July 31, 2014

Year begins July 1 for RRB unemployment benefits

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A new benefit year under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act begins July 1, 2014. The maximum daily benefit rate payable for claims under this Act increases to $70 in the new benefit year. Benefits are normally paid for the number of days of unemployment or sickness over four in 14-day registration periods, so maximum benefits [...]

FRA’s Szabo challenges southeast states on rail

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RICHMOND, Va. – Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo today called on elected officials and transportation planners in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to develop a shared vision of rail service along the Southeast High-Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR) between Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. Administrator Szabo’s challenge came as he addressed members and supporters [...]

Boston transit toughens staff cellphone policy

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Boston’s public bus drivers and train conductors can now be fired for simply bringing a cell phone to work, according to a new policy that transit officials say is the toughest of its kind in the nation. The rule was announced by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on Monday a month after a public bus [...]

SMART announces June 21 rally in LIRR dispute

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The International Association of Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers and its allied unions on the Long Island Rail Road invite members of organized labor and their family, friends and supporters to a “LIRR Labor Rally” on Saturday, June 21, at 11 a.m. at the Massapequa Train Station. SMART Transportation Division GO 505 General [...]

Riders relieved Philadelphia rail strike is over

PHILADELPHIA – Passengers expressed relief Sunday that Philadelphia-area commuter trains were back on track after a one-day strike threatened to disrupt work schedules for tens of thousands of commuters in the coming week. Employees ended their walkout after President Barack Obama appointed an emergency board to mediate the contract dispute between the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation [...]

LIRR, SMART heading back to bargaining table

Long Island Rail Road union leaders and MTA managers will meet Friday for their first face-to-face contract negotiation session in nearly two months, five weeks before a possible strike that could strand 300,000 daily commuters, a key union official and an MTA source said. “It’s a good start that we’re getting in the room,” Anthony [...]

Federal Metra investigation begins after complaints

CHICAGO (WLS) — A federal investigation into Metra’s operations has begun following three separate complaints that have raised red flags about safety. Those three incidents happened within days of each other, one of them occurring a little bit south of the 35th Street station. The train was apparently speeding. It happened last Monday morning on [...]

Former UTU Vice President George Cahill dies

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Former UTU Vice President George J. Cahill, 85, died June 3 after a courageous battle with cancer. A member of SMART Transportation Division Local 1978 at New York and the former Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen Lodge 328, Cahill began his railroading career as a crew caller on New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in [...]

SEPTA railroad engineers authorize strike

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Nearly 99 percent of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members working for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) have voted to authorize a strike when a mandatory 30-day cooling off period under the Railway Labor Act ends in less than two weeks, BLET officials announced this morning. Locomotive engineers could walk off the [...]

AAR promotes safe behavior at rail grade crossings

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WASHINGTON – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) June 3 announced that North America’s freight railroads will host events in multiple cities across the country in observance of the sixth-annual International Level Crossing Day (ILCAD) aimed at raising public awareness about safe behavior around railroad grade crossings. “Safety is the foundation for everything we do, [...]