October 2, 2014

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, [...]

State of the union: ‘Stronger than ever’

Futhey pointing; Mike Futhey; Futhey, Mike; Pointing

International President Mike Futhey SAN ANTONIO — Stronger protections for members, improved finances, successful organizing drives and superior wage and benefits agreements characterize the United Transportation Union in 2011, International President Mike Futhey told some 600 attendees in his state-of-the-union report at the first of two 2011 regional meetings here June 22. “Before this administration [...]

NLRB seeks to speed rep-votes; increase transparency

WASHINGTON – In a move organized labor has long pushed for, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) June 21 proposed new representation-vote rules that will speed-up the voting process and give more transparency to employer actions intended to discourage a “union, yes” vote. NLRB rulings impact UTU Bus Department members. Rail and airline labor relations [...]

FMCSA names UTU bus officer to advisory panel

Calvin Studivant

WASHINGTON – Bus Department Alternate Vice President Calvin Studivant has been named by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Administrator Anne Ferro to a 20-member congressionally created Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee. The committee will provide advice and recommendations to Ferro on safety programs and regulations affecting bus and truck drivers, their equipment and employers. Studivant [...]

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 – [...]