While not directly applicable to ongoing negotiations at U.S. West Coast ports and upcoming talks at United Parcel Service, the rail workers’ potential win could embolden other workers who have toiled through the COVID-19 pandemic while watching employers reap record profits, labor experts said.
While the tentative agreement means Nebraska’s agriculture sector avoided the worst of the effects, they still see the impacts of the ongoing staffing crisis on rail lines first hand, said Nebraska Farm Bureau’s president Mark McHargue.
Every year, 2,100 North Americans are killed or seriously injured when they engage in unsafe behavior around tracks and trains. In the U.S. alone, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every 3 hours.
A 20-year-old woman was seriously injured when police put her in the back of a patrol car that was parked on a rail crossing, and the car ended up being hit by a train, reports say.
The failure of the pilot and caption of a tow vessel to correctly identify a caution area on a river chart was the probable cause of a November 2021 collision between the towing vessel Baxter Southern and a BNSF coal train near Galland, Iowa, the National Transportation Safety Board determined in an accident report released Thursday.
The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) announced the Port of Savannah logged another record month in the port’s history with 575,513 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of cargo handled in August, up 18.5% compared to August 2021.
What was missing from many recent headlines? The actual reason for the conflict between railroad workers and their employers. The potential strike or lockout was not because of any dispute over pay, but because of inhumane attendance policies that currently mean railroad engineers and conductors are either working or “on call” 90 percent of the time.
Unions and management reached a tentative deal early Thursday, averting a freight railroad strike that had threatened to cripple US supply chains and push prices higher for many goods.
While Walsh described his main role as facilitating conversation, he also acknowledged that, at times, he had to do “a little persuasion” to nudge both sides closer to an agreement.
Like so many essential workers in the pandemic, the engineers and conductors who drive the nation’s freight trains have had it.
To defuse a labor dispute that brought the nation to the brink of a potentially catastrophic railroad strike, negotiators had to resolve a key issue: schedules that workers say were punishing, upending their personal lives and driving colleagues from the industry.
The U.S. operations of the Class I railroads are working to resume operations “immediately” now that a tentative deal has been reached to avoid a strike by union members on Friday.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) now has 36 weeks of traffic data for 2022 (ending Sept. 10). Total North American carload and intermodal traffic dipped 2.4% from the same point last year — with decreases in the U.S. and Canada, and an increase in Mexico.
CSX on Sept. 15 reported that as “part of a planned succession process,” Joseph R. Hinrichs will become President and CEO, succeeding James M. Foote, effective Sept. 26.
Largest railroad labor unions say they will strike if quality of life is not addressed in new contract
Two of the largest railroad unions in negotiations with railroad carriers have drawn a line in the sand: they are demanding more quality of life provisions are put into the contract, covering attendance policies, vacation and sick days, or they will strike. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the SMART Transportation Division represent half of railroad union workers.
The top labor negotiator in talks to avert a railroad strike accused BNSF and Union Pacific of holding up progress. Specifically, Dennis Pierce, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, or BLET, said the companies rejected the union’s proposal for sick time policies.
Three more railroad unions have reached tentative agreements with U.S. freight railroads on a new labor contract, announced the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC).
Workers say the industry has imposed increasingly punitive scheduling practices that remain a major issue as rail companies’ labor forces have shrunk.
The Biden administration urged railroads and unions to reach a deal to avoid a railroad work stoppage, saying on Monday it would pose “an unacceptable outcome” to the U.S. economy that could cost $2 billion a day.
Sens. Richard M. Burr and Roger Wicker introduced a joint resolution Monday that would require unions and freight railroads to accept the recommendations of a presidential emergency board to avert a strike or lockout that could come as early as Friday.
The BLET’s Wyoming State Legislative Board (WYSLB) convened its triennial meeting on June 13, 2022, at the Wyoming AFL-CIO Labor Center in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Brother Ryan M. Jones, a member of BLET Division 103 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, passed away while on duty on July 28, 2022. He was 33 years old.
BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce has appointed Brother Sean P. Simon of BLET Division 226 (Newark, New Jersey), to serve the BLET as Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, effective July 25, 2022.
The BLET National Division has launched a new website to provide key information to delegates, vendors and guests attending the union’s Fifth National Convention, which will be held October 10-13, 2022.
Guest speakers included: Jimmy Donovan, Director of the Department of Political and Legislative Affairs, International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Amit Bose, Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration; John Bragg, Labor Member, Railroad Retirement Board; and Kat Bisbikis, National President, BLET Auxiliary.
Presidential Emergency Board (“PEB” or “the Board”) 250 conducted hearings in Washington, D.C. this past week, concluding on July 28th. We both were honored to represent our unions and, by extension, the memberships of the dozen strong United Rail Unions as we presented and testified in support of our unified case to the PEB. We are sharing this joint message to ensure that our members are up to date on all of the bargaining round issues.
Brother Keith W. Bass, a member of BLET Division 48 in St. Louis, Missouri, died on July 27 from injuries sustained in a crew van accident on July 26. He was 46 years old.
Today, July 24, 2022, the United Rail Unions, who are bargaining as part of the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way/SMART Mechanical Coalition, and the Carriers represented by the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC) began their presentations before the Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) appointed by President Biden.
The BLET secured General Wage increases of 29 percent over the life of the five-year agreement, which runs through 2026. Members also receive a $5,000 signing bonus.
Editor's Note: The following is a press release from Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) regarding President Biden's appointment of a Presidential Emergency Board to investigate the national rail contract dispute. RAIL LABOR WELCOMES...