April 18, 2014

Stem testifies on safety before Senate committee

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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 [...]

New surface transport law a mixed bag

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It’s not all we wanted, but, maybe more important, it’s not as bad as it could have been. Given the polarization of this Congress, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century – MAP-21 – is as good a new transportation authorization bill as we could have hoped for. Passed by bipartisan majorities in [...]

Hazmat train-the-trainer programs scheduled

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The National Labor College in Silver Spring, Md., has scheduled several hazardous materials train-the-trainer programs to help build a nationwide pool of peer instructors. Funded by the Department of Transportation, the train-the-trainer courses provide regional peer trainers with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver this awareness level hazmat training at their job-sites, union meetings [...]

Radioactive material safety course offered

A training course in safe handling of radioactive material transported by rail is offered April 26-28 at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Md. The course is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The college says that with the number of rail shipments of radioactive materials expected to increase in coming years, there [...]

FAA to overhaul pilot, flight attendant training

WASHINGTON — An extensive overhaul of air-carrier crew training has been proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration. “This is a major effort to strengthen the performance of pilots, flight attendants and dispatchers through better training,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. The proposed new training standards and procedures will be formalized in a final rule following [...]

We need training to spot trouble

By International President Mike Futhey Train and engine employees are the eyes and ears of every railroad, and most often the first to recognize threats and provide a response. The post 9/11 environment dangers now include foreign terrorist threats as well as home-grown threats by disturbed individuals. The UTU is currently engaged with Amtrak in [...]

Bus members learn at regional meetings

By Richard DeiserVice President, Bus Department It was gratifying to see the large number of Bus Department local and committee officers and legislative representatives in attendance at the regional meeting in New Orleans. There were many long-time experienced veterans and many new faces. President Futhey’s emphasis on organizing efforts will no doubt increase the need [...]

UTU seeks improvements in bus-driver training

By Vic Baffoni, Vice President, Bus Congratulations to officers and members of Local 1589, New Brunswick, N.J., on a new contract that includes improved wages and benefits. The UTU International is working with members of Local 1697, employed by TNM&O Coaches in Texas, following the carrier’s sale to Greyhound. We intend to protect their assignments [...]