The latest comprehensive, up-to-date features and news releases effecting the BLET.
The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program is hosting four in-person rail worker training sessions in late 2023 and early 2024. The dates are as follows: October 15-20, 2023; January 14-19, 2024; February 4-9, 2024; and March 3-8, 2024. The following...
The death of a CSX carman, Fred Anderson, 56, who was struck and killed by a remote controlled train on September 17 in Wallbridge Yard, near Toledo, has renewed calls for stricter rules on the use of remote operations. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and...
Rail labor turned out in full force on September 19 for the introduction of a new railroad safety bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. Introduced by U.S. Reps. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) and Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (D-N.Y.), the Rail Worker and Community Safety...
State Chairman Mike Walker and members of the Iowa State Legislative Board have been hard at work this year signing up new members to voluntarily contribute to the Brotherhood’s Political Action Committee Fund (BLET PAC Fund). Last week, Brother Walker presented a...
On the heels of Labor Day, a new Gallup poll shows that labor unions continue to enjoy high support in the U.S., with 67% of Americans approving of them. The poll shows Americans wanting union influence to strengthen, because they believe unions are a benefit to...
Retired BLET General Chairman Dennis “Denny” E. Penning, who served the Union Pacific-Central Region GCA for many years, passed away on September 7, 2023. He was 75 years old. Brother Penning hired out on the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1967 and earned promotion to...
Weekly News Recap
National Contract Negotiations
AAR Freight Trends
Railroads resist joining confidential safety program because they want to be able to discipline workers
“This is really old-school, tired rhetoric that blames the worker for the failures that are inherent in all complicated systems. Blaming the worker is exactly what leads workers to not report unsafe conditions in the workplace,” said Vince Verna, BLET Vice President and National Legislative Representative.
The system enables rail workers to confidentially report “close call” safety incidents to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) without fear of retaliation by their employers.
Union Pacific furloughed 94 mechanical employees at shops across the system this week.
The union says they have reason to be concerned that a large number of CN Rail employees may have also had their location tracked by the company during their own personal time after work.
Union Pacific’s contention that Kansas City Southern can’t haul grain from the Upper Midwest to the Gulf Coast using trackage rights south of Beaumont, Texas, is “revisionist history,” Canadian Pacific Kansas City has told federal regulators.
Union Pacific is now dealing with flooding along Texas’ Gulf Coast as a result of Tropical Storm Harold, adding to the issues it continues to address in Southern California from Tropical Storm Hilary.
The decision puts the project into timeline limbo.
As wildfires continue to burn across the West, a number of railroads are deploying a unique and rarely-seen tool: the fire train. This week, BNSF Railway, Montana Rail Link and Canadian Pacific all have fire trains at the ready to help contain fires currently burning in the Pacific Northwest and Canada.
The Surface Transportation Board (STB) is requiring the BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) to transport coal from Navajo Transitional Energy Company LLC’s (NTEC) Montana mine to Canada for export after NTEC alleged BNSF has breached its common carrier obligation. In turn, BNSF filed a lawsuit, asking the courts to set aside STB’s order.