July 24, 2016

NJ Transit strike averted, tentative agreement reached

  ABC News reports that a potential strike or lockout on New Jersey Transit (NJT) has been averted. A tentative agreement has been reached between the carrier and the Rail Labor Coalition which represents 4,000 union members employed by NJT. Union members now will have a chance to vote to accept or reject the tentative […]

Railroad Retirement annuities not taxable by state

According to Section 14 (45 U.S.C. Section 231m) of the Railroad Retirement Act retirement annuities are not taxable for individual state income tax purposes. Bruce Rodman, of the Public Affairs/Office of Administration of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board says, “Both of our primary enabling statutes – the Railroad Retirement Act and the Railroad Unemployment Insurance […]

TTD urges Congress to protect workers, jobs; opposes NS takeover

Transportation Unions’ agenda focuses on job creation, safety and appropriations 2016 Presidential Election Preparations Advance San Diego, Calif. — Transportation unions took aim at critical transportation appropriations battles pending in Washington and continued preparations to show their members and the public the stark choices voters will face in the presidential election. “We are committed to […]

Op-ed: GOP candidates propose devolution of rail law

In a letter to the editor and published by The Hill, AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) President Edward Wytkind warns that GOP presidential candidates want to devolutionize laws governing freight and passenger rail in the U.S. The candidates are in support of deregulating the current rail laws and funding and turning it over to each […]

Do you want more passenger rail service in Alabama?

By John Previsich, president of SMART Transportation Division and Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (www.ttd.org). Alabamians sure love their college football, but what we’ve just recently learned is that they also like their passenger trains — and they’re willing to pay for them. A recent state-wide poll by DFM Research shows that passenger trains don’t only thrive in the […]

Registration available for both 2016 regional meetings

Members planning to attend one or both of the SMART Transportation Division regional meetings this summer can now make reservations for either city.  Click here to register online for the San Francisco regional meeting. Click here to register online for the Chicago regional meeting. Click here for the mail-in registration form. Regional meeting registration is available online now by going to […]

SMART TD opposes auto control systems in FRA letter

In a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Associate Administrator for Safety Robert Lauby, SMART Transportation Division’s National Legislative Director John Risch called on the FRA to issue an emergency order prohibiting the use of auto control systems. In his letter, Risch maintained that the FRA should regulate these systems, just as cell phones […]

SMART endorses Hillary Clinton for President

SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, has endorsed Hillary Clinton as the union’s choice for President in the upcoming 2016 election. Clinton stood out to members based on her strong leadership, experience, competency and unwavering support for working families. The selection process had input from a survey of the […]

PEB 249 report – A win for SMART members and Rail Labor Coalition

After nearly five years of bargaining, Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) 249, formed in November, 2015 to resolve the contract dispute between the Rail Labor Coalition (Coalition) and New Jersey’s mammoth commuter carrier, New Jersey Transit (NJT), sided with unionized workers in recommending the main points of the Coalition’s proposal, including retroactive wage payments and an […]

SMART TD, BLET petition FRA for speed signs

SMART TD and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen (BLET) have submitted a petition to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for rulemaking that mandates uniform warning speed signs in advance of a permanent speed restriction. SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch said, “Not having speed signs would be like listing all the traffic […]