July 29, 2016

SMART TD opposes auto control systems in FRA letter

In a letter to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Associate Administrator for Safety Robert Lauby, SMART Transportation Division’s National Legislative Director John Risch called on the FRA to issue an emergency order prohibiting the use of auto control systems. In his letter, Risch maintained that the FRA should regulate these systems, just as cell phones […]

SMART endorses Hillary Clinton for President

SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, has endorsed Hillary Clinton as the union’s choice for President in the upcoming 2016 election. Clinton stood out to members based on her strong leadership, experience, competency and unwavering support for working families. The selection process had input from a survey of the […]

FRA stepped-up enforcement to collect fines

Enforcement push is part of broader effort to increase overall rail safety WASHINGTON – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced that its stepped-up enforcement of railroad safety regulations led to the highest-ever civil penalty collection rate in the agency’s 50-year history.  For Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, the agency will collect 75 percent of all civil penalties […]

SMART TD sends letter to STB opposing CP/NS merger

In a letter dated, January 14, SMART TD President John Previsich wrote the Surface Transportation Board opposing a Canadian Pacific Railway proposal to acquire Norfolk Southern Railroad. See the letter in its entirety below or click here to read the letter. “Dear Chairman Elliott, Vice Chairman Miller and Member Begeman: “I am writing to you […]

PEB 249 report – A win for SMART members and Rail Labor Coalition

After nearly five years of bargaining, Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) 249, formed in November, 2015 to resolve the contract dispute between the Rail Labor Coalition (Coalition) and New Jersey’s mammoth commuter carrier, New Jersey Transit (NJT), sided with unionized workers in recommending the main points of the Coalition’s proposal, including retroactive wage payments and an […]

A victory for public safety: longer trucks voted down

Today, Congress put the safety of all motorists before the special interest agenda of a few select trucking and shipping companies. The proposal to force all states to allow double 33-feet trailer trucks, known as “Double 33s,” was not included in the omnibus spending bill. These monster-size trucks shouldn’t be on the road and they […]

SMART TD praises passage of FAST Act

On December 3, 2015, Congress passed H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST ACT) by overwhelming bipartisan votes of 83 to 16 and 359 to 65 in the Senate and House respectively. The legislation is the first long-term surface transportation reauthorization in a decade and provides funding and policy changes for our nation’s […]

Study finds Americans support more public transit

WASHINGTON – A new national survey reveals that more than 7 in 10 Americans support increased federal funding for the nation’s public transportation systems, including those that serve small cities, towns, and large urban areas. The survey was conducted by ORC International for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and it shows support for increased […]

DOT’s Foxx writes letter to House, Senate Conferees

In a letter to Chairman Bill Shuster (R – Pa.) of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, DOT’s Transportation Secretary Anthony R. Foxx wrote the following. Dear Mr. Chairman: I write to express my appreciation for efforts thus far to achieve a bipartisan long-term surface transportation bill. For the first time in more than […]

Clarifying OSHA’s rule on whistleblower retaliation

Earlier last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule covering railroad whistleblower cases and employer retaliation. The rule serves to clarify whistleblower protections already in place and establishes procedures and time frames for handling employee retaliation complaints covered under the National Transit Systems Security Act (NTSSA) and the Federal Railroad […]