September 20, 2014

Panel recommends safety improvements at N.Y. MTA

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Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Blue Ribbon Panel studying safety and maintenance practices at its three railroads yesterday announced 29 recommendations to improve operations and safety. Created a year ago after a series of safety-related incidents at MTA Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and New York City Transit (NYCT), the panel identified Metro-North’s safety [...]

Union seeks proposals for Section 6 notices

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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 [...]

AFL-CIO’s Trumka: ‘We won’t be turned aside’

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AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka drew several standing ovations during an electrifying speech to delegates and guests on the fourth day of the SMART Convention Aug. 14. The former United Mineworkers’ president began his speech by addressing the merger of the former Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and the former United Transportation Union into SMART [...]

Deadly Arkansas train crash cleanup ongoing

An important highway in northeast Arkansas could stay closed into next week as crews clean up the wreckage left from a head-on train collision, a highway official said Wednesday. Two railroad workers were killed and two others were injured when the Union Pacific freight trains crashed. Read the complete story at ClaimsJournal.com.

Medicare: Consider insurance when traveling abroad

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When planning a foreign trip, it’s highly unlikely your first thought would be, “Will Medicare pay if I get injured or have a medical emergency before I get back home?” Many patients think their Medicare benefits will provide coverage, wherever they go. Unfortunately, this isn’t true and can lead to costly, and avoidable, mistakes. Generally, [...]

Grain piles up as trains move N.D. oil

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FARGO, N.D. – The furious pace of energy exploration in North Dakota is creating a crisis for farmers whose grain shipments have been held up by a vast new movement of oil by rail, leading to millions of dollars in agricultural losses and slower production for breakfast cereal giants like General Mills. The backlog is [...]

Railroad man’s dying wish means one last ride

Gordon Russ was a railroad man all his life — and beyond. Russ died last year at 94 in Tacoma General Hospital, where he was born in 1919. A train engineer at heart until the end, he left his four children with one last request. Read the complete story at The News Tribune.

Members invited to join Omaha Labor Day Parade

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The SMART Transportation Division’s Nebraska State Legislative Board is once again organizing participation in Omaha’s annual Labor Day parade Monday, Sept. 1, and SMART members from Omaha and surrounding areas are invited to take part. The festivities begin Sunday at 5 p.m., when the board will hold a “membership feed” at the Sheet Metal Workers’ [...]

Land deals slowing California high-speed rail plan

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The California High-Speed Rail Authority needs to buy more than 550 pieces of property to build its first 29-mile stretch of rail line between Avenue 17 in Madera to American Avenue south of Fresno. And along the next 100 miles between Fresno and Bakersfield, as many as 1,150 more parcels of “affected” property have been [...]

Funeral set for member Hayes, killed in UP crash

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A funeral service will be held at 12 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 23, at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel in Allen, Texas, for SMART Transportation Division member Roderick A. Hayes, 31, who was killed in a Union Pacific train collision Aug. 17. Interment will follow at Ridgeview Memorial Park. The family will receive friends during a visitation from 6 [...]