April 18, 2015

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’

Futhey pointing; Mike Futhey; Futhey, Mike; Pointing

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 [...]

New year for rail unemployment, sickness claims

A new year under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act for unemployment and sickness benefits begins July 1. The maximum daily benefit rate payable remains at $66 in the new benefit year. Benefits are normally paid for the number of days of unemployment or sickness over four in 14-day registration periods. Thus, the maximum benefits for [...]

Yard-safety workshop a life, limbs, careers saver

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Working in a rail yard puts life, limbs and career at risk more than any other job.  Members attending UTU regional meetings in San Antonio and New York have access to a yard-safety workshop – conducted in partnership with the Federal Railroad Administration’s risk-reduction team.  Attendees will gain more from this workshop if they first [...]

Fight for our futures against labor’s enemies

UTU members are stepping up to the plate in the fight to preserve collective bargaining rights, Amtrak, workplace safety, Railroad Retirement, Social Security and Medicare by mounting a counter attack on political extremists intent on destroying organized labor and all it has achieved for working families. Hundreds of active and retired members — individually and [...]

Record pay boost in UTU tentative rail pact

Contract and Pen

A 17 percent pay increase, retention of the $200 monthly cap on health care cost-sharing, FRA certification pay, a faster process for new hires to reach full pay rates, and no rollback of the January 2011 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) highlight the new five-year national rail agreement negotiated between the UTU and the National Carriers’ Conference [...]

al-Qaida but one transport terrorist threat

The news media may be atwitter with concerns of an al-Qaida attack on trains, but there is no validation that any specific attack is imminent or has been planned. What is crucial is that each of us — whether we work for an air, bus, freight train, transit or passenger train operator — remains alert, [...]

UTU working to improve Rail Safety Act

By James Stem, UTU National Legislative Director The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) was not all that rail labor wanted in a safety bill, but it was a good start, and contains much of what we have long sought. Work still needs to be done, including an end to limbo time, advance notice [...]