October 31, 2014

NTSB outlines measures to protect rail workers

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Railroad and rail transit roadway workers are subject to on-the-job risks and hazards markedly different from those faced by other railroad employees. The jobs of railroad engineers and conductors include risks primarily related to moving trains – derailments, collisions with other trains; the jobs of roadway workers involve hazards that include moving rolling stock and [...]

Local 378 hosts “call to action” labor rally

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With the assistance of SMART Transportation Division Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner, Transportation Division Local 378 at Cleveland held a “call to action” labor rally Oct. 20 at Sheet Metal Division Local 33′s union hall and training center in Parma, Ohio. With a turnout of approximately 45 members and Transportation Division office staff, Gardner [...]

Nigro: Dialogue is a two-way street

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By Joe Nigro, SMART General President –  The First SMART General Convention represented a new beginning for all of us. So, now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity and begin forging a path to ensure the dialogue between the leadership and convention delegates at our convention extends to an open communication between our [...]

FMCSA awards $1M to help train vets as bus operators

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Oct. 21 announced it has awarded $1 million in grants to nine technical and community colleges across the country to help train returning military veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers. The funding is provided through FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle – [...]

Medicare Part B premiums remain the same in 2015

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The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $104.90 in 2015, the same amount as in 2014. Some beneficiaries will continue to pay higher premiums based on their modified adjusted gross income, but these amounts are also remaining the same as in 2014. The monthly premiums that include income-related adjustments for 2015 will be [...]

Pa. legislative board calls members to action

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Pennsylvania State Legislative Director Paul Pokrowka is asking all SMART Transportation Division members from Pennsylvania to take action and contact the office of Gov. Tom Corbett, requesting he sign House Bill 2354 into law. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the first ever regulation of carbon dioxide emissions for existing stationary sources (power [...]

MBTA pushes subway car contract with Chinese firm

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) will recommend to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s board that CNR MA Corp. manufacture 284 new subway cars for the agency’s Red and Orange lines, Gov. Deval Patrick announced yesterday. The board is scheduled to meet today to consider the recommended contract with CNR, which is a joint venture [...]

Class I railroads announce third quarter results

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In a press release Oct. 14, CSX announced record third quarter profits. The railroad said that operating income increased 16 percent and operating ratio improved 220 points. Operating income came in at $976 million with an operating ratio of 69.7 percent. CSX also saw volume increases of seven percent. Revenue increased to $3.2 billion, eight [...]

Social Security benefits to go up by 1.7 percent

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Millions of older Americans who rely on federal benefits will get a 1.7 percent increase in their monthly payments next year, the government announced Wednesday. It’s the third year in a row the increase will be less than two percent.

Hotel converts Pullman rail cars into luxury suites

Guests at an upscale U.S. hotel can choose to stay in historic train cars that have been transformed into luxury suites and rest on their original tracks. Built within a major rail station, the Crowne Plaza in downtown Indianapolis, Ind., features 13 authentic 1920s Pullman train cars that offer a king or two double-sized beds [...]