September 2, 2014

DOT takes emergency action for safe crude shipments

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation May 7 issued an emergency order requiring all railroads operating trains containing large amounts of Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs) about the operation of these trains through their states. Additionally, DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a [...]

Our union will only be as strong as we make it

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By Joe Nigro, SMART General President –  The SMART General Executive Council met in Maryland the week of March 31 to April 4 to identify opportunities and challenges in developing a five-year plan to move SMART forward. Representatives from the Sheet Metal and Transportation Divisions participated in the strategic planning sessions facilitated by FMI consultants, who [...]

SMART, BLET to seek two-person crew laws by state

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CLEVELAND – As part of an ongoing effort to secure a law mandating a minimum of two crew members in the cab of all locomotives, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers have provided their state legislative boards [...]

FRA to issue proposed rule on minimum train crews

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration April 9 announced its intention to issue a proposed rule requiring two-person train crews on crude oil trains and establishing minimum crew size standards for most main line freight and passenger rail operations. The FRA also intends to advance a rulemaking on train securement and [...]

SMART TD delegates must attend both conventions

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In the March issue of the SMART Transportation Division News, we celebrate the 100th birthday of former President Al Chesser, the very first elected president of the United Transportation Union. This is a remarkable achievement for a remarkable man! Brother Chesser’s history of commitment and dedication to this organization and all of organized labor is [...]

FRA issues final rule on critical incident stress plans

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The Federal Railroad Administration issued a final rule requiring certain major railroads to develop critical incident stress plans that provide for appropriate support services to be offered to their employees who are affected by a “critical incident.” Critical incidents refer to events such as a highway-rail grade-crossing accidents or a train striking another employee or [...]

Obama announces second PEB in LIRR dispute

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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, March 20, signed an executive order creating a second Presidential Emergency Board to help resolve an ongoing dispute between the Long Island Rail Road and some of its unionized employees. The appointment of a second PEB means that a strike by members of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, [...]

Let’s work together to put Fast Track on slow track

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By Joe Nigro, SMART General President – Recent news reports have been bleak when it comes to the status of working families in the United States. While much of the news focuses on unemployment, and rightly so, there’s a relatively unknown, legal way that corporations are going to impact the job market and the wealth of manufacturing [...]

Stem testifies before House subcommittee

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SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem testified March 12 before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. The subcommittee’s hearing was held in regard to Senate Bill S.1009, the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, which would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to establish an evaluative framework for chemical [...]

SMART Constitution complete, we are moving forward

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By John Previsich, SMART Transportation Division President –  2014 is shaping up to be a remarkable year in the history of our union. The SMART constitution is now finalized and we are moving forward with the ongoing effort to merge our two organizations into one. For those who have not yet viewed the arbitration decision or [...]