June 26, 2016

June 30 – Deadline for Chicago Regional Meeting room reservation

If you’re attending the SMART TD Chicago Regional Meeting (July 25 – 27) you’ll want to reserve your room at the Sheraton Grand Chicago before the June 30th deadline – to get the member discount: $169 + tax/night. Click here for more information.    

Carrier at fault for June 3 Oregon derailment, says feds

Federal investigators are placing the blame squarely on Union Pacific Railroad for their lack of track maintenance as the cause of the June 3rd fiery derailment that resulted in a mass evacuation as 42,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the small town of Mosier, Oregon. Read the complete story here.  Photo courtesy of Silas […]

San Francisco Regional Meeting update

Fairmont San Francisco sold out, overflow rate expires June 17 The Fairmont San Francisco hotel has sold out. Not to worry, the overflow hotel – Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel – still has rooms available. The Mark Hopkins is conveniently located across the street from the Fairmont San Francisco and is offering members the same great […]

SMART TD, BLET: Federal regulators must prohibit one-person freight train crews

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) President Dennis Pierce, issued a joint statement, following their submission of their comments to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on train crew size. “Operating freight trains with one-person train crews is unsafe and must be prohibited. That is the message we […]

SMART TD, BLET submit joint comments on FRA proposed two-person crew rule

On Wednesday, June 15, SMART Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) submitted their joint comments on the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) proposed two-person crew rule. While both unions strongly support the proposed rule, they suggested in their comments that the rule be made stronger before being made final. “We firmly […]

RRB issues statements of service

Each year, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) prepares a “Certificate of Service Months and Compensation” (Form BA-6) for every railroad employee who had creditable railroad compensation in the previous calendar year. The RRB will mail the forms to employees during the first half of June. While every effort has been made to maintain current […]

SMART TD to Washington state: DEIS will set “troubling precedent”

John Risch, National Legislative Director with SMART TD, submitted comments to Cowlitz County and the Washington State Department  of Ecology, in concern over the state’s possible efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from major construction projects, and the negative impact on rail that would follow.  “The release of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for […]

FRA clarifies “Smartwatch” Rule – Fitbits restricted

The question? May an employee wear a device like a “Garmin Vivofit” or “Fitbit” wristband that acts like a watch, and counts the steps that an individual takes each day?  The devices are not searching for the internet, or Wifi, to do this and must be synchronized with Bluetooth on a separate device. The devices […]

Collective bargaining wins big in Verizon strike

The nydailynews.com reported that, after a seven-week Verizon strike, collective bargaining and the middle class came out on top. Read the entire story here.

Two days after Oregon derailment, 100 residents remain evacuated

Oregon Live reported that approximately 100 residents remain unable to go back to their homes in Mosier, Oregon, following an oil freight derailment on Friday.  Possible environmental concerns arose regarding the Columbia River, as a light oil sheen can be seen floating on the river’s surface.  Read the complete article here.