August 20, 2014

Chicago Metra conductor assaulted, injured

An on-duty Chicago Metra conductor received medical attention following an assault during a botched robbery attempt at a west side passenger station Oct. 22. According to news reports, the conductor, whose identity was not released, was transported to a hospital with unspecified injuries. The alleged robber, who was said by witnesses to have displayed a [...]

NS: More than a hat trick or golden sombrero

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In ice hockey, the scoring by one player of three goals is called a “hat trick.” In baseball, a player striking out four times in a single game is said to have earned a “golden sombrero.” Norfolk Southern’s feat is to have earned from OSHA a still unnamed fifth significant sanction in recent months for [...]

BNSF intimidation alleged to extend to witnesses

The UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA), along with two other rail labor organizations, have filed a complaint with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), alleging BNSF has expanded its harassment and intimidation of injured workers to include the targeting of witnesses. In recent months, OSHA has imposed [...]

Rail fatality in N.D.; amputation in Missouri

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During the month of May, one UTU member was killed  in North Dakota in a rail switching accident, another was murdered on his bus route in Los Angeles, and another lost a foot in Missouri in a yard switching accident. On CP Rail (Soo Line) in Kenmare, N.D., conductor Robert J. Glasgow, 38 (UTU Local 887, [...]

First quarter 2012 rail profits wrap-up

BNSF reported a 15 percent increase in profit forf the first quarter 2012 versus first quarter 2011, citing improved pricing and higher fuel surcharges. BNSF’s first quarter 2012 operating ratio of 74.4 percent was one percentage point lower than for the first quarter 2011. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage [...]

BNSF rescinds rule following UTU, SMWIA complaint

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After BNSF announced it would demand highly personal information from employees relating to off-duty medical procedures and issues, the UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate. The proposed new carrier rule, said the UTU and SMWIA, is discriminatory and violates federal law by requiring [...]

UTU, SMWIA ask EEOC to probe BNSF medical policy

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On behalf of members employed by BNSF, the UTU and the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) have asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate the railroad’s new medical reporting policy, which the organizations say is discriminatory and violates federal law by requiring workers to provide highly personal medical information. BNSF is demanding [...]

UP lone “revenue adequate” railroad for 2010

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Surface Transportation Board has determined that only one major railroad – Union Pacific – was “revenue adequate” in calendar year 2010. A railroad is considered “revenue adequate” if it achieves a rate of return on net investment equal to at least the current cost of capital for the railroad industry. Revenue [...]

Wrap up: Major rails’ 3d quarter 2011 profits

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BNSF reported a 9 percent improvement in profit for the third quarter 2011 versus the third quarter 2010. The third-quarter operating ratio of 71.7 percent was slightly higher than the 70.8 percent for third-quarter 2010. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the [...]

2 crew members injuried in Mont. BNSF derailment

HAVRE, Mont. – Two unidentified BNSF crew members were injured here Aug. 28 when their 93-car freight train derailed, reports the Associated Press. The injuries were described as “not life-threatening.” The eastbound train from Spokane, Wash., to Minneapolis reportedly left at least one of three locomotives and numerous freight cars on their sides. There was [...]