October 1, 2014

Time to act on two-person rail crews is now!

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Members of the SMART Transportation Division and all of rail labor are reminded that they have the opportunity to make it federal law to have two qualified persons working on all freight trains operating in the United States a reality. Now is the time to contact your legislators in the House of Representatives and ask [...]

RRB announces additional pre-retirement seminars

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Additional locations have now been added to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board’s (RRB) schedule of Pre-Retirement Seminars for railroad employees and their spouses. Designed for railroad employees and spouses planning to retire within five years or less, the seminars will familiarize attendees with the retirement benefits available to them, and also guide them through the [...]

Simon’s direction at LIRR leads to win-win deal

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After over four years of battling with New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority during a difficult and highly publicized contract dispute, SMART Transportation Division members have prevailed on Long Island. The MTA was seeking net zero wage increases, major pension reform, large health care contributions, work rule give-backs and excessive concessions for new hires, but SMART [...]

Will U.S. railroad service ever get better?

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“I just returned from a trip to Europe, and really enjoyed riding the high-speed Eurostar and TGV. Why can’t we have something like that here in the U.S.?” So asked a reader, and the fundamental answer is simple: The United States, as a nation, does not and will not enjoy a robust passenger rail system [...]

Videos embody theme of ‘Strong, Proud, United’

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The theme of the SMART Transportation Division’s Convention in San Diego, Calif., June 30-July 2, was “Strong, Proud, United,” and videos were presented to the delegates and attendees each day during the convention that embodied those concepts. SMART Transportation members from around the country appear in the videos and, in their own words, express their [...]

LIRR strike averted, tentative deal reached

A tentative deal has been reached to avoid a strike at the nation’s largest commuter railroad, sparing hundreds of thousands of commuters the headache of finding alternate routes to and from the city, Gov. Cuomo announced Thursday. The agreement, which still must be ratified by union members, settles a four-year contract dispute between the Metropolitan [...]

LIRR unions, MTA end another day of talks

NEW YORK – With a Long Island Rail Road strike potentially set to start Sunday, the unions and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority returned to the bargaining table Wednesday and talked for several hours without reaching a deal. But both sides were set to work through the night remotely as they went off to hotels, and [...]

Blumenthal wants to convene Senate PTC hearing

WASHINGTON – A group of Connecticut lawmakers is calling for action on rail-safety technology that could prevent future train collisions like the fatal “deadman’s curve” crash late last year in the Bronx. The Positive Train Control technology, or PTC would override human error by automatically slowing or stopping trains that are speeding, entering work zones [...]

LIRR union coalition forced to set strike time

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International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Long Island Rail Road General Chairperson Anthony Simon has issued the following statement on the deteriorating labor situation at the commuter railroad: “I regret to report that negotiations have collapsed with New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority and all eight unions are now proceeding with strike [...]

Cuomo: LIRR strike is ‘just not an option’

A potential strike by the unions representing Long Island Rail Road workers would be a “terrible failure by both the unions and the MTA,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday. MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast was in Washington on Wednesday to meet with the state’s congressional delegation assessing the chances of Congress intervening and [...]