July 25, 2014

SMART presents its first constitution and ritual

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We are pleased, as your general president and transportation division president, to present the first SMART Constitution and ritual to our membership. This is a milestone for both the former Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and the United Transportation Union, that have merged to become the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation [...]

AAR issues rail safety alert

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The Association of American Railroads has issued a safety alert for all railroads in North America. The safety alert is to advise of the recent discovery of barbed wire found on safety appliances of a multilevel car. This photograph was taken in the Quebec City, Quebec, area on March 26. “Please distribute this information to [...]

FRA issues new report on fatigue

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The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a new report on the status of fatigue among railroad industry employees. In 2001, the FRA began examining the fatigue status of safety-critical railroad employees by using logbooks to collect work and sleep data over a period of two weeks from a representative sample of employees in each group. [...]

Agreements ratified on Gary Railway

Wier UTU-represented yardmen, hostlers and yardmasters employed by Gary Railway and members of UTU Local 1383 have ratified separate six-year agreements. The contracts provide for annual wage increases, lump-sum percentage back-pay, improved bereavement leave, sickness/disability insurance and a reduced monthly health and welfare contribution. Also included is enrollment in the Transtar insurance benefit program. UTU [...]

EJ&E yardmasters, hostlers ratify new agreements

Wier UTU-represented yardmasters and hostlers employed by the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway have ratified separate new six-year agreements by overwhelming majorities. The new agreements provide for annual wage increases and back-pay; establish 401-k retirement plans, disability insurance and prior rights; increase life insurance; and place those members under the national railroad health and welfare [...]

IC yardmasters have tentative pact

UTU-represented yardmasters employed by Canadian National Railway’s Illinois Central Railroad have reached a new tentative agreement following mediation assistance from the National Mediation Board. A March tentative agreement was rejected by the membership, which will now vote, through Sept. 15, on the new tentative pact. Negotiations were led by UTU International Vice President Paul Tibbit [...]

Confidential Close Call Reporting proving its worth

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It’s confidential and no-fault. And the result, according to the Federal Railroad Administration, is a significant reduction in rail workplace derailments that too often lead to serious injury and death — plus, as a bonus, better labor/management relationships and improved operational performance. We’re talking about four pilot projects called Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS), whose core value [...]

Insurance information for retiring yardmasters

UTU-member yardmaster nearing retirement wishing to maintain their current connection with Minnesota Life to retain a supplemental $2,000 life insurance benefit should contact the Yardmaster Department at the UTU International office to obtain an enrollment form. Please note, you must enroll within 60 days of your last day worked to receive this coverage. Contact the [...]

Supreme Court declines to weaken FELA

WASHINGTON — In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court June 23 declined to tighten the standard of proof injured rail workers must demonstrate to win an award under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA). The ruling is a significant victory for injured rail workers. The FELA — a railroader’s most cherished workplace safety assurance — [...]

State of the union: ‘Stronger than ever’

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International President Mike Futhey SAN ANTONIO — Stronger protections for members, improved finances, successful organizing drives and superior wage and benefits agreements characterize the United Transportation Union in 2011, International President Mike Futhey told some 600 attendees in his state-of-the-union report at the first of two 2011 regional meetings here June 22. “Before this administration [...]