July 5, 2015

Flight attendants seek training to spot human trafficking

Flight attendants in the United States are calling for the government to step up action against human trafficking by funding mandatory training to help them spot victims in the air. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), the world’s largest flight attendant union, said its 50,000 members from 18 airlines can act as a massive network [...]

General Chairperson Dale McClain passes away

Dale W. McClain, 59, of Buffalo, N.Y. died of cancer June 11 at a nursing home in Buffalo, N.Y. McClain hired out with First Student Inc., and was a member of Local 1908 (Buffalo, N.Y.) since 1990. McClain served her union in various positions since 2011 when she was voted in as local delegate. In [...]

NMB releases unions on NJ Transit, PEB next

NMB logo; National Mediation Board

The National Mediation Board yesterday released from further mediation every commuter union on New Jersey Transit (NJT).            The unions, working together in the New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition, immediately announced their intention to invoke a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), which will make non-binding recommendations to settle the four year [...]

PTC, two-person crews necessary after Amtrak tragedy


By John Previsich, SMART Transportation Division President We are all aware of the recent incident that occurred on Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia. Three of our conductor Brothers and Sisters from Local 1370 in New York City and the engineer operating the locomotive have had their lives forever changed by a tragedy that could have [...]

Local Chairperson Donald Allard passes away

Don Allard

Donald L. Allard, 55, of Minot, N.D. died Tuesday, June 9 in a Minot hospital. Allard (L-1059 of Minot, N.D.) was a BNSF brakeman and long-time local chairperson and delegate. He also served as assistant general chairperson for GO 386 from 2003 to 2015. He originally hired out in September of 1979 as a brakeman, [...]

NTSB issues second update on Amtrak derailment


WASHINGTON – As part of its ongoing investigation into the May 12, 2015, derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia, the NTSB today provides this update on the analysis of the engineer’s cell phone and related records. The NTSB is conducting a detailed examination of the engineer’s cell phone calls, texts, data and cell phone [...]

GBW railcar services faces OSHA fines


Two workers endured several weeks of skin graft surgery and physical therapy after suffering second-degree burns when gas vapors exploded in a railcar in December 2014 at GBW Railcar Services LLC. The car was being prepared for cleaning when an electric heater ignited the flammable gas. Seven other workers were treated for injuries and released [...]

FRA recommends actions to prevent speeding


WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a safety advisory recommending actions that passenger railroads take to prevent trains from speeding.  The advisory is the latest in a series of steps FRA has taken to keep passenger railroads safe for the traveling public. “Today the FRA is taking a smart and targeted approach to [...]

White House backs 2015 PTC installation deadline


WASHINGTON – The White House on Thursday, June 4, endorsed a requirement that U.S. railroads install new safety equipment by the end of 2015, despite bipartisan efforts in Congress to give passenger and freight rail companies extra time to comply. Administration support for the deadline could lead to a showdown with lawmakers in Congress over [...]

Mo. governor vetoes right-to-work legislation

Governor Nixon, Missouri

On Thursday, June 4, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon traveled to SMART SMD Local 36 in St. Louis to veto a toxic right-to-work for less bill passed by that state’s legislature. With a fired up crowd of hundreds of onlookers, he noted that “For generations, the ability of workers to join together and bargain collectively for fair [...]