SMART - TD Local 306

Serving Sioux City, Mason City & Eagle Grove on UPRR Former C&NW Lines


SMART TD’s Risch – DC Roundtable on Emerging Railroad Technologies - 3/22/2017

SMART TD’s Risch – DC Roundtable on Emerging Railroad Technologies

SMART TD’s John Risch, fourth from left.

WASHINGTON – John Risch, SMART TD National Legislative Director, participated in hearings as a member of the Roundtable on Emerging Railroad Technologies on March 21, 2017. Discussion focused on new and emerging trends in railroad safety including train crew size, recent advancements in train brake technology, and early warning systems.

“Thank you Chairman Schuster, Subcommittee Chair Denham, and Ranking Member Capuano for inviting me to the roundtable discussion on emerging railroad technologies. With nearly 40 years in the railroad industry, I was pleased to have the opportunity to discuss the importance of maintaining minimum crew sizes, implementing Positive Train Control (PTC), and most importantly investing in the installation of Electronic Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes, which are vital to safety of our railroads,” said John Risch, SMART-TD National Legislative Director.

“I look forward to working with the members of the committee to improve railroad safety as we discuss opportunities to strengthen our nation’s infrastructure,” Risch continued.

Click here to read Risch’s complete notes from the hearing.

Click here for information on participants and to view video.

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SMART TD, BLET submit comments to TSA on rail security - 3/17/2017

SMART TD, BLET submit comments to TSA on rail security

SMART TD and BLET submitted joint comments to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Thursday, March 16, on their proposal to require security training for employees of higher-risk freight railroad carriers, transportation agencies, passenger railroad carriers and over-the-road bus companies.

TSA’s proposed rule will require companies to train employees performing security-sensitive functions on how to observe, assess and respond to terrorist-related threats or incidents.

SMART TD and BLET said in their comments:

“We support stronger security training requirements for surface transportation employees who serve a critical role in the movement of passengers and commercial goods nationwide. Train operators in particular are responsible for the movement of hazardous materials, which can be a high-risk target for terrorist attacks.

“In 2014, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published a final rule which established minimum training standards for all safety-related railroad employees, as required by the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008. We urge TSA to engage with the FRA to implement improvements to those training standards and make sure that both sets of standards don’t conflict with one another.”

Click here to read TSA’s proposed rule.

Click here to read SMART TD and BLET’s joint comments in their entirety.

Click here to read all comments submitted to the TSA on this proposed rule.

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Sign petition to Trump/FTA to save Caltrain project - 3/3/2017

Sign petition to Trump/FTA to save Caltrain project

Dear SMART TD member:

Please click on the link below to sign (and please share) this online petition to the White House asking the FTA to approve funding that has long been earmarked for San Francisco’s Caltrain’s Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project (PCEP) a high-speed, electric commuter train system project:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-9600-american-jobs-tell-fta-approve-funding-caltrain-electrification

The petition urges President Donald Trump to reverse Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s decision, which was to stop the project by placing $647 million in federal funding on hold. This transportation project has been years in the making and promises to replace Caltrain’s current diesel-fueled commuter trains with high-speed, electric commuter trains.

Sen. Diane Feinstein and Sen. Kamala Harris of Calif. released the following joint statement: “This decision is incomprehensible and will cause delays and millions of dollars of additional costs that could jeopardize the entire project.”

President Trump’s repeated campaign promises centered on safeguarding American jobs, creating thousands of new jobs and upgrading and developing our infrastructure. If that is still true, Trump must allow this project to move forward, as Caltrain PCEP will create nearly 10,000 jobs, not only in California, but in other states as well, including Utah, Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Please sign the petition and share it with your brothers and sisters of of all trades.

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Calls for 2-person crews in response to amphibious vehicle fatalities - 2/22/2017

Calls for 2-person crews in response to amphibious vehicle fatalities

The Portland Press Herald reported that as amphibious vehicles (duck boats), designed to traverse land and water, have increased in popularity over the years, so has the number of accidents and fatalities involving these complicated vehicles.  Advocates for increased safety measures are calling for mandated two-person crews on all duck boats.  Some amphibious vehicle companies have voluntarily  instated policies that mandate two-person crews at all times.  Since rail carriers can’t be counted on to do the same, we need to continue all efforts to pass HR 233.

Read the complete article here.

Take just a couple of minutes to contact your legislator in support of HR 233 – The Safe Freight Act, that includes a two-person crew mandate, by clicking here. 

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Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains why “Right-to-Work” is wrong - 2/16/2017

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains why “Right-to-Work” is wrong

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains why “Right-to-Work” legislation is wrong for working families.

 

https://youtu.be/lLV4P5Pq0_0

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SMART-TD Local 306

 

A special session of your General Committee was held in January 2017.  The main purpose was to elect a new General Chairman following Mike Reedy's retirement.  Jerry Kalbfell was elected General Chairman and Glenn Marker was elected full time Vice General Chairman.

The finance committee then presented a proposal to increase the General Committee monthly dues assessment by $10 due to a shortfall in the budget.  Membership is down from 2,147 in 2012 to 1,511 in 2016 due to the furloughing of our brothers and sisters.  The proposal passed and the assessment is expected to hit in April.  Please forward any questions to a local union officer.

 

Your Local Officers are here to protect you - help us all by calling when assistance is needed!  Don't settle for the carrier's attitutude - be involved!  A time claim is used to correct a violation of your contract - take the time to enter them and turn them in!

 

No job is so important, no service so urgent, that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely!

 

YOUR Union Meetings are:

Eagle Grove - Official Local Monthly Meeting - 2nd Wednesday of each Month; Godfather's Pizza at 18:30

Sioux City - 2nd Tuesday in February, May, August, November; Ramada Inn at 11:00

Mason City - as needed