September 18, 2014

Do programs produce safety, or manipulate reality?

Mike Futhey

By Mike Futhey, SMART Transportation Division President –  Throughout my career as a union officer, I have experienced every type of carrier safety program imaginable: from official company “snitches” to complex, overly burdensome and intrusive research, to innovative, cooperative, joint ventures. Employees need a program to know the program du jour. When programs fall by the [...]

We cannot afford to be complacent

Mike Futhey

By Mike Futhey, SMART Transportation Division President –  Election day 2012 has passed, the celebration of an inauguration is done. Now what? Complacency is not a luxury we can afford. Our fight is not over. After the candidates’ assurances of brighter days for labor, a continuation of “business as usual” is unacceptable. It will only perpetuate [...]

With elections past, our work begins

Stem

By James Stem, National Legislative Director –  As a new Congress begins its largely partisan struggles, which are sometimes difficult to understand and frequently disturbing, the job of the National Legislative Office is to convince lawmakers that the legislative agenda of SMART members is the ideal recipe. The education process itself can be brutal, as evidenced [...]

We pledge allegiance, in solidarity

Nigro

By SMART General President Joe Nigro –  We are one! Not only as a result of our recent merger, but also by the pledge we make to one another as union brothers and sisters. The strength of organized labor lies in the hearts and minds of every union member who understands the meaning of allegiance. [...]

They hire you, then work to fire you

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By John Previsich, UTU Assistant President/ GS&T –  Discipline in the railroad industry is a curious business. I recall that when I first hired out, I was proud of my new employment. The railroad had selected me over other well-qualified applicants, and I was sent to school and provided extensive on-the-job training before being allowed to [...]

As Sandy headlines fade, member needs remain

Mike Futhey

By UTU International President Mike Futhey –  For many of our brothers and sisters in the Northeast, much was washed away by Hurricane Sandy – but not their hope, their pride or their sense of duty. Despite the flood devastation that stole irreplaceable possessions, homes and automobiles – as it also devastated rail track, tunnels, [...]

No room for drugs, alcohol in workplace

Previsich

By Assistant President John Previsich We all know that drug and alcohol use can have a negative impact on users, fellow employees and the transportation industry. That said, it must be emphasized that SMART members are to be commended for setting a compliance standard that places our airline, bus and rail members as leaders, second [...]

Amtrak’s future crucial to Rail Retirement financing

Stem

Stem “Every Amtrak employee should be placed in a productive position that supports the needs of customer service and managed growth of operations,” UTU National Legislative Director James Stem told Congress Nov. 28. “Amtrak operating crews are among the most productive workers in that system and our members are ready and eager to work,” he [...]

Obama win offers working families brighter future

Mike Futhey

By UTU International President Mike Futhey –  For UTU members employed in the airline, rail and transit industries, the Obama/Biden victory and U.S. Senate election results translate to: * More, and more secure, transportation jobs. * More support to increase funding for public transit, Amtrak, and high-speed and higher-speed rail. * Strengthened protections of collective bargaining [...]

Beware this backdoor effort to silence labor’s voice

Stem

By National Legislative Director James Stem – You remember Humpty Dumpty, the character created by children’s author Lewis Carroll. Most famously, Humpty Dumpty said, ‘When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean.” Humpty Dumpty may well have written the language for Proposition 32, which goes before California voters on [...]