July 23, 2016

DOT threatens to shut down D.C. Metro for safety reasons

USA Today reports that U.S. DOT Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx threatened to shut down the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA or D.C. Metro) if the company does not improve safety. Foxx’s announcement comes after Metro employees refused DOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) access to a tunnel following an explosion of a third-rail insulator last […]

RRB releases final rule doubling fraud penalties

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has released an interim final rule doubling penalties to health providers who submit false claims on a railroader’s behalf. Under the rule, the minimum penalty per false claim increases from $5,500 to $10,781. The maximum penalty per false claim increases from $11,000 to $21,563. The rule takes effect August 1, […]

RRB: Railroad Retirement age reductions Q&A

Railroad retirement benefits are subject to reduction if an employee with less than 30 years of service retires before attaining full retirement age. While employees with less than 30 years of service may still retire at age 62, the age at which full retirement benefits are payable has been gradually increasing since the year 2000, […]

DOT announces $10 million TIGER grant to extend Amtrak

Project includes new passenger platforms in Middlebury, Vergennes and Burlington, Vermont BURLINGTON, Vt. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg joined Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and U.S. Congressman Peter Welch at an event today to announce that the U.S. Department of Transportation will provide $10 […]

TTD: Making America great again means rebuilding America

By Larry I. Willis, AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department Secretary-Treasurer I had the honor last week of speaking to IBEW members at their Railroad Department and Government Employees Conference. I had a chance to talk about what is at stake in this election and the challenges we face as a country. Unfortunately, the anti-growth, anti-government movement […]

Donald Trump: All talk, no plan for Appalachian coal

Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that although Donald Trump asserted that he will get Appalachian coal miners back to work, he has yet to provide details on exactly how he will revitalize the Appalachian coal industry. Read the entire story here.

SMART TD at round table with Hillary Clinton in Ashland, Ky.

On May 2nd, SMART TD Kentucky State Legislative Director Jared Cassity and SMART TD Vice President Doyle Turner participated in a round table discussion in Ashland, Ky. with presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Lexington Herald Leader reported that Clinton promised federal assistance for Eastern Kentucky, which has been negatively impacted […]

FRA, FMCSA to host listening sessions on Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will host three public listening sessions to solicit information on the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in highway and rail transportation, its potential consequences for the safety of rail and highway transportation, and the […]

Unions reject NJT tentative agreement

SMART Transportation Division membership rejected a tentative agreement with New Jersey Transit from March that prevented a strike. BLET also rejected the agreement. Read more from NJ.com.

Republicans seek to protect union busters from transparency rule

The GOP has announced that it will fight a Department of Labor (DOL) rule requiring employers to report having hired third parties to draft and deliver anti-union messages to workers. The measure was announced by the DOL in the Federal Register March 24 and went into effect last week. The rule applies to all agreements […]