SMART - TD Local 306

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


AAR describes rail job decline as “being flexible, efficient” - 1/20/2017

AAR describes rail job decline as “being flexible, efficient”

Trains.com reported that the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report showing that railroad jobs dropped by 3.8 percent in 2016 – reflecting the elimination of approximately 8,600 railroad jobs. In 2015, the drop in railroad jobs was reported at at sharper decline of  6.8 percent. Read the complete article here.

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SMART TD AND BLET: CALL CONGRESS for 2-PERSON CREW, NOW! - 1/20/2017

SMART TD AND BLET: CALL CONGRESS for 2-PERSON CREW, NOW!

CLEVELAND, Jan. 20—The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Rail Air and Transportation Workers (SMART TD) are urging their respective memberships to contact members of the House of Representatives about co-sponsoring The Safe Freight Act of 2017 (H.R. 233), a bill that would mandate two-person train crews on freight trains—one certified locomotive engineer and one certified conductor.

Introduced by Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) Jan. 3, 2017, The Safe Freight Act states in part: “Effective 30 days after the date of enactment of the Safe Freight Act of 2017, no freight train or light engine used in connection with the movement of freight may be operated unless it has a crew consisting of at least 2 individuals, one of whom is certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a locomotive engineer pursuant to section 20135, and the other of whom is certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a conductor pursuant to section 20163.”

The current two-person crew bill mirrors legislation that was introduced in the 114th Congress, which garnered 69 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.

Now is the time to speak up and voice your support for two-person train crews! All active and retired members of the BLET and SMART TD, as well as their Auxiliary Representatives, should contact their House Representatives and ask them to Co-Sponsor H.R. 233, the Safe Freight Act of 2017.

SMART TD and BLET members: Please visit the SMART TD Legislative Action Center (LAC) where you can easily find and contact your representative and urge him or her to support H.R. 233. Click here to visit the LAC and let your voice be heard!

Members can also call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, and ask to speak with the House of Representative member from your Congressional District. Contact information can also be found online at: http://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep.

Earlier this month, the BLET secured a significant victory for rail workers from the highest court in the United States to protect two-person train crews. On January 9, the United States Supreme Court denied a petition filed by the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway asking that the nation’s highest court review and set aside the 2015 finding by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that the railroad’s use of managers in place of union conductors was a major dispute under the Railway Labor Act.

The issue of two-person train crews has been in the national spotlight since the July 6, 2013, derailment of a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic (MM&A) oil train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, which killed 47 people and destroyed the center of the town. The MM&A train was crewed by a single person. Since that time, there has also been movement by major freight railroads to seek collective bargaining agreements to allow for widespread use of one-person train operations. SMART TD and BLET have lobbied to protect two-person crews as being paramount to safety.

“The nationwide fight over operating crew size is far from over, and we are urging all BLET and SMART TD Brothers and Sisters to contact their member of Congress on this extremely important issue,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “In spite of what the railroads might say, technology has not advanced to the point that it can replace the eyes and ears of railroad professionals. Please do your part as the job you save may be your own.”

“We will continue our tireless and years-long work of supporting a minimum of two crew members on all trains. An overwhelming majority of Americans from both political parties support this measure: the American people have spoken and are in favor of this bill. It is past time for our government to get on track, do the right thing and support H.R. 233. This measure is a matter of domestic safety and security for railroad workers, passengers, our cities, towns and our entire nation,” said SMART TD President John Previsich.

President Pierce and President Previsich both thanked Congressman Young for introducing the bill.

A full copy of H.R. 233 can be viewed at:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/233/text?r=61

 

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The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen represents nearly 57,000 professional locomotive engineers and trainmen throughout the United States. The BLET is the founding member of the Rail Conference, International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The SMART Transportation Division (SMART TD) is headquartered in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmsted, Ohio. It is a broad-based, transportation labor union representing more than 125,000 active and retired railroad, bus, mass transit and airline workers in the United States. It is a division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers based in Washington, D.C.

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GP Sellers: Holding Government To New Infrastructure Promises - 1/20/2017
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SMART TD announces introduction of two-person train crew legislation - 1/17/2017

SMART TD announces introduction of two-person train crew legislation

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 17, 2017) – SMART Transportation Division announced the re-introduction of the Safe Freight Act (H.R. 233) by Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) and former Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which would require two crew members — one certified locomotive engineer and one certified conductor — on all freight trains.

H.R. 233  would require that “no freight train or light engine used in connection with the movement of freight may be operated unless it has a crew consisting of at least two individuals, one of whom is certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a locomotive engineer pursuant to section 20135, and the other of whom is certified under regulations promulgated by the Federal Railroad Administration as a conductor pursuant to section 20163.” The newly-introduced legislation mirrors H.R. 1763, which received 69 bipartisan co-sponsors last year prior to conclusion of the 114th Congress. A copy of H.R. 1763 can be found here.

“SMART Transportation Division has been working tirelessly to promote safety in the railroad industry. There is no doubt that the safest rail operation is a two-person crew operation. After several major train derailments, we must send a clear message to our lawmakers and the general public that multi-person crews are essential to ensuring the safest rail operations possible in their communities. I would like to thank Congressman Young for his leadership on this critical issue as we continue improve safety on our nation’s railroads for both our members and the general public,” said SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich.

Last year, SMART Transportation Division repeatedly urged the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to finalize a rule requiring two-person minimum crews on trains. On June 15, 2016, SMART TD submitted comments in response to the FRA initial proposed rule. On August 5, 2016, SMART TD submitted additional comments expressing concerns about potential loopholes that would allow the operation of certain trains with fewer than two people.

Last July, SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch testified before the FRA outlining the justification for a minimum two-person crew requirement. A copy of his testimony can be found here.

Visit our Legislative Action Center and ask your representatives to support H.R. 233.

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Unions seek to overturn punitive New Jersey substance abuse law - 1/9/2017

Unions seek to overturn punitive New Jersey substance abuse law

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, January 9 — Two railroad labor unions have jointly filed a lawsuit to overturn a punitive New Jersey law that prohibits New Jersey Transit locomotive engineers from operating trains if their personal motor vehicle driver’s license is suspended.

The unions argue that the state law, signed by Governor Chris Christie in late August of 2016, is preempted by Federal law, specifically, the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, and also by existing Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) certification requirements for locomotive engineers.

The lawsuit was filed jointly on January 9 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD).

“Current federal law and existing federal rail safety regulations already thoroughly address the treatment of railroad workers who have their personal motor vehicle licenses revoked for operating under the influence of alcohol or other banned substances,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “The New Jersey state law is incompatible with the federal law and is a solution in search of a problem. It does nothing to make the railroad safer.”

Federal law provides for safety checks and regular re-checks on locomotive engineers’ personal driving records, and mandates counseling and/or treatment for locomotive engineers who are diagnosed as having an active substance abuse disorder. Workers who refuse or fail to comply with the federal law have their certification suspended. Those who comply with the federal law and the terms of federally-mandated substance abuse program are permitted to continue working in a safe manner.

The state law reads in part: “A person whose driver’s license is suspended or revoked for a violation of R.S.39:4- 50, section 2 of P.L.1981, c.512 (C.39:4-50.4a), or a law of a substantially similar nature in another jurisdiction shall not operate, during the period of suspension or revocation, a locomotive or train provided by the New Jersey Transit Corporation, or any public or private entity under contract to the corporation.”

“Safety of our members and the traveling public is our top priority,” said SMART-TD President John Previsich. “But this matter is heavily regulated in the Federal arena, with science-based programs and systems already established to address such issues. Introducing another layer of bureaucracy, with overly punitive measures that conflict with Federal law, will only serve to disrupt and interfere with the very effective programs already in place.”

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The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen represents more than 55,000 professional locomotive engineers and trainmen throughout the United States. The BLET is the founding member of the Rail Conference, International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The SMART Transportation Division is headquartered in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmsted, Ohio. It is a broad-based, transportation labor union representing about 125,000 active and retired railroad, bus, mass transit and airline workers in the United States. It is a division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers based in Washington, D.C.

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SMART UTU Local 306

 

 

 

Your Local Officers are here to protect you - help us all by calling when you need assistance!  Don't settle for the carrier's attitutude toward you - be involved!

 

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