November 25, 2015

Senate passes PTC extension, confirms Feinberg as FRA administrator

The U.S. Senate yesterday passed a short-term surface transportation funding extension that includes a long-term extension of the positive train control (PTC) implementation deadline. The Senate’s action followed the House’s approval of the bill on Tuesday, and President Obama is expected to sign it. The legislation reauthorizes funding of transportation programs through Nov. 20, and [...]

Senate votes to delay speed control system


Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to delay a year-end deadline for railroads to install automatic speed control equipment that would have averted a fatal Amtrak crash several months ago.  The Senate passed $350 billion legislation to renew federal highway and rail programs for six years, 65-34, but the measure gives railroads another three years [...]

Obama win offers working families brighter future

Mike Futhey

By UTU International President Mike Futhey –  For UTU members employed in the airline, rail and transit industries, the Obama/Biden victory and U.S. Senate election results translate to: * More, and more secure, transportation jobs. * More support to increase funding for public transit, Amtrak, and high-speed and higher-speed rail. * Strengthened protections of collective bargaining [...]

Shipper protection bills back in Senate

Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) have reintroduced legislation this Congress that would lasso railroad pricing power. S. 49, introduced by Kohl, would repeal some of the railroads’ antitrust exemptions. S. 158, introduced by Rockefeller and co-sponsored by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, would increase the size of the U.S. Surface Transportation [...]

Two Senate friends of labor to retire

WASHINGTON — Two friends of labor — Democratic Senators Kent Conrad (N.D.) and Joseph Lieberman (Conn.) — say they will retire at the end of the 112th Congress in 2012. Conrad is completing his fifth six-year term; Lieberman completing his fourth six-year term. These announcements follow the retirement announcement of Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison [...]

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. [...]

Baffoni: It is not going to be easy

By Vic Baffoni Vice President, Bus Dept. It’s a new year. We have a new administration in Washington and a larger labor-friendly majority in the House and Senate. It is a time of new hope. It will not be easy. The deteriorating economic conditions in this country are serious and will take time to solve. [...]