July 24, 2014

Amtrak privatization bill: ‘A rat hole worth watching’

WASHINGTON – Legislation to privatize Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, as a first step toward destruction of Amtrak, will almost certainly be dead-on-arrival in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and will face a tough challenge in the Republican-controlled House; but the authors of the bill – House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) and House Rail Subcommittee [...]

Conductor cert, passenger HOS regs on tap

Strang, Jo; Jo Strang

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration will soon publish final rules instituting conductor certification and imposing new hours-of-service limitations on intercity passenger-train and commuter employees in safety sensitive positions. FRA Associate Administrator for Safety Jo Strang made the announcement at the UTU’s regional meeting June 21 in San Antonio, Texas. She observed that since former [...]

House Republicans launch assault on Amtrak

WASHINGTON — An assault on the future of Amtrak and its employees was launched June 15 by the chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), and the chairman of the House Rail Subcommittee, Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) The UTU and other rail labor organizations are gearing to fight this effort to [...]

Wisconsin decision will embolden extremists

MADISON, Wis. – A divided state supreme court here June 14 ruled in a 4-3 decision that the state’s controversial law revoking collective-bargaining rights for public employees may go into effect – overturning an injunction issued by a lower court. This is important to UTU members for two reasons: Political extremists in other states and [...]

Have you experienced unruly passengers?

The UTU, Amtrak and other labor organizations have designed a survey to aid in the development of training and awareness programs to assist Amtrak employees deal with unruly, disorderly or aggressive passengers. While development of this program is intended for Amtrak, all UTU members employed in passenger transportation – air, bus, rail and transit – [...]

Cubs not alone with problems in Chicago

CHICAGO — Newspapers and television and radio stations here June 14 were asking Union Pacific, “Is this any way to run a railroad?” after a shortage of UP engineers caused the cancellation of six morning Metra commuter trains and inconvenienced thousands of passengers trying to reach their jobs here. Metra pays UP to operate and [...]

Yard-safety workshop a life, limbs, careers saver

railyard

Working in a rail yard puts life, limbs and career at risk more than any other job.  Members attending UTU regional meetings in San Antonio and New York have access to a yard-safety workshop – conducted in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration’s risk-reduction team.  Attendees will gain more from this workshop if they first [...]

Preserving Medicare: We have a role to play

seniors

Would you accept a job paying $1 million to count out $2 billion in $1 bills? Think again, because working a 40-hour week and counting out $1 per second, you would require 266 years to count out the $2 billion total. Now that you have an idea how much $2 billion is, consider that in [...]

UTU, TRRA seek anti-terrorist training grant

Bruce Feltmeyer; Feltmeyer, Bruce; International Employee

The UTU and the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) are jointly seeking an anti-terrorist security grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If the grant is approved — with a DHS decision expected in August — the UTU and TRRA will collaborate on a three-year project to train front-line TRRA employees to [...]

Fight for our futures against labor’s enemies

UTU members are stepping up to the plate in the fight to preserve collective bargaining rights, Amtrak, workplace safety, Railroad Retirement, Social Security and Medicare by mounting a counter attack on political extremists intent on destroying organized labor and all it has achieved for working families. Hundreds of active and retired members — individually and [...]