July 23, 2014

Transport labor urges ‘no tinkering’ with RLA

WASHINGTON — The UTU and 17 other transportation labor organizations urged Congress Jan. 30 to pass a Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization without making what they called “drastic and unnecessary changes to the Railway Labor Act.” Historically, any changes to the Railway Labor Act have been jointly agreed to by labor and management – a primary [...]

We stand in solidarity with public employees

By UTU International President Mike Futhey The right of workers to join a labor union and bargain collectively with employers over wages, benefits and working conditions is the foundation of workplace democracy. Brave and dedicated trade unionists before us risked their lives, freedom and economic security fighting for collective bargaining rights, achieving victory first in [...]

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 [...]

Amtrak contract talks: January 2011 update

The following update on Amtrak negotiations is from UTU General Chairperson Roger Lenfest (GO 769), who is the UTU lead negotiator. The UTU International is not participating in the talks. Under the UTU’s guarantee of craft autonomy, the International participates in on-property negotiations only when requested to do so by general chairpersons. The existing UTU [...]

UTU-represented shortline has new owner

LONGVIEW, Wash. — UTU-represented train and engine employees of Columbia & Cowlitz Railroad here have a new employer in Patriot Rail Corp. after Patriot completed purchase of the shortline from paper manufacturer and forest products supplier Weyerhaeuser. Also included in the sale is Weyerhaeuser Woods Railroad (a non-UTU property) that connects with Columbia & Cowlitz. [...]

Carriers reject SMWIA dues demand

The National Railway Labor Conference (NRLC), in an April 1 letter to the Sheet Metal Workers International Association and its General President Mike Sullivan, has recognized the requirements of status quo under the Railway Labor Act and said all carriers will continue remitting UTU member dues to the UTU. “The deduction and remittance of dues [...]

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 [...]

UTU serves Section 6 notice on carriers

UTU general chairpersons on Nov. 2 served on railroads represented by the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) the UTU’s intended amendments to agreements affecting rates of pay, rules and working conditions. Such notices are required by Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act and are served on each other by parties to existing agreements. The [...]