October 31, 2014

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 [...]

Conductor, engineer killed in Mont. crew-van accident

FRAZER, Mont. — A BNSF conductor and UTU member, along with a BNSF engineer, were killed late Friday night, Aug. 19, when the crew van in which they were riding was involved in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 2 just east of here in eastern Montana. This was the eighth UTU member fatality in 2011, and [...]

BNSF UTU member killed in yard accident

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A BNSF Railway yard worker, Thomas F. Bleyenberg, a member of UTU Local 5, Kansas City, Mo., was killed Mon., Aug. 15, when he became trapped between two rail cars at the carrier’s Argentine Yard here.  Bleyenberg was working a two-person remote control assignment with a third student-operator, according to reports. Bleyenberg, [...]

UTU member dies in BNSF Tulsa yard accident

Deborah Ann Beeler; Beeler; Beeler, Deborah Ann

TULSA, Okla. — A BNSF employee and UTU member was killed in a yard accident here Aug. 4 when a vehicle in which she was riding was struck by a flatcar during a hump operation, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and reported by the Tulsa World newspaper. Deborah Ann Beeler, 39, of Claremore, was pronounced [...]

Wrap up: Major rails’ 2d quarter 2011 profits

Canadian National: Canadian National Railway July 25 reported an 8 percent increase in profit for the second quarter 2011 versus the second quarter 2010, citing a 10 percent increase in intermodal loadings (trailers and containers on flat cars) and a 14 percent increase in intermodal revenue. CN’s second quarter 2011 operating ratio of 62.3 percent [...]

Conductor wins $125,000 in whistle-blower complaint

A Wisconsin Central conductor has won a whistle-blower complaint against the carrier – collecting more than $125,000 in compensatory and punitive damages – for unlawful harassment and intimidation as the result of reporting an injury. This was the third successful whistle-blower complaint filed against a railroad in recent months for violation of a worker’s rights under the [...]