BNSF Railway has modified its controversial Hi-Viz train crew attendance policy in response to employee feedback, but officials at two unions say the changes fall far short of what is needed.
In a May 16 statement, BLET National President Dennis Pierce called the changes “little more than fluff.
Dennis Pierce worked as an engineer for BNSF and said things have “changed dramatically” since he was hired 45 years ago. “Not only in crew size over the years, but just also in the way the railroad treats its employees,” Pierce said. “I have never seen it this bad.”
A group of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway workers demonstrated in Gillette on Tuesday in opposition to a time-off policy change enacted earlier this year that they said created unfair and unsafe working conditions.
Dennis Pierce, president of the BLET, says railroads have lost touch with their employees due to the way they are treated under Precision Scheduled Railroading, which has brought longer days, more time spent away from home, less rest between trips, and fewer days off.
“Imagine if your life was a scorecard and you were allowed 30 points. You only get 4 points for working for 14 days. You can’t get sick. You wife can’t get sick. You can’t get a car wreck,” Fort Madison resident and railroad retiree Jeff Kurtz told a group of 40 some attending the Lee County Labor Chapter’s rally Sunday afternoon opposing BNSF’s policy known as “Hi-Viz.”
Over the last six years, Class I freight railroads have hemorrhaged a combined 45,000 workers, according to the Surface Transportation Board. That’s nearly 29 percent of their workforce.
We talked to the railroad workers’ family members who travelled to Omaha, Nebraska, to protest BNSF’s owner Berkshire Hathaway.
Three months after a judge prevented BNSF workers from striking, a group rallied in Fort Madison to protest a controversial attendance policy.
Bill Gates sold about $940 million of Canadian National Railway Co. shares, trimming one of the largest holdings of the investment firm that controls his $117 billion personal fortune.
The witness phase of the slugout between Amtrak on one side and CSX, Norfolk Southern (NS) and the Port of Mobile on the other, ended May 12 as its 11th day concluded.
Amtrak personnel recently spent a series of consecutive weekends in March remediating damage to the benchwall system in the South Tube of the North River Tunnel.
BNSF Railway has joined the group seeking to restore passenger rail service in southern Montana, a move welcomed because of the railroad’s role as primary host railroad for the proposed service.
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has established the Corridor Identification and Development (ID) Program that “will serve as a key vehicle for directing federal investments and technical assistance toward new or improved intercity passenger rail services across the nation.” Amtrak expressed its support.
The following are opening remarks, as prepared for delivery, by Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), during the May 12 hearing titled, “Board Member Views on Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization.”
For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 504,927 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.5 percent compared with the same week last year.
Safety culture improves when railroads participate in Short Line Safety Institute (SLSI)-sponsored safety culture assessments and follow through on recommendations, according to a new report from the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Research, Development and Technology.
A federal jury awarded a UPS driver $300,000 on Thursday for injuries he sustained in a 2019 loading incident caused by a negligent Norfolk Southern Railway employee. The incident, he claimed, nearly crushed him and resulted in $88,000 in medical bills.
Louisville & Indiana Railroad (LIRC), an affiliate of Chicago-based Anacostia Rail Holdings Company, has acquired the assets and operating rights of the former Southern Indiana Railway (SIND), a short line located in the Louisville metropolitan area.
Union Pacific Railroad this week marked the 30th anniversary of Union Pacific de Mexico, the Class I’s Mexican franchise that was created on May 8, 1992.
Those planning to attend the BLET’s upcoming regional meeting in Denver, Colorado, are reminded that the deadline to make hotel reservations is Friday, May 13, 2022. The meeting will be held June 13-17, 2022.
Registration is now open for the BLET regional meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, August 1-5, 2022.
Barbara McLaughlin, the wife of late BLE International President Ronald P. McLaughlin, passed away on April 16, 2022. She was 87 years old. Ron McLaughlin served the former Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers as International President from 1991-1996, and he passed away at the age of 92 on November 12, 2021. The couple was married for more than 67 years.
BLET California State Legislative Board welcomes President Pierce, rallies by BLET’s mobile billboard
In San Diego today, members of the BLET’s California State Legislative Board, National President Dennis Pierce, and numerous other special guests rallied by a mobile billboard that is part of the union’s outreach campaign demanding that railroads invest in train crews and safety.
BLET members and their families are urged to alert the White House and their members of Congress about the dangerous attendance policies imposed by Class I freight railroads by using the BLET’s new legislative outreach platform — “Take Action” — which been activated for the first time for use in this campaign.
BLET National Vice President Mark L. Wallace testified yesterday on behalf of the BLET at a hearing before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board titled “Urgent Issues in Freight Rail Service.”
BLET National President Pierce, Vice President and NLR Verna meet with Ohio SLB officers, members and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown
On Monday, April 25, 2022, BLET National President Pierce and Vice President and National Legislative Representative Vince Verna attended the opening sessions of the quadrennial meeting of BLET’s Ohio State Legislative Board (SLB) in Columbus, Ohio. Brendan Sullivan, BLET Director of Legislative Affairs, was also in attendance
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, April 25 — On Friday, April 22, 2022, the BLET National Division submitted written comments in advance of the upcoming Surface Transportation Board (STB) hearing scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2022. The in-person hearing, titled “Urgent Issues in...
The Coordinated Bargaining Coalition released the following statement on April 25, 2022: On January 24, 2022, after more than two years of bargaining with the major U.S. Class I railroads, the 10 Rail Unions bargaining as part of the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition...
The BLET’s national conventions are held quadrennially, or once every four years. Approximately 475 delegates will represent more than 33,000 active locomotive engineers and trainmen throughout the United States.