduction - In a few sentences, state why you are calling:

 

“Good Morning/Afternoon, my name is _______________ and I am a constituent.

 

I would like to ask that the Congressman(woman) oppose any bills or amendments allowing heavier or longer trucks that may be considered as part of the House Transportation Bill or the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act.

 

NOTE: The office will likely ask for your address to confirm you are a constituent.

 

Substance - State why you are concerned about bigger trucks. Pick one or two of the talking points below to convey:

 

· Heavier trucks could divert up 19 percent of rail traffic. That threatens my job.

· This means more trucks on our already crowded highways. Studies say there will be 8,000,000 more truck loads.

· Trucks do not pay their fair share. We cannot afford, as a country, to increase their subsidies.

· Personally, I try to avoid these bigger trucks when I am driving. They make me nervous. Knowing that they are heavier will only make it worse.

· Knowing that my family drives next to big trucks is bad enough. The thought of them driving next to a 100,000 pound rig is more than I want to think about.

· Trucks are already big enough. Increasing the weight or length of trucks will create greater safety issues for our traveling public.

· A bigger truck is more likely to wear out its important equipment sooner, such as brakes, suspension and tires. This creates a greater risk of accidents.

· Heavier single trailer trucks are more difficult to control, more likely to roll over, and much harder to stop and steer.

Closing - Close the call by thanking the staff for their time and restating your opposition to increases in truck size and weight and asking them to pass along your concerns to the Representative.

>>>
profit sharing info - 1/29/2012

A question came up on how I figured the 2.40% and the 4.848%.

 

SF plan pays a maximum of 4.00%.  So with a 60% payout, it will pay 2.40% (4.00 x 60%)

BNSF plan pays a maximum of 8.08%.  So with a 60% payout, it will pay 4.848% (8.08 x 60%)

 

Hope this helps with any question you may have….

 

From: 
Subject: RE: profit sharing info

 

Just to clarify the SF 2.4%.  If you work a Santa Fe through freight or local job you would get both the 2.40% and the 4.848% which would equal the 7.248% total payout.  All other jobs would receive just the BNSF portion of 4.848%.  That is why you will receive two different printouts.  In my case, I worked a switch engine two days last year.  So when I went to my printouts , the Total Eligible Earnings were more for the BNSF plan than The Santa Fe plan.  That is because the Santa Fe plan does not include switch engines.  If you had any question call me and I will explain….

 

From: C
Subject: profit sharing info

 

Guys,

 

Below is the broadcast that was sent out yesterday concerning  profit sharing.  Robby and I did review our printouts this week and it was correct.  The Santa Fe payout will be 2.40% while the BNSF payout will be 4.848%.  To get your total profit sharing payout, you would multiply the Total Eligible Earnings at the bottom of each printout by the percentage payout for that plan and then add both of those totals together.  Also, I've attached another document on what taxes will be withheld and the exclude codes for each plan.  Finally I highlighted a key piece of information in the broadcast below.  If you have any questions call us and we will help explain.  

 

BLET ICP and 816 Statement Availability Explained

Jan. 25, 2012

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, the BLET Scheduled ICP will be paid for performance year 2011.

Payments will be direct deposited on that day, or a paper check will be mailed to be received no later than Jan. 31, 2012.

There are two BLET Scheduled ICP plans:

  • The first is the former Santa Fe BLET Scheduled ICP Plan. This plan is applicable to engineers who worked on former Santa Fe territories in through freight and local service. The plan pays a maximum of 4% of qualifying engineer earnings during 2011.
  • The second plan is the BNSF System BLET Scheduled ICP Plan. This plan is applicable to all classes of engineers with a maximum payout of 8.08% of qualifying engineer earnings during 2011.

816s will be available beginning Jan. 27, 2012.

Employees will be able to view a recap of all qualifying ICP earnings by Plan and CA Code.

The statements are available in the same manner as Pay Period 816s. Simply enter ‘2011’ in the Year Field and ‘IC’ in the Pay Period Field. This view is also available via the new Crew Xpress application (click here to access Crew Xpress).

The recap of all earnings in each applicable plan will be available to print or send to an email address. Each applicable earning plan will print separately.

Here are a few additional facts that will assist you in understanding how your BLET Scheduled ICP payment was calculated:

  • BLET Scheduled ICP is calculated on all qualifying BLET earnings paid from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31, 2011. This is not equal to your W-2 amount.
  • For 2011, BLET Scheduled ICP earnings are being paid at 60% of your maximum BLET Scheduled ICP percentage potential.
  • Some exclusions that do not count toward eligible earnings for 2011 BLET Scheduled ICP are:
  •  
    • Any UTU earnings
    • 2010 BLET Scheduled ICP paid to you in 2011
    • All non-tax codes, including mileage reimbursement and meal and lodging codes
    • Certain penalty codes are not included

If you have questions about your payout, please use the Ask Comp Systems tool on your TYE Main Menu. A representative will respond as soon as possible.

 

 

Chris Mosser

General Secretary-Treasurer

Santa Fe GCA

817-426-9003 office

877-546-3660 fax

>>>
Southwest Division 2012 Decertification Briefing Sheet - 1/29/2012

 

Please share with your Team members and workgroups. We have 4 Decertifications YTD compared to 2 for same period of time last year. 100% increase.

 

Please talk this up to increase awareness and focus moving forward.

 

Kevin C. McReynolds

Superintendent Operating Practices

BNSF Railway

Office: 505-864-5186

Cell: 817-296-3635

 

Open Attachment Southwest Division Decertifications Briefing Sheet 2012.doc Open

>>>
U.S. rail traffic rises again, AAR says - 1/27/2012

U.S. rail traffic rises again, AAR says

U.S. freight carload traffic in early 2012 rose again, up 1.6% for the week ending Jan. 21, the Association of American Railroads reported Thursday. U.S. intermodal volume moved up even more, advancing 3.0% for the week measured against the comparable week in 2011.

 

AAR said 14 of the 20 carload commodity groups it measures posted increases compared with the same week in 2011. Leading the gainers was metallic ores, up 50.8%; also showing strength were petroleum products, up 26.8%, and motor vehicles and equipment, up 16.7%. Declining groups included grain, down 10.7%, and farm products excluding grain, down 10.5%


Canadian freight carload volume for the week ending Jan. 21 also rose, up 3.5% percent compared with the same week last year, and Canadian intermodal volume also rose, up 4.8%. Mexican freight carload volume failed to follow suit, down 11% compared with the same week last year, but Mexican intermodal rose 27.6%.

 

Combined North American freight carload volume for the first three weeks of 2012 on 13 reporting U.S., Canadian, and Mexican railroads was up 0.8% compared with the same period in 2011, while intermodal notched a 1.4% gain.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Another UTU organizing victory - 1/26/2012

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: Another UTU organizing victory

In its latest organizing victory, the UTU now represents maintenance-of-way
employees on Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad, a RailAmerica property.

Contract negotiations, led by UTU Alternate Vice President Doyle Turner, will
begin shortly. Turner heads the UTU’s shortline outreach program.

Rich Ross, the UTU’s director of organizing, and International organizer Mike
Lewis were commended by International President Mike Futhey for this 28th UTU
organizing win over the past 48 months.

Missouri & North Arkansas Railroad operates some 530 miles of line in Arkansas,
Kansas and Missouri, with trackage rights over Union Pacific and connections
with BNSF and Kansas City Southern. Primary commodities include coal, grain,
frozen foods, minerals, steel, chemicals and asphalt. 

>>>
FRA warns of coveralls safety hazard - 1/24/2012

Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 9:19 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: FRA warns of coveralls safety hazard

The Federal Railroad Administration calls attention to an injury where a
conductor, while lifting the operating lever on a freight car, was dragged four
car lengths after the lever became tangled in the hammer hook of his coveralls.

The FRA recommends cutting off the hammer lock on coveralls or securing the
hammer lock to the pants leg so that it does not create a hazard. 

>>>
President Obama: Hold Big Banks and Mortgage Fraudsters Accountable - 1/24/2012

  

President Obama has a choice to make: let Big Banks and mortgage fraudsters off the hook with a slap on the wrist—or fight for real accountability for working families.

Sign our petition: Urge President Obama to fight for what’s right.

Facebook   Twitter

 

 



Sometime very soon, President Obama has a decision to make. The consequences will impact the lives of millions of underwater homeowners and the future of our economy.

Settlement talks with the Big Banks that caused our mortgage crisis are ongoing. And the Obama administration is a big part of those talks. The President and administration officials can either let Big Banks and mortgage fraudsters off the hook with a slap on the wrist—or push for real accountability.

Sign our petition to President Obama urging him to side with working families.

Big Banks and mortgage fraudsters have a lot to answer for. They abused and defrauded consumers—and their greed and recklessness caused a devastating financial crisis. There are 7.5 million homes that have entered the foreclosure process, with another 4.8 million homeowners at risk.

Now, it’s time to set things right. The Obama administration should reject any weak settlement that amounts to a slap on the wrist for bankers and fraudsters and push for a robust settlement that provides relief to millions of underwater homeowners.

Tell President Obama: It’s critical that the Department of Justice lead a comprehensive investigation. We need you to fight to hold Big Banks and mortgage fraudsters accountable and keep millions of Americans in their homes.

State Attorneys General from coast to coast have been investigating bank fraud. And a group of them—including New York’s Eric Schneiderman and Delaware's Beau Biden—have stood up for working families by working for a robust settlement that provides real accountability and has the potential to keep millions of underwater Americans in their homes.

This work must not be undermined by a premature and inadequate settlement. Wrongdoing was committed on a massive scale. That’s why it’s time for the Obama administration and the Justice Department to lead a full investigation—and work with the bravest state Attorneys General like Schneiderman and Biden to fight for real accountability and a tough settlement.

Tell President Obama: We need a settlement strong enough to ensure that this never happens again
.


A key to getting our economy moving again is providing relief to underwater homeowners and making sure this kind of abuse never happens again. President Obama has to get this right. Let’s help him do the right thing.

Thank you for all the work you do.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO


To find out more about the AFL-CIO, please visit our website at www.aflcio.org.

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

>>>
Check out Rail bridge replacement timelapse. [VIDEO] - 1/23/2012

Very interesting.

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

From: KELLEY MCCAULEY

>>>
Railroad Conductors Are Doing Well According to Time Magazine - 1/20/2012

Railroad Conductors Are Doing Well According to Time Magazine

Open Attachment Time Dec 19 2011.pdf Open

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

 

>>>
Railroad Day on Capitol Hill nears - 1/18/2012

Railroad Day on Capitol Hill nears

E-mail

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Registration is now open for this year’s Railroad Day on Capitol Hill, set for Thursday, March 8.

Attendance is open to all Class I, II, and III railroad personnel, shippers, state and local government representatives, as well as members from the supplier community with an interest in furthering the political goals of the railroad industry.

Additionally, in response to requests, a student registration category has been added for middle and high school students (ages 12-18) who wish to attend with a parent. Railroad Day provides young people with an excellent opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge about our legislative system. There is also a reduced student registration fee for the Annual Legislative Reception & Dinner.
?

Registration is free, but does not include the Thursday evening reception or the dinner. Registration for the Annual Legislative Reception and Dinner is $225 and helps us to pay for special dinner guests. Those planning to attend are urged to register as early as possible, and no later than Feb. 15, “so we can schedule you on [Capitol H]ill visits. It is much easier to request meetings and put the schedule together when we know well in advance who is going to be there,” notes the American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), a primary player in the event.

ASLRRA also says, “Railroad Day on Capitol Hill is not an easy day. Participants receive their list of appointments during an early morning briefing on the issues, then move through a full day of meetings with Representatives, Senators, and their staff. Some meetings are very successful, some are not. But together they create an impression and help build the momentum our professional representatives need to secure Congressional action on the issues that are most important to the health and prosperity of our businesses. A successful Railroad Day on Capitol Hill will build the foundation we need to extend the 45G railroad tax credit, preserve balanced regulation, and to bring about a more balanced transportation infrastructure spending policy.”

For questions on registration, contact Kathy Cassidy, Tel.: 202-585-3443, Email: kcassidy@aslrra.org. For information on Capitol Hill appointments, contact Jeff Van Schaick, Tel.: 202-715-2915; Email: jeff.vanschaick@cch-llc.com. Those interested in event sponsorship should Jenny Bourque, Tel.: 202-585-3449; Email: jbourque@aslrra.org.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Legislative Meeting of the Year on Friday! - 1/18/2012

 

 

John Abbott 

>>>
Like firing people? - 1/17/2012

  

Former corporate raider and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney recently said “I like being able to fire people”—and his record as a corporate raider backs that up.

He supports laws that attack workers’ rights and make it easier to fire people.

Sign our petition. It says: “I like leaders who hire people.

Facebook   Twitter

 

 


Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney—who killed thousands of jobs as a corporate raider—recently said he “likes being able to fire people.”

Romney’s record as a corporate raider backs up his words: He supports laws that attack workers’ rights and make it easier to fire people. Laws like the so-called “right to work” bill being considered in Indiana that targets collective bargaining, robbing workers of union protection.

If Indiana’s so-called “right to work” bill passes, the state’s unions no longer will stand between corporate raiders like Mitt Romney and many of the workers they like to fire to boost short-term profits. And it will become much harder for everyday workers to improve their wages, benefits and retirement security.

If you agree with the AFL-CIO that our leaders need to work together on an agenda that actually creates jobs—and stop following the lead of corporate raiders like Mitt Romney—add your name to our “I like leaders who hire people” petition.

In 2011, we saw the beginnings of a new democratic movement for economic justice. We had the most solidarity I’ve seen at any time during my career in the labor movement. We shifted the debate. And we’ll keep doing it.

But to translate this movement into lasting change, politics matter. Not just who we elect for president, but our choices at the state and local levels, too.

America wants to work—and it is politics as usual, not economic obstacles, standing in the way of putting people back to work. That’s why we’re promoting a job-creating agenda in statehouses around the country this year, focusing on priorities like:

  • Making sure state tax dollars are used to keep jobs in that state and in America.
  • Buying state-made and American-made goods—so we create jobs in our communities and in America.
  • Stopping corporate tax loopholes and tax breaks for millionaires—so our states no longer are starved of the revenue they need for critical services.

Please make sure your lawmakers—from the statehouse to the White House—know where you stand. Add your name to our “I like leaders who hire people” petition.

Even though ruthless, corporate-backed attacks on workers continue, make no mistake: Our message—the message of the 99%—is taking root. Many politicians haven’t caught up yet. But they will. They’ll have to. Because people all across the country are saying our economy and our democracy are out of balance. They’re saying it’s time to create jobs for every person who wants to workjobs that can support our families and that can support our dreams.

Sign the “I like leaders who hire people” petition. Make sure our leaders know you expect them to build a better America—and drop the attacks on working families.

Thank you for all the work you do.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

 

 

>>>
NTSB urges action on speed-restriction compliance - 1/16/2012

WASHINGTON – Warnings of speed violations have been issued by the National
Transportation Board, which urges unions, their members, carriers and the
Federal Railroad Administration to work collaboratively to ensure compliance of
train and engine crews with speed restrictions.

The NTSB action followed its investigation of five rear-end collisions where the
NTSB concluded that crewmembers “failed to operate their trains at the required
restricted speed.” Two of the rear-end collisions resulted in fatalities.

Said the NTSB:

“Signal systems provide for the safe separation between trains. However, there
are times when trains are authorized to occupy the same sections of track. In
these cases, safe train operations rely solely on crewmember compliance with the
railroad’s restricted speed requirements.

“Typically, these requirements include being prepared to stop within one-half
the range of vision. Complete understanding of, and strict compliance with,
restricted speed requirements are absolutely mandatory to prevent catastrophic
train collisions.”

Specifically, the NTSB urged the UTU and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and
Trainmen to educate their respective rail membership so that all involved
recognize “the importance of operating their trains in accordance with
restricted speed operating rules.”

Additionally, the NTSB urged the UTU and the BLET to work collaboratively with
railroads “to identify the potential for similar occurrences and to take
appropriate mitigating actions.”

The NTSB also urged railroads to “emphasize adequate training and ensure the
compliance of train crews operating at restricted speeds.”

The NTSB does not have regulatory authority – only investigative authority.
Thus, the NTSB makes recommendations to carriers, labor organizations and the
Federal Railroad Administration – the latter having regulatory authority over
rail safety.

The five accidents referred to by the NTSB were:

* Red Oak, Iowa, April 17, 2011, on BNSF

* Low Moor, Va., May 21, 2011, on CSX

* Mineral Springs, N.C., May 24, 2011, on CSX

* DeWitt, N.Y., July 6, 2011, on CSX

* DeKalb, Ind., Aug. 19, 2011, on Norfolk Southern

 

Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

>>>
more on the train crash - 1/6/2012

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

 

>>>
Indiana commencing new assault on labor unions - 1/3/2012

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 12:49 AM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: Indiana commencing new assault on labor unions

A new assault on labor unions is commencing in Indiana, with the
Republican-controlled legislature setting their No. 1 2012 priority on passing
right-to-work legislation that would permit workers covered under collective
bargaining agreements to opt out of paying union dues.

The objective is to weaken union finances, bargaining clout and political power,
says The New York Times, which reports that while right-to-work laws are on the
books in 22 states in the West and the South, this would be the first
right-to-work law in the East, New England and the Midwest.

If the legislation passes the Republican-controlled Indiana legislature, it is
expected to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, who has been
identified by the Economist magazine as a possible emerging candidate for U.S.
president this spring.

The UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund will be assisting other labor unions
in an educational campaign among Indiana voters, similar to the efforts in
Wisconsin that unseated two Republican senators in a recall and which resulted
in voter ballot-box repeal of legislation in Ohio that curtailed public employee
collective bargaining rights.

The New York Times says Democratic lawmakers in Indiana “have also hinted that
they might once again flee to Illinois, as they did last year, to block votes on
anti-union bills.”

According to The New York Times, 8.2 percent of Indiana's private sector workers
belong to unions, compared with 6.9 percent nationwide. “That is down from more
than 20 percent three decades ago as many unionized factories have closed and
largely nonunion industries like finance and retail have expanded,” reported the
newspaper.

The New York Times cited a study that the portion of free riders in
right-to-work states ranged from 9 percent in Georgia to 39 percent in South
Dakota. And another study cited found that in the five years after states
enacted right-to-work laws, the number of unionization drives dropped by 28
percent, and in the following five years by an added 12 percent, while
organizing wins fell by 46 percent in the first five years and 30 percent the
next five.

To learn more about the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund, click on the
following link:

http://utu.org/utu-collective-bargaining-defense-fund-2/

>>>
BNSF takes intermodal service to the next generation - 12/29/2011

BNSF takes intermodal service to the next generation

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

 

BNSF says it will transform shipper supply chains with its Next Generation Intermodal concept. The railroad says BNSF Next Generation Intermodal represents a new and innovative way of optimizing intermodal rail transportation as part of shippers' supply chains. Next Generation Intermodal is geared toward making shippers fully aware of the broad spectrum of shipping options made available through intermodal, including different rail speeds and multimodal rail options in the same lane.

BNSF provides an example: traditional thinking on a truckload shipment from Los Angeles to Charlotte, N.C., would have suggested that the shipment is railed to the closest hub with the shortest dray possible. But not one size fits all. With Next Generation Intermodal, shippers are aware of the creative options that may better fit their specific needs - whether that's faster transit time or greater cost savings.

"Providing shippers with this level of visibility and detail allows them to make the decisions that are best for their supply chains," said Steve Branscum, group vice president, Consumer Products (CP). "We believe highlighting this wide range of solutions will encourage shippers to try intermodal in situations they may not have considered before."

BNSF's online Intermodal Advisor tool provides shippers with detailed comparisons of shipping options, giving them everything they need to maximize their use of intermodal rail service. According to the railroad, CP has worked hard to help shippers better understand the benefits of intermodal shipping and how BNSF can best meet those needs.

"Next Generation Intermodal is the next step in an evolving process to help meet their expectations and to help them expand their use of rail intermodal solutions," Branscum said.

Next Generation Intermodal was discussed earlier this year during the CP Supply Chain Summit and, in mid-November, BNSF unveiled a new identity for Next Generation at the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) event in Atlanta, Ga.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
'Tis the season for sweets -- and restraint - 12/28/2011

Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 10:19 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: 'Tis the season for sweets -- and restraint

By Dr. Norman K. Brown
UTU Medical Consultant

When I want to get started on a job that I have been putting off, I eat a few
chocolate chip cookies (think sugar), and my enthusiasm picks right up and I am
on my way. 

Unfortunately, there is a downside to our easy access to energy-packed food –
sugars.

If we eat more sugars (think calories) than we burn up in a day, our bodies,
being good stewards, turn this spare energy into fat. When we continue this,
day-after-day, excess fat can make us vulnerable to many medical conditions,
such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks and liver ailments.

Please note that I say sugars, not just sugar, since there are many sugars, and
newer information indicates which ones we eat may make a difference. 

Table sugar contains both fructose and glucose. Some believe that high fructose
corn syrup, a relatively new product, which is added to sweeten many foods,
especially sodas, is contributing to our obesity epidemic in America.

Despite the controversy about this form of sweetener, all agree that it can be
sweeter than table sugar, and appears more likely to turn into fat in the liver
and may not be good for us. While the jury is still out, please consider
limiting foods containing this additive.

Our ancestors took in their sugars, including some fructose, through sweet
fruits, such as berries, that also contain a lot of fiber. The mixed in fiber
slows the sudden surge of sugars into our bloodstreams, such as may occur after
a soft drink, and many experts believe the slowing is beneficial. Turning that
idea around says that sugar, without fiber, is less healthy for us.

Sugar substitutes are now very available in the form of saccharine, aspartame
(Equal), sucralose (Splenda) and Stevia. Studies have been inconclusive as to
whether each is totally safe, but if one helps you to keep down your sweet
intake, do consider using it in small quantities.

The bottom line is that each of us should work hard to keep our calorie intake
in balance with our calorie expenditure so we are not carrying much excess fat. 

The bathroom scale and our waistlines are the best monitors of how we are doing. 
Reading labels on packaged foods about sugar content also can help.

Fructose in processed foods appears to be especially worrisome. While I believe
we will one day learn which of us can or should eat what foods to our best
benefit, I personally have found that a diet high in protein and lower in
carbohydrates and fat helps me most in keeping my own weight down while still
having the energy to pick on myself and UTU members about our eating habits.

>>>
Shame on Speaker Boehner - 12/21/2011

  

Shame

While House Republicans are enjoying the holidays, our neighbors are facing the loss of unemployment insurance benefits.

Please call Speaker Boehner at 202-225-0600.

Tell the person who picks up: “Speaker Boehner should be ashamed of himself. He needs to get his House in order, stop the partisan games and extend unemployment aid immediately.”

 

 

I wish that today I could send you a cheerful message with good news, wish you a wonderful holiday season and reflect on the incredible work we’ve done in the past year.

But we can’t rest and recharge: Six million unemployed workers are counting on us to keep on fighting for them, and we won’t let them down.

Please call Speaker Boehner at 202-225-0600. Tell the person who picks up the phone: “Speaker Boehner should be ashamed of himself. He needs to get his House in order, stop the partisan games and extend unemployment aid immediately.”

The two things House Republicans seem to be most passionate about are protecting millionaires from having to pay taxes and cutting unemployment benefits for jobless workers.

All 229 House members who voted yesterday to cut off unemployment benefits were Republicans. They should be ashamed of themselves. Once again they’ve blocked survival aid for men and women who want to work but can’t find jobs in this brutal economy. If House Republicans continue to block action, nearly 2 million people will lose unemployment benefits in January alone. How can they sit back and enjoy the holidays?

Please pick up the phone and call Speaker Boehner at 202-225-0600. Tell him to extend unemployment aid immediately.

Thank you for being a voice for jobless workers, and for all the work you do.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

P.S. 89 Senators—Democrats and Republicans—voted to extend unemployment this weekend. House Republicans have a decision to make. They can continue standing with the wealthiest one percent by taking directions from the most extreme of the Tea Partiers, or they can come to their senses and start standing up for working people and paying attention to the jobs crisis.

Please call John Boehner and ask him: What’s wrong with Tea Party Republicans in the House—and why can’t they get anything done for working families? His number is 202-225-0600.

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
UP not responsible for drugs smuggled on trains - 12/21/2011

UP not responsible for drugs smuggled on trains

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

 

Union Pacific will not be held liable for drugs hidden in its trains and carried across the border with Mexico nor will the railroad be responsible for paying multi-million dollar fines. U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon ruled that U.S. border officials went beyond the authority granted U.S. Customs and Border Protection by Congress and signed an injunction prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security from seizing UP-owned equipment used in drug smuggling while in Mexican jurisdiction.

"We are pleased that the court agrees with our belief that these fines were unlawful. However, this does not impact our long-term relationship," said Jim Young, Union Pacific chairman and chief executive officer. "We have already invested tens of millions of dollars in technology, infrastructure and training to promote safer and more secure rail transportation across the border and we will continue this collaboration with CBP to help mitigate threats to our nation's security."

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
OSHA raps UP again for whistleblower violation - 12/21/2011

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 10:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: OSHA raps UP again for whistleblower violation

Once again, the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) has ordered a railroad to reinstate an employee and pay
him back wages for violating an employee’s rights as a whistleblower.

In the latest OSHA order, Union Pacific was ordered immediately to reinstate an
employee in Idaho and pay him back wages, compensatory and punitive damages and
attorney’s fees totally more than $300,000.

The unidentified UP employee had filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA,
alleging suspension without pay and then termination 23 days after notifying the
company of an on-the-job injury. OSHA's investigation found reasonable cause to
believe that the disciplinary charges and termination were not based on the
complainant breaking a work rule, but on the complainant reporting an injury to
the railroad, in violation of the Federal Railroad Safety Act's whistleblower
protection provisions.

"The safety of all workers is endangered when employers intimidate injured
workers so that they do not report injuries," OSHA said in assessing the
penalties.

This was the fifth OSHA whistleblower violation against Union Pacific since
2009. BNSF, Metro North Railroad, Norfolk Southern and Wisconsin Central also
have been penalized by OSHA for violating workers’ whistleblower rights.

As UTU rail members are painfully aware, railroads have routinely tied
managerial bonuses to low reportable injury rates among employees, creating a
culture of fear through harassment and intimidation – a culture that discourages
the reporting by workers of on-duty injuries and allows railroads to claim an
industry safety award accompanied by glowing press releases as to its low
employee-injury rate.

After collecting file drawers full of verified complaints from members of
carrier harassment and intimidation following an on-duty injury, the UTU’s
National Legislative Office was successful in shepherding through Congress the
Federal Rail Safety Act of 2007.

The law’s purpose is to protect rail workers from retaliation and threats of
retaliation when they report injuries, report that a carrier violated safety
laws or regulations, or if the employee refuses to work under certain unsafe
conditions or refuses to authorize the use of safety related equipment.

An employer also is prohibited from disciplining an employee for requesting
medical or first-aid treatment, or for following a physician’s orders, a
physician’s treatment plan, or medical advice.

Retaliation, including threats of retaliation, is defined as firing or laying
off, blacklisting, demoting, denying overtime or promotion, disciplining,
denying benefits, failing to rehire, intimidation, reassignment affecting
promotion prospects, or reducing pay or hours.

A rail employee may file a whistle-blower complaint directly with OSHA, or may
contact a UTU designated legal counsel, general chairperson or state legislative
director for assistance.

A listing of UTU designated legal counsel is available at www.utu.org/, or may
be obtained from local or general committee officers or state legislative
directors.

To view a more detailed OSHA fact sheet, click on the following link:

www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA-factsheet-whistleblower-railroad.pdf

>>>
UTU conductor dies in Texas mishap - 12/19/2011


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

-----Original Message-----
From: UTU News Alert [UTUNews@utu.org]
Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 10:49 PM
To: greg.hynes@cox.net
Subject: UTU conductor dies in Texas mishap

HOUSTON – A BNSF conductor and UTU member died Dec. 18 when his head reportedly
struck a bridge beam while leaning over the railing of his moving locomotive’s
side running board in an attempt to check the fuel level in a fuel-tank sight
glass. The nighttime accident occurred some 80 miles northwest of Houston, in
Grimes County, at milepost 26.8 of the BNSF Conroe Subdivision.

Killed was Stacy L. Rieger, 41,  of Lumberton, Texas, a four-year member of UTU
Local 1957 (Silsbee, Texas). According to reports, Rieger, after striking his
head, tumbled from the locomotive down a 48-foot embankment into the Navasota
River. Emergency responders, summoned by the locomotive engineer, pronounced
Rieger dead at the scene.

The Federal Railroad Administration is investigating the accident.

Rieger is survived by his wife, four daughters and a stepdaughter.

He is the 10th UTU member killed on duty in 2011 – two more than were killed
during calendar year 2010

>>>
BTS Releases Freight Transportation Services Index - 12/14/2011

 

 

BTS 64-11
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011
Contact: Dave Smallen
Tel: 202-366-5568                                                                                                            

BTS Releases Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI); Freight Shipments Fell 0.2% in October from September

The amount of freight carried by the for-hire transportation industry fell 0.2 percent in October from September, the first monthly decrease after four consecutive increases, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) released today.

BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that at 109.4 the level of freight shipments, measured by the Freight TSI, declined slightly from the recent peak achieved in September, but still remained higher than any other month since July 2008.

The Freight TSI measures the month-to-month changes in freight shipments in ton-miles, which are then combined into one index. The index measures the output of the for-hire freight transportation industry and consists of data from for-hire trucking, rail, inland waterways, pipelines and air freight.

Year-to-date: For the first 10 months of 2011, freight shipments measured by the index were up 2.3 percent (Table 3).

Index highs and lows: Freight shipments in October 2011 (109.4 on the index) rose 16.0 percent from the recent low in April 2009 (94.3). In April 2009, freight shipments were at their lowest level since June 1997 (92.3). The October 2011 level is down 3.5 percent from the historic freight shipment peak reached in January 2005 (113.3).

Long-term trend: Freight shipments are down 0.5 percent in the five years from October 2006. Shipments are up 11.6 percent in the 10 years from October 2001 despite declines in recent years (Table 5).

            See Freight TSI Press Release for summary tables and additional data. See Transportation Services Index for historic data and methodology.

 

 

### 

 

>>>
Random drug, alcohol test rates set for 2012 - 12/14/2011


WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation has ordered the following minimum
random drug and alcohol testing rates for 2012:

For workers in safety sensitive positions and whose safety is regulated by the
Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration or the
Federal Aviation Administration, employers must perform random drug tests on at
least 25 percent of covered workers, and perform random alcohol tests on at
least 10 percent of covered workers.

For workers in safety sensitive positions and whose safety is regulated by the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, employers must perform random drug
tests on at least 50 percent of covered workers, and random alcohol tests on at
least 10 percent of covered workers.

 

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax

>>>
the Jeff Straub Memorial Fund - 12/13/2011
This information came from Mike Volesky 
 
Greg Hynes 
Director 
United Transportation Union 
State Legislative Board AZ 
602-716-9406 phone 
602-712-1647 fax 
 
I spoke with Tracy Straub after the meeting this morning and she had 
set up an account at Wells Fargo. We need to get this information out 
to all the termianals on SW division as well as LA.  She said that 
anyone wishing to donate should stop by any Wells Fargo branch and 
have it deposited in the Jeff Straub Memorial Fund. She also asked me 
to Thank You all for everything we are doing for her. Call me if you 
need additional information.    
Thanks Mike 
 
>>>
SOFA Message - 12/9/2011
>>>
Diabetes: Know the symptoms - 12/8/2011


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax 

Subject: Diabetes: Know the symptoms

Almost 26 million Americans suffer with diabetes. Shockingly, another 79 million
have pre-diabetes, and many are not even aware they have the disease.

It is estimated that by the year 2050, one-in-three American adults will have
diabetes unless serious steps are taken to stop or prevent it.

Diabetes often goes unnoticed and, therefore, untreated because the associated
symptoms seem harmless. But they are anything from harmless.

Learning the symptoms of diabetes is important as early detection can lessen the
chance of developing more serious complications from this disease.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood glucose levels that result
from the body's inability to produce and/or use insulin.

There are three types of diabetes: 

Type 1, also known as juvenile diabetes, is usually diagnosed in young adults
and children and accounts for about 5 percent of all diabetics.  Insulin therapy
is needed because the body does not produce insulin.
 
Type 2, also known as adult onset diabetes, it is the most common form of the
disease. More than 90 percent of all diabetics have Type 2. Type 2 diabetics can
produce insulin, but either the pancreas is not producing enough insulin or the
body cannot use the insulin adequately.

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who did not have diabetes prior to
their pregnancy. It develops in women who experience high blood glucose levels
later in their pregnancy.   

What are the symptoms of diabetes?

Diabetes often goes undiagnosed because many of the symptoms seem harmless or go
unnoticed. Learning the symptoms of diabetes is important as early detection can
decrease the chance of developing more serious complications from this disease.

Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes:

* Frequent urination
* Unusual thirst
* Extreme hunger
* Unusual weight loss   

Symptoms of Type 2 diabetes:   
   
* Any of the Type 1 diabetes symptoms
* Frequent infections
* Blurred vision
* Cuts or bruises that are slow to heal

Who is at greatest risk for Type 2 diabetes?

* Those overweight
* Those over age 45
* Those with a family history of diabetes
* Those with impaired glucose tolerance
* Those who do not exercise regularly
* Those with a low HDL cholesterol level
* Those with a high triglycerides level
* Those with high blood pressure
* People of certain racial/ethnic groups
* Women who had gestational diabetes or a baby weighing nine pounds or more at
birth

What are the health risks of diabetes?

Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and of new cases of blindness
among adults. More alarming, two out of three people with diabetes will die from
heart disease or stroke.

The good news is that many individuals with diabetes can prevent or delay the
onset of the complications of this disease with proper treatment and recommended
lifestyle changes. Some of the more serious health risks are:

* Glaucoma and cataracts
* Foot problems such as poor blood flow and numbness
* Skin complications such as fungal infections and itching
* Heart disease and stroke
* Anger and depression
* Hearing loss

Contact your physician if you have any of the symptoms of diabetes.

For more health care information, visit the UTU health care page by clicking on
the following link:

http://utu.org/healthcare/

>>>
Proposed legislation spurs rail agreements - 12/2/2011


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax 
 
Proposed legislation spurs rail agreements

WASHINGTON -- In the face of bipartisan get-tough-with-labor legislation
introduced in the House and Senate, two of the remaining unions without national
rail contracts agreed to a tentative settlement Dec. 1, and a third reached
agreement with the carriers Dec. 1 to extend a cooling-off period into February.

With these agreements, the threat of a national railroad strike has been averted
for now.

Previously, the Transportation Communications Union, the Brotherhood of Railroad
Signalmen and the various shopcrafts, including the Sheet Metal Workers
International Association, reached tentative six-year agreements with the
National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC). The NCCC represents BNSF, CSX,
Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern, Soo Line, Union Pacific and numerous
smaller railroads in national handling.

UTU members earlier ratified a five-year national rail contract.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the American Train
Dispatchers Association agreed Dec. 1 to a tentative six-year agreement as
recommended last month by Presidential Emergency Board No. 243. References to
the UTU’s ratified national rail contract are extensive in the PEB
recommendations.

While the BLET is in national handling for health care, it previously reached
ratified wage agreements with BNSF, CSX and Norfolk Southern for lower wage
increases than the UTU and other organizations, and continues separate talks on
wages with Union Pacific.

Also, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes reached agreement with the
NCCC to extend into February a cooling-off period that was to expire Dec. 6.

The BLET and train dispatchers' tentative agreements, and the cooling-off period
extension agreed to by the BMWE Dec. 1, came in the face of separate House and
Senate resolutions.

The House resolution, H.J. 91 and introduced by House Transportation &
Infrastructure Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), would have imposed as a final
agreement on the BLET, the train dispatchers and the BMWE the PEB
recommendations.

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) was set to introduce for
immediate Senate vote an identical resolution (S.J. 31). After the BLET, train
dispatchers' and BMWE agreements were announced late Dec. 1, Sen. Reid said:

"I applaud all the stakeholders who worked to avert a work stoppage that would
have hurt our nation's economy just as the holiday season gets underway. It is
Congress' constitutional duty to ensure the unfettered flow of interstate
commerce, and to protect the nation's economic well-being. I am pleased with
this outcome and congratulate all sides, including the White House and
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, for their effort to find common ground that
protects our economy and keeps it on-track."

>>>
RRs Reach Agreements with Two More Unions - 12/2/2011

RRs Reach Agreements with Two More Unions

December 1, 2011 | 08:15 p.m. CST

The nation's major freight railroads today reached tentative agreements with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the American Train Dispatchers Association, which together represent about 26,500 employees in collective bargaining. The last remaining union without a settlement, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE), has agreed with the railroads to extend the "cooling off" period until Feb. 8, 2012, eliminating the immediate threat of a national rail strike. 

"We're pleased that we have now settled with 12 of the 13 unions in this bargaining round. Everyone wins when we reach voluntary agreements," said A. Kenneth Gradia, chairman of the National Carriers' Conference Committee (NCCC), the railroads' bargaining representative. "In a tough economy, these agreements offer a terrific deal for rail employees. They lock in well-above market wage increases of more than 20 percent over six years, far exceeding recent union settlements in other industries."

The NCCC represents more than 30 railroads, including BNSF, CSX Transportation, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific in national bargaining with the 13 major rail unions.

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

>>>
2012 FRA Part 225 Reporting Threshold - 11/30/2011

Attached is the Federal Register Notice on FRA’s annual change to its rail equipment accident/incident reporting threshold from $9,400 in 2011 to $9,500 effective January 1, 2012.  Also attached is FRA’s post-accident testing flow chart for 2012 with the amended reporting threshold.

 

Kathy Schnakenberg, 719-633-8955 or 202-262-4998 Kathy.Schnakenberg@dot.gov

 

Open Attachment Part 225 Reporting Threshold 2012.pdf Open Open Attachment Post Accident Testing Flow Chart 2012.pdf Open

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

>>>
Arizona utility wins rate case against UP, BNSF - 11/28/2011

Arizona utility wins rate case against UP, BNSF

E-mail

 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


The Surface Transportation Board announced Wednesday that it had awarded an estimated $63 million in reparations and rate reductions to the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative in a decision that grants AEPCO an average rate reduction of 37% over the period 2009-2018.

stb_logo.jpgSTB ruled that BNSF Railway and Union Pacific were overcharging the utility for shipments of coal from New Mexico, Wyoming, and Montana to AEPCO’s power station near Cochise, Ariz. The board also found that AEPCO had no feasible shipping alternative to BNSF and UP for the coal move.

AEPCO applied for relief under the board’s standalone-cost test. The results showed that the maximum reasonable rates were below 180% of the variable costs of providing rail service. “But, by statute, the board cannot order railroads to set rates below the 180% threshold,” said the agency. “Therefore, the board set the maximum rate that BNSF and UP can charge AEPCO at 180%.”

The board held an oral argument in the case on Sept. 28, 2010.

The decision Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. v. BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad Company, STB Docket No. NOR 42113, can be found on the Board’s website at www.stb.dot.gov.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
National Labor Relations Board has threatened to quit - 11/28/2011

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-11-23/republican-u-s-labor-board-member-said-to-threaten-resignation.html

 


By Holly Rosenkrantz

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The single Republican on the National Labor Relations Board has threatened to quit, according to its chairman, in a move aimed at blocking action by a panel that business groups say is too pro-union.

Brian Hayes said he may resign to deny the NLRB the quorum needed to make decisions before a vote scheduled for next week on rules to speed union elections, according to a letter from the board’s Democratic chairman, Mark Pearce.

“You indicated that, if the board proceeded with consideration of the matter, you would consider resigning your position,” Pearce said in a letter to Hayes on Nov. 22, recounting an October discussion. NLRB spokeswoman Nancy Cleeland said Hayes wasn’t immediately available to comment.

The labor board, which runs union elections and resolves disputes between unions and management, proposed in June streamlining the schedule for elections to hold a vote within 21 days of a worker request to form a union.

The NLRB said its proposal to speed elections is aimed at removing “unnecessary barriers” to unionization. The median time to complete an election is 38 days, according to the agency. Business groups in Washington, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say employers would have too little time to make their case to workers.

The NLRB scheduled a Nov. 30 meeting to act on a portion of the proposal.

The board has two vacancies, and the term of Democrat Craig Becker, a former lawyer for the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union, will expire next month. That may bar the board from action because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that a two-member board can’t issue rulings.

Blocking Obama

President Barack Obama would have difficulty winning confirmation for new appointees in the Senate, where Republicans can block action and can also invoke procedures to prevent him from making appointments while Congress is away. Unless the board acts this year, its dwindling membership may doom the rules for shorter elections, a priority for unions that are financial supporters of Obama and Democratic lawmakers.

Republican presidential candidates, led by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, have targeted the labor board in debates and campaign rallies as an example of job- killing regulation by the federal government.

The Republican-led House of Representatives is scheduled to vote next week on legislation to block quicker union elections. Even if the bill passes the House, it would have to pass the Democratic-led Senate and be signed by Obama in order to stop the labor board’s effort.

The bill coming before the House is H.R. 3094.

--Editors: Larry Liebert, Judy Pasternak

To contact the reporter on this story: Holly Rosenkrantz in Washington at hrosenkrantz@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

--

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

>>>
conductor certification information - 11/28/2011

Here’s some more information on conductor’s certification

 

Open Attachment Conductor Cert.pdf Open Open Attachment Conductor Certification-Explanation by Q&A.pdf Open

 

 

Danny Young

909-548-2006

E-mail danny@utugo017.org

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

>>>
STB denies mediation in BNSF coal dust case - 11/23/2011

STB denies mediation in BNSF coal dust case

E-mail

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The Surface Transportation Board issued a decision Tuesday denying a petition of the Western Coal Traffic League (WCTL) asking the Board to institute mediation on a new coal dust tariff issued by BNSF Railway. Instead, the decision is instituting a new proceeding “to consider the reasonableness of the new tariff’s safe harbor provision.”

stb_logo.jpgIn a previous decision, the Board found that a BNSF tariff intended to limit the amount of coal dust that blows off of rail cars during transit was “an unreasonable practice.” It was in response to a new BNSF coal dust tariff that WCTL asked the Board to reopen the proceeding and institute mediation between BNSF and coal shippers.

On July 20, BNSF issued its new tariff addressing coal dust emission from trains carrying coal loaded at any Powder River Basin mine and requiring that shippers of such coal take measures to reduce coal dust loss from cars. To comply with the tariff, shippers could use the “safe harbor” provision, under which shippers would apply one of BNSF’s three approved suppression methods to their cars and be in compliance with the tariff regardless of actual coal dust release.

As an alternative to the safe harbor provision, shippers may submit a different suppression method for approval by BNSF. Under the new tariff, shippers were to begin taking these measures by Oct. 1.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TRANSPORTATION BILL ANNOUNCED - 11/20/2011
 Yesterday, the House Republican Leadership and Congressman John Mica (R-FL), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced plans to move a bill that would expand our country's highways and infrastructure. This is the House Republicans’ effort to provide a transportation bill that is similar to what the Senate is also attempting to do. House Republicans plan to pay for this program by using revenues derived from expanded oil and gas drilling, as well as the existing gas tax that pays for highway construction. The plan is to introduce this bill shortly after Thanksgiving and have it considered by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the full House of Representatives in December.
 
As part of the debate on the House bill, we expect to have a fight on whether or not Congress should increase allowable truck weights on the interstate highway system. Currently, the weight limit per truck is 80,000 pounds. A number of shippers and the trucking industry have been advocating for an increased weight limit per truck of 97,000 pounds. Today, 80,000 pound trucks do not pay their fair share towards the damage they do to the highways.
 
We have long held that if Congress allows increased truck weights, it should increase the amount of money these trucks pay to use the highways to compensate for the damage these vehicles do to roads and bridges. An increase in truck weight would be a hidden tax-payer funded subsidy for the trucking industry and would put railroads at a further competitive disadvantage to trucks.

 
 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

>>>
Arizona, BNSF partner to upgrade safety at crossings - 11/14/2011

Arizona, BNSF partner to upgrade safety at crossings

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Friday, November 11, 2011

 

The Arizona Department of Transportation will partner with BNSF to install new technology to enhance vehicle safety at railroad crossings.

Crossings at Greenway Road and at 163rd Avenue in Surprise, Ariz., will be fitted with devices that allow trains to be detected sooner as they approach, providing more time for vehicles and pedestrians to clear the intersection.
These new devices, allowing for "advanced detection," as opposed to simultaneous detection, will be installed at various locations along the Grand Avenue corridor. The "advanced detection" interfaces recently completed internal testing to ensure compatibility and reliability with ADOT traffic signals.

Both intersections are safe, with neither reporting any crashes involving the railroad in at least the past five years, according to data from the Federal Railroad Administration. No crashes have occurred at 163rd Avenue, which is designated as a "quiet zone" crossing.

Installation of the "advanced detection" devices will be done in coordination with BNSF, which operates the line along Grand Avenue.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
It's time for flu and pneumonia vaccines - 11/11/2011

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax 
 
  It's time for flu and pneumonia vaccines

The head-cold and flu season is upon us, making it time to lower your risk of
disease and illness by receiving a flu shot and pneumonia vaccine – and if you
or your spouse is covered by Medicare, you won’t bear the cost and do not
require a doctor’s referral.

The flu shot is an annual event, as the flu vaccine is formulated each flu
season for the most probable flu virus.

You may only reqire one pneumonia shot in your lifetime, and if you are at least
65, have a chronic illness such as diabetes, or have a heart or lung disease,
your risk of contracting pneumonia is higher.

Health care providers suggest you consult your physician about health risks and
your need for these shots.

If you are a railroader and covered by Medicare, it is important that billing go
to Railroad Medicare and that your Railroad Medicare card is on file.

Providers new to Railroad Medicare and those who have supplied services to
Railroad Medicare patients for years may have new staff that might file your
claims to the wrong Medicare contractor in error. This can happen when they
don’t notice that your Health Insurance Claim Number (HICN) is different from
Social Security Administration (SSA) Medicare patients.

Because Railroad Medicare HICNs vary from the SSA Medicare format, it’s
important that your provider’s staff review your card to verify the number prior
to billing Railroad Medicare.

Railroad Medicare beneficiaries have the same benefits as Social Security
beneficiaries, but only one national carrier — Palmetto GBA Railroad Medicare,
which processes all Railroad Medicare Part B claims.

If you are concerned that your provider is having problems submitting your claim
correctly, call the Palmetto GBA Beneficiary Contact Center at (800) 833-4455,
or (877) 566-3572 for those with hearing impairments.

If you have non-claim specific questions about your coverage with Railroad
Medicare, you may visit the “My RR Medicare” page on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/myrrmedicare.

>>>
Merger update: Moving forward constructively - 11/10/2011


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax 
 

By UTU International President Mike Futhey

“Stay Calm and carry on” has always been the best advice during challenging
times.  It is appropriate advice for UTU members and employees as we move
forward following the October 10 merger arbitration award.

That arbitration ruling makes the merger look very similar to the merger we were
initially promised -- the merger the UTU membership and I voted for in 2007.

The arbitrator recognized that maintaining the historical governance of the UTU
was important by ruling that the UTU's cherished craft autonomy, along with
general committee autonomy, be preserved post-merger; and that changes to the
UTU Constitution not be unilaterally made by the SMWIA executive council.

As required by the arbitration decision, I met with new SMWIA General President
Joe Nigro, who took office July 1. The meeting was productive and positive.

At a meeting in early November of all incoming UTU International officers -- a
meeting traditionally held between a quadrennial convention and those officers
being seated -- we discussed the events of the past four years. 

We agreed unanimously that UTU members' interests have been vigorously defended,
and it is now time to move forward -- discussing with the SMWIA the rights and
traditions of both organizations, and to collaborate constructively in finding
the most efficient and equitable means of resolving any further outstanding
differences, including pending litigation.

I know that I speak for Joe Nigro, as well, when I say that the leadership of
both the UTU and the SMWIA has, as our highest priority, the delivery to our
members of the wages, benefits and working conditions they expect and deserve. 
We also share a commitment to our loyal employees, who serve our members on a
daily basis.

In the meantime, I assure you that our United Transportation Union and our
United Transportation Union Insurance Association are each financially strong
and are continuing to grow stronger notwithstanding this deep and lengthy
recession.

As we put substantial merger-related litigation expenses behind us, and continue
managing our other costs wisely, the UTU's monthly surplus will continue to grow
and allow for improved member representation.

The UTU and its predecessor unions have persevered and prospered for nearly a
century-and-a-half by being resolute in representing our members and flexible in
the face of changing demands and events. It is a formula that has served our
members well and will continue to serve us well.

>>>
We just made history in Ohio - 11/10/2011

Dear Greg,

I’m in Ohio right now, where working families just won an incredible victory.

Ohioans overwhelmingly voted to repeal Senate Bill 5—Gov. John Kasich’s attack on middle-class jobs that was designed to destroy collective bargaining rights in Ohio.

We pieced together a short, powerful video summing up the amazing energy that went into this. I hope you’ll take a moment to watch:


Watch now.


Tonight’s victory represents a turning point in our collective work to protect good jobs, working families and workplace rights. But it’s more than that. It’s a long-overdue return to common sense.

From the very beginning of our jobs crisis, anti-worker politicians like Ohio’s Gov. Kasich have used our poor economy to push a cynical political agenda that favors the richest 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. Today, Ohio voters rejected that agenda.

During this campaign, firefighters, nurses, teachers and other public employees were joined by construction workers, bakery workers and all kinds of private-sector workers. They came together to ensure the survival of the middle class. And together, we’ll keep doing it. Politicians who side with the richest 1 percent will find their radical efforts stopped by working people who want America to work for everyone.

Watch the energy and dedication that went into this huge victory—and join us.


This is our moment, and we won with solidarity. We won because the working people of Ohio—public and private sector, union and nonunion—stood together.

But the solidarity went even further than that: Volunteers traveled not just from neighboring Wisconsin—but from states as far away as California and New York—to help get out the vote. And activists from dozens of states as far away as Alaska gave up their nights and weekends to call Ohio voters from home.

Solidarity means that when workers anywhere are under attack, we will all do whatever we can to help. It means we’re in it together.

Watch our video. See what solidarity looks like.


I hope you’ll celebrate this moment in your own way. But the most important thing is to find a way to keep your own energy going and growing—so you can be a part of sustaining and growing our movement for all working people—the 99 percent.
 
This fight we’ve taken on and won—and the threats we face going forward—are about more than Democrats or Republicans, or 2012 battleground states. They are about good jobs and our right to a voice on the job.

Together, we're building a new kind of politics. A politics that works for the 99 percent, not just the 1 percent.

We’ve got to start getting ready now to win tomorrow’s victories. Over time—together—we’ll build a future that works for working America.
 
Thank you for being a part of this movement, and for all you do for America’s workers.

In Solidarity,

Richard L. Trumka
President, AFL-CIO

P.S. America is waking up. Here’s one big reason we won in Ohio—people can see that the firefighters, teachers, nurses and snowplow drivers hurt by SB 5 didn’t cause our economic problems. Wall Street did. Ohio voters saw through Senate Bill 5—they understood it was a plan to make the 99 percent bear the burden of Wall Street’s recklessness—and that it would do nothing to create jobs.
Take a moment to watch the incredible energy that went into this win.


>>>
BNSF challenges report on rail security - 11/9/2011


BNSF said Tuesday it was “extremely disappointed” by a news media investigative report questioning freight train security measures, as well as operations, in Washington state.

The report, issued Monday by Seattle’s KOMO News 4 TV and KOMO News radio, said its “Problem Solvers” team in essence found “so many Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway trains for the taking,” some idling for hours without any security presence nearby. KOMO also relied on two BNSF anonymous engineers who expressed concern over current operations and supposed lax safety measures.

KOMO also reported the “Federal Railroad Administration … has now opened a formal investigation into what the Problem Solvers found.”

bnsf_logo.jpgIn response, BNSF on Tuesday chastised KOMO for its “sensationalized accusations and exaggerated hypotheticals to attack rail safety and security. BNSF takes safety and security very seriously.

“The report failed to recognize that there are numerous ways to immobilize a parked train such as removing essential equipment, tying down handbrakes or isolating electrical fields on the locomotive.,” BNSF said in a statement.

BNSF said a voluntary audit for last Friday “found that every lead locomotive in the area was properly secured.” In addition it said, “Most of BNSF’s high volume main line track is controlled by what is called Centralized Traffic Control (CTC). On CTC track, a train cannot move on the track, nor can a switch from a siding be thrown to allow a train to move onto the main line without the dispatcher seeing it on their computer screen.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Ohio voters restore collective bargaining rights - 11/9/2011

 
Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax 
 
 

Subject: Ohio voters restore collective bargaining rights

Voters in Ohio overwhelmingly restored to public employees Nov. 8 their
collective bargaining rights that a conservative majority in the state
legislature – with support from Gov. John Kasich -- chose to revoke earlier this
year.

The mean-spirited legislative attack on collective bargaining rights was so
repugnant to Ohio citizens that 1.3 million affixed their signature on petitions
to place the law on the November general election ballot – a rare and not
lightly taken action of direct democracy.

By nearly a two-to-one margin, Ohio voters overturned the law, sending it to the
dust bin of political history, along with a strong message to conservative
lawmakers that they best not again seek to trash workers’ rights to collectively
bargain for wages, benefits and working conditions.

The New York Times called the landslide vote “a slap to Ohio's governor, John
Kasich, a prominent Republican who had championed the law.” Vice President Joe
Biden said, "Fundamental fairness has prevailed."

The UTU Collective Bargaining Defense Fund played a meaningful role in
overturning the law, with active and retired UTU members in Ohio helping to
organize public demonstrations, circulating petitions to place the law on the
November ballot, and assisting in voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives
the involved knocking on doors and providing rides to the polls.

The phrase repeated to Ohio voters a million times over by UTU volunteers was,
“Don't let others decide your future.”

UTU Ohio State Legislative Director Glenn Newsom spent months visiting locals
and directing mail and phone messages to active and retired UTU members about
the importance of voting and encouraging others to vote for repeal of the law.

This was the second successive victory for the UTU Collective Bargaining Defense
Fund. In July, two anti-labor senators, who had voted in favor of a law similar
to the one in Ohio, were removed from office following a recall effort with
strong UTU participation.

>>>
Conductor certification: Clear track for Jan. 1 implementation - 11/9/2011


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax 
 
WASHINGTON – It's now official. Conductor certification, mandated by the Rail
Safety Improvement Act of 2008, has a clear track for Jan. 1 implementation.

In a final rule, published by the Federal Railroad Administration Nov. 9,
railroads must implement, by Jan. 1, a formal training program for certifying
conductors and a formal process for training prospective conductors, thus
ensuring job competency.

The FRA's final rule on conductor certification follows many of the provisions
of locomotive engineer certification, with a number of improvements the UTU,
joined by the BLET, was able to obtain.

Following are highlights of the final rule, which runs almost 300 pages in the
Nov. 9 Federal Register.

* While the railroad and its employees must comply with the final rule, there is
no limitation on any rights the employee may have under a collective bargaining
agreement

* Conductors currently employed will be grandfathered for from one to three
years, with one-third of those conductors required to be tested for
certification in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Beginning in 2015, one-third of the total
conductor workforce will be recertified each year.

* Each railroad, in submitting its proposed certification program to the FRA for
approval, must simultaneously submit it to the presidents of the UTU and BLET,
which will have 45 days to comment. The intent is to encourage coordination by
carriers with local union officers in formulating the certification program, and
to gain a supporting statement from the general committee of jurisdiction.

* A conductor losing certification may work as an assistant conductor, brakeman,
yard helper, switchman or utility employee, but cannot work as a locomotive
engineer. If that individual holds both conductor and engineer certification,
and the engineer certification is revoked, they may not work as a conductor.

* If the conductor certificate is revoked because of failing to control a train,
violation of train speed, violation of brake test requirement, occupying main
track without proper authority, tampering with safety devices, or an alcohol or
drug violation, the decertified conductor may not work as a locomotive engineer.
However, if the decertification is for violation of a rule covering shoving or
pushing movements, or equipment left out to foul track, switches and derails,
the decertified conductor may work as a locomotive engineer.
 
* The conductor must be trained by a qualified person on the territory over
which that conductor will operate. If the certified conductor lacks territorial
qualification, and has never been qualified on main track physical
characteristics, that conductor shall be assisted by a person who is a certified
conductor qualified on the territory, and NOT a member of the crew.

* If the conductor has been previously qualified over the main track territory,
and the time limits have expired on their qualification, the conductor may be
assisted by any knowledgeable person, including a member of the crew, other than
the locomotive engineer on the crew, so as not to conflict with other safety
sensitive duties.

* If the conductor lacks territorial qualification on other than main track, the
conductor, where practical, shall be assisted by a certified conductor meeting
the territorial qualifications. Where this is not practical, the conductor shall
be provided an appropriate job aid, which includes maps, charts or other visual
aids of the territory. This applies to all tracks on each territory.

* Territorial qualification is not required for short movements of one mile or
less where track speed is 20-mph or less and movement is required to be at
restricted speed, and the track grade is less than 1 percent.

Prior to revoking conductor certification, a railroad must:

* Provide notice of the reason for suspension, and an opportunity for a hearing
before a person other than the investigating officer. Written confirmation of
the notification shall be in accordance with the collective bargaining
agreement. Additionally, the hearing shall be in accordance with the collective
bargaining agreement, but shall be convened within 10 days after the certificate
is suspended, unless the conductor asks for a delay.

* Provide, no later than convening the hearing and notwithstanding any
collective bargaining agreement, a copy of the written information and a list of
the witnesses the railroad intends to present at the hearing. The railroad shall
grant a recess if the information is provided just before the hearing. If the
information is provided through written statements of an employee, the railroad
shall make that employee available for examination during the hearing.

* Not revoke certification or recertification if there is sufficient evidence
that an intervening cause prevented or materially impaired the conductor’s
ability to comply with requirements.

Additionally, with regard to conductor certification:

* The appeal procedures largely mirror engineer certification regulations.

* The training requirements for new conductors are significantly improved from
current requirements. In addition to improved initial training, this rule
requires recurrent training for all conductors every three years during the
recertification process. The recurrent training must be identified in the
certification plan filed with FRA, including changes in operating rules,
operating practices, new federal regulations and new equipment in service.

"The implementation of conductor certification enhances the skills and safety
performance of freight and passenger conductors, provides a federal license
ensuring proper training of conductors, and establishes a new basis for
resisting management pressure to violate operating rules and federal
regulations," said UTU International President Mike Futhey.

The final rule is a result of input from all affected parties, including labor,
through the FRA’s Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC).

The UTU was represented on this RSAC Conductor Certification Working Group by
Local 645 Chairperson Vinnie Tessitore, Local 1470 Chairperson David Brooks,
General Chairperson (GO 049) John Lesniewski, Local 528 Legislative
Representative Ron Parsons, Alternate National Legislative Director John Risch,
National Legislative Director James Stem, and UTU Rail Safety Coordinator for
Designated Legal Counsel Larry Mann.

A link to the 278-page final rule will be available on the UTU website at
www.utu.org by midday Nov. 9.

>>>
Board backs labor pay increase; BLET unhappy - 11/8/2011

A board appointed by President Obama to review a dispute between freight railroads and labor unions recommended during the weekend that workers receive an 18.6% pay increase over six years.

The unions sought a 19% increase over five years; rail management had countered with 17% over six years.

“While we recognize that this proposed resolution is by no means the only reasonable resolution possible, we believe that it is fair and appropriate,” the five-member Presidential Emergency Board No. 243 wrote in the report it submitted to Obama on Saturday.

The railroads remain at odds with 11 unions representing most of its labor force, including the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a unit of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. BLET President Dennis R. Pierce is unhappy with the report.

blet_logo.jpg

“The 11 unions working in unison made a compelling case for status quo on health and welfare benefits and an even more compelling argument for wages increases greater than those found in the recommendation,” he said.

“BLET also made very specific agreements that were documented by substantial evidence, and made it quite clear to the Board that tour wage settlements with three of the four largest Class I carriers and on-property negotiations with the fourth meant that health care cost-shifting would place a tremendous obstacle in the way of obtaining an acceptable settlement. Unfortunately, that is exactly the situation we now face,” Pierce said.

The United Transportation Union and its yardmasters division, with 30% of those workers, reached a five-year agreement with Class I railroads last April that includes a 17% raise and retains the $200 per-month cap on employee. UTU ratified the deal last September.

The value of the UTU’s raise plus other wage-related increases that don’t apply to the other unions is comparable to the 18.6% raise the presidential board recommended for other labor groups, according to Frank Wilner, a spokesman for the union. The board’s recommended settlement is aimed at preventing a national railroad strike that, according to the Association of American Railroads, would cost the U.S. economy as much as $2billion a day.

Obama appointed the board Oct. 6 to offer recommendations for resolving the stand-off, citing the National Mediation Board as saying that the dispute threatened “substantially to interrupt” interstate commerce.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Class I railroads post strong safety gains - 11/3/2011

Class I railroads post strong safety gains

E-mail

 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Class I railroads of the U.S. have come through the recession years busier and more profitable than most American industries. At the same time they have achieved strong gains in safety.
In other categories, the four-year comparison showed collision
Preliminary statistics released this week by the Office of Safety Analysis of the Federal Railroad Administration for the first eight months of 2011 show significant improvement in almost every area of operation.

Total accidents-incidents for the January-August period of 2011, at 7,629, were 17.7% lower than in the same period of 2008. Rail-related fatalities were down 8.2% to 402. Highway-rail grade crossing fatalities declined 11.4% to 171, and trespassing fatalities dropped 6.9% to 298. The 18 employee deaths recorded in 2011 were unacceptable by any standard and showed no improvement from the 17 recorded four years ago.

ns down 14.7% to 110; derailments down 25.0% to 947; and yard accidents down 27.4% to 692.

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Jobs Bill to Strengthen Transportation and Put People Back to Work - 11/3/2011

DOT 141-11
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Contact: Paul Griffo
Tel: 202-366-4064

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Calls for Passage of Jobs Bill to Strengthen Transportation and Put People Back to Work
Transportation Jobs Bill Would Deliver $384.2 Million to Repair, Modernize Transit in Pennsylvania
 
NORRISTOWN, Pa. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today called on Congress to pass the transportation portion of the American Jobs Act during a visit to the Bridgeport-Norristown Viaduct outside Philadelphia, a century-old passenger rail bridge that is among the hundreds of pieces of transportation infrastructure across Pennsylvania in serious need of upgrades and repairs.  The investments made under the transportation portion of the American Jobs Act could put hundreds of thousands of people to work in Pennsylvania and around the country, renovating and rebuilding our roads, rails, and runways.

“There’s no such thing as a Democratic or Republican bridge, and there’s no such thing as a Democratic or Republican job when it comes to rebuilding our aging infrastructure,” said Secretary LaHood, who was joined by state and local officials.  “Congress needs to pass the transportation portion of the American Jobs Act as soon as possible so we can continue to modernize our transportation systems and keep our economy moving forward.”

The transportation piece of President Obama's American Jobs Act would make an immediate investment of $50 billion in America's transportation infrastructure and put people back to work upgrading 150,000 miles of road, laying or maintaining 4,000 miles of train tracks, restoring 150 miles of runways, and putting in place a next-generation air-traffic control system that will reduce travel time and delays.  

The President's legislation would also make a $10 billion investment to create a nonpartisan National Infrastructure Bank that would operate independently and issue loans for major transportation and infrastructure projects based on two criteria: how badly a road, bridge, transit, water, or energy project is needed and how much good it would do for the economy.  These investments would also be paid for without adding a dime to the deficit; resources would come from a balanced deficit reduction plan that includes closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.

The Jobs Act would invest $50 billion in crucial transportation projects, including about $1.4 billion for projects across Pennsylvania.   As part of that $1.4 billion, Pennsylvania would receive $384.2 million in much-needed federal transit assistance that could be used to repair and rehabilitate infrastructure such as the Bridgeport Viaduct that Secretary LaHood visited today, which was built by the Philadelphia and Western Railroad a century ago in 1911.

The 3,175-foot bridge carries approximately 24,000 Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) Norristown High Speed Line passengers over the Schuylkill River in Montgomery County each month.  The viaduct also connects passengers to the Norristown Transportation Center, a major intermodal transfer point that’s also served by eight local bus routes and the Manayunk/Norristown commuter rail line, as well as inter-city bus service.

“Southeastern Pennsylvania, home to some of the oldest transit infrastructure in the nation, is in need of a 21st Century overhaul,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff.  “Passing the American Jobs Act will put nearly a thousand Pennsylvanians to work rehabilitating the Bridgeport-Norristown viaduct alone, modernizing the Jenkintown power substation, or upgrading the Levittown Station on the Trenton Line, giving hundreds of thousands of SEPTA riders a more reliable and desirable commute to work each day.”

The transportation investments made under the American Jobs Act include:

$27 billion for rebuilding roads and bridges
$9 billion for repairing bus and rail transit systems
$5 billion for innovative large-scale projects selected through a competitive national grant program
$4 billion to continue constructing America's high-speed rail network
$2 billion for improving airport facilities
$2 billion for upgrades to Amtrak equipment, cars, and stations
$1 billion to put in place NextGen air traffic control system

# # #

 

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>>>
UTU PAC supports all UTU's lawmaker friends - 11/2/2011


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax 

WASHINGTON – While organized labor has more friends in the Democratic Party, and
carriers have more friends in the Republican Party, there are many Republicans
who are friends of organized labor – and the UTU’s bi-partisan approach to
politics recognizes this.

One special Republican friend of the UTU is Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, who
serves on the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, where Amtrak and
transit funding is determined. Roll Call newspaper, which reports on all things
Congress, recently called LaTourette, “The top GOP ally of organized labor in
the House.”

Said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) of LaTourette: “People from both sides of the
aisle often line up to talk to him because they value his insight.”

Recently, LaTourette teamed with Rep. Rus Carnahan (D-Mo.) to introduce
legislation allowing transit agencies to use some of their federal funding
earmarked for new equipment, for operations instead, which would allow
cash-strapped transit agencies to maintain service and keep drivers, who
otherwise faced layoffs, on the job.

LaTourette also has been an advocate for consistent and reliable Amtrak funding;
and earlier this year, he led 15 other Republicans to stand in opposition to an
attack by the Republican leadership against the National Mediation Board’s
changed rule making union representation votes more democratic.

As we approach the 2012 election year, the UTU PAC will stand by all our friends
seeking reelection or election to Congress and state office, regardless of
political party affiliation.

The UTU PAC works for and helps candidates we feel are capable and
knowledgeable, and who recognize the problems that affect airline, bus, rail and
transit workers.

For more information on the UTU PAC, and how UTU-member participation in the UTU
PAC helps to protect your economic security and safe working conditions, click
on the following link:

http://utu.org/washington/utu-pac/

>>>
UTU endorsed candidates - 10/31/2011

These are the UTU endorsed candidates for the Maricopa county elections.

 

Phoenix Mayor

Greg Stanton

 

Phoenix City Council, District 5

Daniel Valenzuela

 

 

Surprise City Council, District 3

                                                                                             Councilman, John Williams

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

>>>
Autorack cars safety alert - 10/31/2011


Greg Hynes
Director
United Transportation Union
State Legislative Board AZ
602-716-9406 phone
602-712-1647 fax 
 

A safety advisory on autorack cars has been issued by the Association of
American Railroads.

Some of these cars have been found to have cut convenience handles, ladder rungs
and/or fasteners missing from these devices.

Convenience handles are those handles mounted on end doors, sides of autorack
cars or the underside of the roof canopy, and are used by workers when entering
and exiting autoracks. Some autoracks have been found with multiple handles cut
and others with only one cut handle. The cuts have all been a very fine line
smooth cut that is difficult to see without careful inspection.

Ladder rungs have been reported cut at the bottom of the ladder and some at the
top of the ladder.

Most of the missing fasteners have been from the convenience handle on the
underside of the roof panel.

Workers are advised to make a thorough visual inspection of all convenience
handles, steps, ladder rungs, grab handles and other hand holds prior to use.

Upon coming in contact with any cars with these problems, the car initial and
number, location, date and other pertinent information should be provided
supervisors.

>>>
AAR Safety Alert 2011-02 - 10/30/2011

 

 

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

Memo to:  All UTU Officers and Members

 

From:  James Stem and John Risch

 

Re:  AAR Safety Advisory on Vandalized Grab Irons

 

 

This is a safety alert received from the American Association of Railroads concerning grab irons and foot holds that have been vandalized with the intention of harming railroad employees.  Please share this information with all of your contact lists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

James A. Stem, Jr.

National Legislative Director

United Transportation Union

304 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Washington, DC  20003-1147

(202) 543-7714

      Fax (202) 543-0015

 jamesastem@aol.com

     stem@utu.org

Description: UTU_Logo-swash

 

Open Attachment SafetyAlert2011-02AutorackCarswithCutConvenienceHandles.pdf Open

CutHandholds32011-10-24.JPG

Open Attachment CutHandHoldsTTGX9941692011-10-25.pdf Open

LadderrungcutML2011-10-24.JPG

Open Attachment CutHandle1.png Open

clip_image002.jpg
>>>
changing tires - 10/25/2011

Greg Hynes

Director

United Transportation Union

State Legislative Board AZ

602-716-9406 phone

602-712-1647 fax

 

 

 

 

 

As info…   this question came out at the Phoenix site safety meeting…  please make sure we pass this information along to all our employees.  We want to make sure our employees are not exposing themselves to the risk of changing tires. 

 

Attached is an email from Eddie Sinclair General Manager for Renzenberger, Inc. Southwest…    All drivers are trained and required to change their own tires if it can be done in a safe manner.   If that can't be accomplished they are required to call their supervisor to make arrangements for road side service. 

 

BNSF employees are not allowed to help in the changing of tires…  

 

Thank you, 

 

Scott T. Huston Manager of Safety | Southwest Division |* scott.huston@bnsf.com  |( 505.864.4954 |( 928.221.6146 BB

 

 

Open Attachment Changing Tires.pdf Open

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Local 1081 Lodge Meeting Minutes - 5/1/2011

 

MEETING MONTH

MEETING DATE

FILENAME                                

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

 

 

 

 

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Officers Page - 6/15/2009

Local Officers

   

Officer Name

Local

Position

Jay Woodward 1081 Local Union President
Tom Clem 1081 Local Union Vice President
Glenn Bay 1081 Local Chairman Road
Tom Pate 1081 Local Chairman Enginemen
OP Stewart 1081 Local Chairman Yard

Brent Boice

1081

Local Treasure

>>>
Glenn Bay - 6/15/2009

FROM THE DESK OF LOCAL CHAIRMAN BAY:

 

 

 

 

>>>
Jay Woodward - 6/15/2009

FROM THE DESK OF PRESIDENT WOODWARD

Q:  How many of us understand or agree with what is going on in the

Phoenix terminal?                                                                     

 

A:  Not many                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

Q:  How many of us stand around the yard office, sit behind a computer

screen or talk on our cell phone complaining about the actions or

inactions of our elected UTU representatives?                                                                                                                      

 

A: Many                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

Q:  How many  of us have a copy of our national and local agreements,

bylaws or constitution?                                                         

 

A:  Not many  (including elected   representatives)                                                                                                                                          

 

Q:  How many of us have attended a local meeting in the past couple

months?                                                                                     

 

A:  Not many (including elected representatives)                                                                                                                                             

 

Q:  How many of us give input to our monthly news letter or web site

created to keep us all informed?                                           

 

A:  Not many                                                                                                                                                                                                           

 

Q: Have you looked in the mirror?                                                                                                                                                                        

 

A:  We all can be part of the answer by getting involved and getting

informed.  It's your job.Webster's dictionary says UNION is the act of

uniting or joining two or more things into one.  Is that what we are

doing? Our UTU Constitution states under article 45 (duties of members)

in part "attend all meetings of their local where reasonable possible to

do so."  Is that what we are doing? Hope to see you all soon at a

meeting doing your duty and making a change for our UTU.  

 

Jay Woodward

 

>>>
Tom Clem - 6/15/2009

A WORD FROM YOUR VICE PRESIDENT

>>>
Brent Boice - 6/15/2009

 

A FEW WORDS FROM YOUR LOCAL TREASURER:

Entered by: Brent Boice

I’ve been asked by our President to explain our dues. Where does the money we pay each month go and what’s it for?  For most of you the dues are $90.30 each month, not including any insurance or contribution to the UTU PAC.   I’ll cover both of those later. 

Your dues break down like this:

 

  • International dues: $24.50 per month.  Here is the breakdown.
    • General Fund: $19.50- This pays for the physical offices in Cleveland, Washington and Ottawa and salaries of the people that work there on our behalf.  They negotiate contracts, health insurance and are there to answer questions and assist in handling grievances.  When necessary, they file lawsuits in federal and state courts.
    • Quadrennial convention Fund: $2.00- This goes to pay for the every four year (quadrennial) meeting in which new officers are elected or the old ones are reelected.
    • Maintenance of Membership Fund $1.00-
    • Education and Training Fund $1.00-
    • Strike Fund $.75-
    • Public Relations Fund $.25-

 

  • General Committee of Adjustment is $30.00 per month for GCA 017.  This amount is set by a vote of all local chairmen and goes to pay for Butch and Danny Young’s salaries and expenses, as well as the offices in California.  They protect our contract, wages, rules and working conditions.  They also handle a huge volume of claims from the members of GCA 017.  When they took office, there was a backlog of some 50,000 plus claims to be handled which they have been working on ever since.  I don’t want to suggest that “Fat Jack” the past General Chairman wasn’t doing his job, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

 

  • General Committee of Adjustment for engineers is $38.65 per month.  The dues are higher for engineers because there are fewer members in the committee. General Chairman John England still works in the craft in addition to  taking care of the Engineers, so that there doesn’t have to be an additional dues increase.

 

  • Legislative Dues $16.80 this goes to operate the state legislative board here in Arizona, including Scott Olson’s salary and expenses.  Every time you hear about a law, bill or anything that effects railroad employees, you can bet you either heard it from Scott or he’s been battling for or against it for months.

 

  • Local Dues $11.00- This goes to run the local.  It pays for the breakfast you eat if you show up to the meetings, salaries of the local officers, postage, phone, supplies etc...

 

  • Local Committee of Adjustment- $8.00 This pays for the Local Chairman (Glenn for the road, Scott Breen for the yard and Tom Pate for the engineers) If they have to take time off to defend you at an investigation, make calls on your behalf, send claims on to the General Chairman’s office or whatever.

 Now I mentioned insurance and UTU PAC donations.  I’m not an insurance salesman and I’m not comfortable walking around rattling the collection plate for donations, but I will mention a couple of things that you should think about. Job insurance is kind of nice if you get fired.  Also disability is kind of nice if you get hurt either on the job or off.  I think we would all rather retire with an entire collection of useless plates, rather than early with a permanent injury, but this is a dangerous occupation we have all chosen.  Speaking of retirement; when you retire at 60 instead of 67 years old, you can thank all the people that donated to the UTU PAC.  This fund opens doors for Scott Olson and the national legislative director to help get friends of labor in general, and railroaders specifically, elected and get laws that benefit us passed.  We can never hope to match the money the railroad gives to politicians, so we need all the friends we can get, and we need to VOTE and to be aware of what’s going on around us.  Is a $100 donation a year ($8.35 a month) worth retiring 7 years earlier?  I know what you’re thinking “that’s 7 useless plates I don’t get!” but I’m willing to sacrifice the plates for freedom.

>>>
Tom Pate - 6/15/2009

FROM THE DESK OF LOCAL CHAIRMAN PATE

> 1996 BLE Agreement

>

> ARTICLE 13 Using a Post October 31, 1985 Engineer In Emergency Service

>

> When there is no rested, available engineer working in engine service

> on a seniority district and it is necessary to use a post October 31,

> 1985 engineer currently working in ground senrice as an emergency

> engineer, the employee so used will be paid the greater of what he

> earns as an engineer or what he would have earned had he remained in

> ground service and the senior engineer on the seniority district with

> a standing bid on file for the engineers guaranteed extra board will

> be paid the earnings of the assignment or a minimum of one guarantee

> day at the current guarantee board rate of pay. If the employee so

> used is also the senior engineer with a standing bid on file for the

> engineers1 guaranteed extra board, he will be paid one guarantee day

> in addition to all other earnings.

>

 

>>>
OP Stewart - 6/15/2009

A FEW WORDS FROM YOUR YARD LOCAL CHAIRMAN

>>>
Safety Meeting Minutes - 4/8/2009
Title Date Link Comments
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
>>>
Spouces Information - 4/4/2009

Spouces Information

     

Title

Date

Link  

Comments

What Spouces Should Know

04/12/2009 

  View File  
Release of Medical Information 04/12/2009   View File  
Railroad Retirement Survivor Benefits  10/09/2009  View File  
       
       
       
       
       
>>>