November 21, 2014

Preserve democracy in air, rail rep votes

Your help is needed, as will be explained in the following article. Imagine an election for Congress where the number of eligible voters NOT voting is added to the vote total of the candidate receiving the fewest actual votes, thereby making the election’s loser actually the winner. As confusing and foolish as that sounds, it [...]

PEB likely on Boston commuter rail

BOSTON – A coalition of Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBCR) unions, including those representing clerks, carmen, supervisors, signalmen and shopcraft workers, have been released by the National Mediation Board (NMB) from mediation. The release paves the way for appointment of a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) to make settlement recommendations for a wage, benefits and work-rules contract [...]

Obama again names NMB, STB nominees

WASHINGTON — President Obama has renominated two Republicans to key transportation posts after the Senate failed to take action on the nominations last year. Nominated to the three-person National Mediation Board, for a term expiring July 1, 2013, is Republican Thomas M. Beck. Nominated to the three-person Surface Transportation Board, for a term expiring Dec. [...]

Senate failed to act on NMB, STB nominees

WASHINGTON — Two Obama administration nominations of Republicans to key transportation regulatory positions — one to the National Mediation Board; the other to the Surface Transportation Board — were returned to the White House by the Senate this week without confirmation action and will have to be resubmitted to the Senate in the new Congress. [...]

Lame-duck legislation crucial for UTU members

WASHINGTON – A number of issues important to UTU members and working families is on tap for debate and vote this week as Congress returns for a lame-duck session. It is called a lame-duck session because House and Senate members who lost their seats in the Nov. 2 election remain in office until Dec. 31. [...]

What election results mean to UTU members

By International President Mike Futhey What do the Nov. 2 congressional election results mean for UTU members and their families? Consider these facts that are not always obvious: While it is true that organized labor has more friends among Democrats, many of the Republicans elected Nov. 2 are friends of working families, and they received [...]

Republican lawyer nominated for NMB

WASHINGTON – President Obama has nominated Republican Thomas M. Beck, an attorney, to succeed Republican Elizabeth Dougherty on the three-member National Mediation Board. The nomination requires Senate confirmation, and a confirmation hearing before the Senate Labor Committee has yet to be scheduled. Since October 2, Beck has been serving as a Senate-confirmed member of the [...]

RLA designed to avoid strikes, lockouts

By Retired UTU GS&T Dan Johnson In the February issue of UTU News, it was explained that the Railway Labor Act (RLA) is purposely designed to encourage both sides to reach a mutually acceptable solution that keeps the trains running. Railroad contracts have no expiration date, but do contain a moratorium prohibiting either side from [...]

Why don’t we just shut ‘em down?

By Retired UTU GS&T Dan Johnson We frequently hear from frustrated members, “Why don’t we simply go on strike, shut the railroad down, and be done with it?” I, too, have shared these feelings witnessing excessive discipline, outrageous demands of arrogant managers, and carrier negotiators focusing only on their year-end bonus. But the fact is, [...]

Union rep rules out of sync with times

By UTU International President Mike Futhey The National Mediation Board, which administers the Railway Labor Act, proposes changing the rules by which rail and airline employees choose labor union representation. The UTU supports the change. The NMB rules for representation elections now require a majority of employees eligible to vote actually cast a ballot favoring [...]