July 25, 2014

Former LIRR president Williams remains on payroll

At least one Long Island Rail Road employee has gotten a good deal from the MTA recently. With unionized LIRR workers readying for a possible strike next month, the Daily News has learned that the railroad’s former president, Helena Williams, who was fired two months ago, remains on the payroll under an arrangement designed to [...]

Public unions can’t make non-members pay fees

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover the union’s costs of collective bargaining. In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights [...]

Illinois, UP announce Metra improvements

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BELLWOOD, Ill. — Governor Pat Quinn June 27 was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Union Pacific Railroad President and COO Lance Fritz to announce that the Union Pacific (UP) and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) are making a significant investment in Metra’s West Line. Each will invest $45 million for the [...]

FRA issues ROD for Calif. high-speed train section

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WASHINGTON – The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) June 27 issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the 114-mile Fresno to Bakersfield Section of the California High-Speed Train System. The ROD is the last step in the National Environmental Policy Act process and clears the way to break ground on the [...]

Union seeks proposals for Section 6 notices

The SMART Transportation Division is beginning the process of formulating Section 6 notices to be served on rail carriers negotiating under the umbrella of the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which will include proposals to increase wages, benefits and improve working conditions. As mandated by the Railway Labor Act and the current national agreement, these [...]

Penn. SLD Pokrowka seeks support of energy bill

SMART Transportation Division Pennsylvania State Legislative Director Paul Pokrowka is asking members and their families in the state to contact their representatives in the state House of Representatives and ask for their support of House Bill 2345. The Pennsylvania Greenhouse Gas Regulation Implementation Act will require the state’s Department of Environmental Protection to receive approval [...]

Thousands turn out for LIRR labor rally

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On Saturday June 21, more than 3,000 unionized Long Island Rail Road workers and their supporters rallied for a new contract Saturday, June 21, demonstrating their resolve in achieving the recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board 245. Union officials from a variety of crafts, as well as local, state and national political figures joined them. SMART’s [...]

LIRR union negotiations end abruptly Friday

A hostile bargaining session between the MTA and Long Island Rail Road labor leaders broke off in less than two hours early Friday with no deal in place and union officials saying a July 20 strike is more likely than ever. “Here we go,” Christopher Natale, general chairman of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, said [...]

8,000 medical examiners added to FMCSA list

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) June 27 announced that 8,000 more health professionals have been added to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) since the new system for USDOT medical examinations launched last month with 22,000 providers. Another 22,500 medical professionals have also initiated the process for [...]

Charlotte commuter train price jumps by $215M

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The Charlotte Area Transit System projects that building a commuter train to Lake Norman would cost $215 million more than expected – a price hike that will likely make it too costly to build. CATS had long planned to use Norfolk Southern freight tracks that parallel Interstate 77 for the Red Line passenger train. It [...]