July 28, 2014

Pan Am Railways violated whistleblower rights

BOSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered Pan Am Railways Inc. to pay $50,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, as well as take corrective action, on behalf of an injured worker. The North Billerica-based commercial railroad adversely charged the worker with lying when he filed a Federal Railroad Safety Act complaint with the [...]

OSHA slams Norfolk Southern again

OSHA logo; OSHA

WASHINGTON – Norfolk Southern Railway Co. has been ordered to pay $1,121,099 to three workers following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which found that the company violated the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act. Two investigations, conducted by OSHA staff in Chicago and Pittsburgh, found [...]

New OSHA standards may affect flight attendants

OSHA logo; OSHA

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a proposed policy statement to establish the extent to which OSHA regulations may apply to flight attendants onboard an aircraft in operation. An FAA-OSHA memorandum of understanding (MOU) previously established a team to identify factors to be considered when determining when OSHA standards may apply to employees on aircraft [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

OSHA reiterates zero tolerance for worker retaliation

Here we go again – or should we say, again and again and again and again. This time it is Canadian National’s Illinois Central Railroad and short line Chicago, Ft. Wayne & Eastern Railroad that have been hit with more than $650,000 in sanctions by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for [...]

FRA, OSHA to coordinate safety complaints

OSHA logo; OSHA

Following almost 1,000 complaints from rail workers that they were improperly disciplined for reporting injuries or unsafe working conditions, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have forged an alliance to bring more pressure on railroads to stop the pattern of harassment and intimidation. “The safety of railroad employees depends on [...]

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 [...]