July 31, 2014

Stem testifies on safety before Senate committee

stem_senate_061913

SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation June 19 at a hearing to explore improvements in freight and passenger rail safety. Stem testified on a variety of issues including fatigue, positive train control, the shipment hazardous materials, new technologies and worker training. Stem [...]

Our purpose is safety, security, opportunity

Stem

As our Washington staff interacts with decision makers here in the nation’s capital, our focus is to improve our members’ job security and safety and to create more job opportunities in our industries. We are presently involved in a number of efforts to fulfill those goals. Fatigue is a major safety issue for our members [...]

Negotiators speak out on national rail contract

DuBose

Former International President Tom DuBose(1991-1995) Having served as a member and as chairperson of UTU national negotiating committees, and as a UTU International officer for 28 years, I found that the failure to reach an agreement on the national level carries the risk of having third party recommendations placed in effect by Congress. In my [...]

Conductor cert, passenger HOS regs on tap

Strang, Jo; Jo Strang

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration will soon publish final rules instituting conductor certification and imposing new hours-of-service limitations on intercity passenger-train and commuter employees in safety sensitive positions. FRA Associate Administrator for Safety Jo Strang made the announcement at the UTU’s regional meeting June 21 in San Antonio, Texas. She observed that since former [...]

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 [...]

Lawmakers change; our mission does not

James Stem

By James Stem,UTU National Legislative Director With the election over, change has come to Washington. Since 2001, the congressional political majority has shifted three times. New majorities are nothing new to our UTU legislative team. While most UTU-endorsed candidates were re-elected, we did lose friends with whom we had long and positive relationships. Thankfully, the [...]