August 21, 2014

Obama cracks down on labor breaches by contractors

WASHINGTON (AP) — In an election-year rebuttal to Republicans, President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Thursday requiring federal contractors to give their workers more rights in labor disputes. The move comes one day after House GOP lawmakers voted to sue Obama for allegedly misusing presidential powers. Under the order, companies seeking large federal [...]

Former Auxiliary President Edythe Walter dies

Edythe Walter

Edythe Mae Walter, former International president of the Auxiliary of the United Transportation Union, passed away peacefully on July 30, 2014. She was 78.  She is survived by her husband, Bob Walter, with whom she celebrated 60 years of marriage on June 22. They also shared their birth date of April, 28, 1936. She is also [...]

Ga. SLD Campbell testifies at EPA carbon hearing

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SMART Transportation Division Georgia State Legislative Director Matt Campbell testified before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency July 29 in Atlanta, addressing the concerns of the union and its members regarding the agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan. In its proposed rule, the EPA is proposing state-specific rate-based goals for carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector, [...]

WSLC endorses two-person rail crew legislation

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Attendees to the Washington State Labor Council Convention in Wenatchee, Wash., July 22-24, unanimously endorsed a resolution supporting legislation for two-person rail crews on train operations throughout the state, SMART Transportation Division Washington Legislative Director Herb Krohn reports. The council also passed a resolution calling for additional legislative efforts related to railroad workplaces and public [...]

Szabo: Proposed rules on hazmat need your input

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The following message was sent to the SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo. Friends: Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation released two companion rulemaking proposals to improve the safe transportation of large quantities of flammable materials by rail. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration’s (PHMSA) Notice of Proposed [...]

Group seeks donations to bring NP caboose home

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In the sleepy and quaint town of Vermilion, Ohio, along the shores of Lake Erie, where boats are docked and buoyed along the water’s edge and early 20th century Victorian architecture still abounds, there will be a homecoming. Nickel Plate Caboose #1155 is coming home! However, she needs your help to make it back. The [...]

Time to act on two-person rail crews is now!

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Members of the SMART Transportation Division and all of rail labor are reminded that they have the opportunity to make it federal law to have two qualified persons working on all freight trains operating in the United States a reality. Now is the time to contact your legislators in the House of Representatives and ask [...]

FMCSA, OSHA strengthening worker protections

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the agencies regarding the anti-retaliation provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA). The Memorandum allows for [...]

NS sues to block disclosure of crude oil shipments

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WASHINGTON – A major hauler of crude oil by rail has sued the state of Maryland to stop the public release of information about the shipments, according to court documents. The suit was filed Wednesday, the same day the U.S. Department of Transportation announced proposed rules to improve the safety of crude oil shipments by [...]

Seattle City Council seeks DOT emergency order

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SEATTLE – City Councilmember Mike O’Brien and all eight of his council colleagues signed a letter calling for the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to issue an emergency order prohibiting the shipment of Bakken crude oil in legacy DOT-111 tank train cars. Bakken is highly flammable and easily ignited at normal temperatures by heat, static discharges, [...]