July 29, 2014

No defense for violating worker rights

OSHA logo; OSHA

Even when railroads return workers to their jobs with full back pay after wrongly terminating them for suffering a workplace injury, significant monetary sanctions may still be imposed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Case in point is Norfolk Southern, which was ordered to pay damages in excess of $580,000 [...]

NS: More than a hat trick or golden sombrero

OSHA logo; OSHA

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 [...]

Every tool in use to protect members’ jobs, safety

Mike Futhey

Delivering on the theme of the 2012 regional meetings – “We will not back down” – UTU International President Mike Futhey told more than 1,000 attendees at the Memphis meeting how the UTU is using every tool available – negotiations, legislative and legal — to defend its members’ jobs and workplace safety. * On the [...]

Second quarter 2012 rail profits wrap-up

BNSF reported a 16 percent increase in profit for the second quarter 2012 versus second quarter 2011. BNSF’s second quarter 2012 operating ratio of 71.1 percent was a more than 3 percentage point improvement over second quarter 2011. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered [...]

UTU assisting in NS derailment investigation

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The UTU Transportation Safety Team is assisting the National Transportation Safety Board in investigating a fiery explosion following a Norfolk Southern derailment here July 11. Sixteen of 98 cars carrying ethanol, corn syrup and grain left the tracks around 2 a.m. There were no injuries among the crew, but two nearby residents [...]

NS retaliation again slapped by OSHA

ns_Logo

It is reasonable to wonder just how many millions of dollars in sanctions must be assessed against railroads by the federal government before they learn the lesson that employees are not the equivalent of number 2 pencils to be chewed on at will and discarded when convenient. In the most recent comeuppance applied to Norfolk [...]

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 [...]

CN, CP, CSX, KCS, NS, UP report 2011 earnings

CANADIAN NATIONAL Canadian National reported a 9 percent increase in profit for calendar-year 2011 versus calendar-year 2010. The CN calendar-year operating ratio of 63.5 percent was a slight improvement over the 63.6 percent operating ratio for calendar-year 2010. Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered [...]

NS hiring conductors, other crafts

Norfolk Southern said Nov. 3 it intends to hire 500 employees by year end, and add another 2,600 employees in 2012 to meet growing demand for service and to replace those retiring. Hiring will be for conductors, as well as other crafts, including freight car repairers, machinists, signal maintainers, and track maintenance workers. For more [...]

UP lone “revenue adequate” railroad for 2010

STB_logo

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 [...]