October 31, 2014

UTU to Congress: Eliminate fatigue, boost safety

WASHINGTON — The single most important action Congress and the Federal Railroad Administration can take to improve rail safety — especially in the movement of hazardous materials — is to eliminate train-crew fatigue and provide predictable start times for train crews. That was the message delivered April 7 to the House Railroad Subcommittee by UTU [...]

Worker input crucial to reducing rail risks

If a congressionally ordered railroad risk reduction program is to be effective, the Federal Railroad Administration must include railroad employees and their labor unions in the process of evaluating and managing the program. That is the message seven rail labor organizations sent to the FRA Feb. 8 in response to an earlier FRA notice of [...]

We’ll keep pressing to improve, protect

James Stem; Stem, James

By James StemUTU National Legislative Director January brings a new session of Congress and the start of state legislative sessions across the country. Our UTU legislative team in Washington and our state legislative directors will be on guard protecting the interests of our members. Two old UTU friends are in charge of key transportation committees [...]

UTU working to improve Rail Safety Act

By James Stem, UTU National Legislative Director The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA) was not all that rail labor wanted in a safety bill, but it was a good start, and contains much of what we have long sought. Work still needs to be done, including an end to limbo time, advance notice [...]

UTU, BLET challenge HOS interpretations

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 made the first significant amendments to hours-of-service laws in nearly 40 years. In response, the FRA issued an interim statement of agency policy and interpretation, which poses significant problems for train- and engine-service employees with regard to employee safety and earnings. The UTU and the BLET now have [...]

We are a union on the move

By UTU International President Mike Futhey We are a union on the move, growing stronger financially and adding new members through aggressive organizing. In addition to organizing 300 pilots and flight attendants at Great Lakes Airlines recently, we have authorization cards from a majority of the 110 pilots at Lynx Aviation. We are talking with [...]

UTU, BLE comment to FRA on HOS

In a joint submission aimed at improving safety and the security of member paychecks, the UTU and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have asked the Federal Railroad Administration to clarify and simplify its interim policies relating to, and interpretations of, the Rail Safety Improvement Act’s changes to hours-of-service limitations that went into effect July [...]

We must make rail safety act work

By International President Mike Futhey Compromise is the art of successful negotiations. But when one party goes to the negotiating table unwilling to compromise, the results can be unpleasant for both, and produce a result that might not be the best choice. Such was the case with the Rail Safety Improvement Act passed by Congress [...]