November 30, 2015

Bus, transit and EAS funding extended


WASHINGTON – Federal Transit Administration bus-project and other transit funding – in danger owing to political squabbling — will remain in place at least through March 31, 2012, following House and Senate action to extend temporarily, for the eighth time since 2009, highway taxes that fund transit programs. The House and Senate also agreed Sept. 15 to a [...]

Another UTU bus organizing win

PERRIS, Calif. – In the 24th organizing victory in 43 months, the UTU has added representation of additional employees of Southland Transit here. Following the lead of bus drivers and mechanics of Southland Transit, who voted “UTU, yes” in June, the company’s call center employees have now chosen the UTU as their bargaining representative. The [...]

Bus companies ordered to post organizing message

NLRB Logo; National Labor Relations Board

WASHINGTON — Employers, including union and non-union bus companies, covered by the National Labor Relations Act must now post notices on bulletin boards informing employees they have a right under federal law to organize and be represented by a labor union. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued that final ruling last week after concluding [...]

Court validates concern over bus-driver harassment

WASHINGTON – When UTU Bus Department Alternate Vice President Calvin Studivant was appointed to a 20-member congressionally created Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee earlier this summer, he was no shrinking violet. Studivant had serious concerns about a proposal by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that would require certain motor carriers, including interstate bus [...]

Learning to be better leaders

Bonnie Morr; Morr, Bonnie; Morr

Morr By BONNIE MORR Alternate Vice President, Bus Department Bus Department workshops at the San Antonio and New York regional meetings were among the most informative in many years, and reflect the promise of President Futhey to beef-up and place greater emphasis on those workshops. The workshop on solidarity and uniting of our membership focused [...]

Rising bus death toll accentuates safety reform need

As the UTU continues to lobby safety regulators and Congress on the need for bus-operator fatigue abatement, improved driver training and tougher bus-safety inspections, tragic events are placing even more emphasis on this topic. Since January, according to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 32 have been killed in 17 separate bus accidents, and 323 [...]

Recipe for success: Safety first

Vic Baffoni; Baffoni, Vic; Baffoni

By Vic BaffoniVice President, Bus Department I recently spoke with UTU Local 1785 (Santa Monica, Calif.) member William Alvarenga, who has driven a motor coach for more than 30 years and who has been commended for his safe and courteous driving record. I asked Brother Alvarenga his recipe for success. “Put safety first and schedule [...]

House bill would slash Amtrak, transit funding

WASHINGTON – The Republican leadership of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will introduce legislation July 8 to slash Amtrak’s federal subsidy by 25 percent, prevent federal funds from being used to create additional rail passenger services unless they are high-speed projects, and cut federal transit funding by 30 percent. Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), and [...]

NTSB: Latest safety recommendations

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board has updated its “Most Wanted” transportation safety improvements. Included are recommendations for improved bus, rail and aviation safety. Following are the NTSB’s comments of interest to UTU members: Fatigue Airplanes, buses and trains are complex machines that require the full attention of the operator, maintenance person and other [...]

Fourth tour-bus crash since March kills driver

PITTSBURGH – In another high-profile bus crash, a tour-bus driver died and 23 passengers were injured June 27 when the bus struck the rear of a tractor-trailer near here on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, reports Reuters. The bus, owned by New Oriental Tours and carrying Asian tourists, was enroute to New Jersey from Kentucky. In May, [...]