April 19, 2014

Stem testifies on safety before Senate committee

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SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation June 19 at a hearing to explore improvements in freight and passenger rail safety. Stem testified on a variety of issues including fatigue, positive train control, the shipment hazardous materials, new technologies and worker training. Stem [...]

STB OKs Calif. high-speed project

SACRAMENTO – The California High-Speed Rail Authority won approval Thursday from a federal railroad oversight board to start construction this summer on the first leg of what would be the nation’s first bullet train. In a 67-page decision issued June 13, the Surface Transportation Board ruled 2-1 that the state could begin work on the [...]

Foxx clears first hurdle, nomination goes to Senate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx has cleared a major hurdle in his bid for Secretary of Transportation. His nomination cleared a Senate committee on June 10.  According to committee chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the nominations of Mayor Anthony Foxx, to be [...]

Conn. senators call for national rail trust fund

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A trust fund should be established to ensure the upkeep and safety of the nation’s rail system, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday, labeling the recent derailment in Connecticut and other accidents a call to action. Blumenthal, fellow U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch appeared [...]

Szabo: Build more integrated rail systems

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The following message was sent to the UTU National Legislative Office from Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo: Friends: We know well the population growth, mobility, and environmental challenges revealing a clear need to invest in passenger rail, and of passenger rail’s skyrocketing ridership – be it intercity, commuter, light, or heavy. But rail is not [...]

Court rules to overturn NLRB union poster rule

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and their ruling that workplaces must display posters about union organizing, bargaining and protests. The law would have insisted that more than six million private employers post a “notification of employee rights.” The one-page poster was to include basic rights [...]

Obama nominates Charlotte Mayor Foxx to head DOT

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The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a confirmation hearing on transportation secretary nominee Anthony Foxx May 22, according to Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.). President Obama announced April 29 Anthony Foxx as his nominee for the next Secretary of Transportation. Foxx is currently the mayor of Charlotte, N.C, which he [...]

Shuster, Rahall name freight transportation panel

U.S. Capitol Building; Capitol Building; Washington D.C.

WASHINGTON — Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and ranking member Nick J. Rahall II (D-W. Va.) April 16 announced the members of a special panel tasked with examining the current state of freight transportation in the United States and how improving freight transportation can strengthen the U.S. economy. The full committee’s [...]

Obama re-nominates three at NMB

NMB logo; National Mediation Board

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama last week re-nominated three individuals to serve on the National Mediation Board, which administers the Railway Labor Act affecting railroads and airlines. Nominees Harry Hoglander and Linda Puchala are current members of the board. The third nominee is Nicholas C. Geale, a Republican staff member of the Senate Health, Education, [...]

Obama will veto bill limiting NLRB action

The Obama Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1120, which would prohibit members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) duly appointed by the president from taking any action. If the president is presented with legislation that would undermine the functions of the National Labor Relations Board, his senior advisors will recommend that he veto the bill. [...]