Local 306

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


Union Pacific to cut 750 jobs - 8/16/2017

Union Pacific is laying off 500 managers and 250 other railroad workers to help further reduce costs.

The cuts will eliminate about 8 percent of Union Pacific's managers. The Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad told the affected workers Wednesday that their jobs will be eliminated by mid-September.

Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz says the railroad decided that eliminating open positions through attrition and improving productivity wasn't doing enough to cut costs.

Most of the layoffs will be at the railroad's headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, but they will affect Union Pacific's 23-state network. In the second quarter, Union Pacific had an average of about 42,000 employees.

Railroads have been under pressure to reduce costs because of weak growth in freight shipments overall and a sharp decline in coal shipments in recent years.

Union Pacific stock was about 1% higher at mid-morning Wednesday.

Mayor Jean Stothert said, "Union Pacific notified me early this morning (Wednesday) of the decision to reduce its workforce. It is always difficult to make decisions that impact employees and their families. Union Pacific values its Omaha roots and the employees who contribute so much to the company and our community. I have been assured the company will provide severance packages and other resources to assist the employees who will be affected."

The President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber, David Brown said, “The recent announcement from Union Pacific is never one we to like to hear, but our local economy is strong and our region has a wealth of well-paying jobs available. We are confident those displaced will find strong opportunities right here.”

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General Chairs refute CSX ‘blame the worker’ claims - 8/8/2017

General Chairs refute CSX ‘blame the worker’ claims

In a letter dated August 3, that was emailed to CSX CEO Hunter Harrison, SMART TD general chairpersons batted down Harrison’s claims that workers are at the root of service disruptions.

General Chairpersons Steve Mavity (GO 049), John Whitaker (GO 851), Dale Barnett (GO 513), James Darby (GO AWP) and Travis Raynes (GO 201) wrote:

“Our members, the ballast line employees, rightfully take your comments as a personal attack on their professionalism. They have worked through numerous operational challenges and changes to their work routines. Despite harsh treatment, furloughs and repeated violations of their collective bargaining agreements, it has not deterred the employees from fulfilling their duties.”

Click here to read the letter sent to E. Hunter Harrison on behalf of our CSX membership.

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Local officer nominations set for October 2017 - 8/7/2017

Local officer nominations set for October 2017

SMART Transportation Division members are reminded that elections are scheduled to be held this autumn to fill the three-year local officer positions described by the SMART Constitution’s Article 21B, Section 56.

Positions include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, collector (where applicable) and the three-member board of trustees. In addition, any existing vacancies (except for those in the positions of delegate or alternate delegate) should be addressed during these elections.

As per the constitution’s Article 21B, Section 57, nomination meetings are held in October, with election tabulations conducted in November. Winning candidates assume their offices on January 1, 2018. If they are filling a vacancy, however, they take office immediately.

Candidates must garner a simple majority of valid votes cast to win election to any elective Transportation Division office. (A simple majority can be thought of as 50 percent of votes, plus at least one more vote.)

The process begins

For the local’s secretary or secretary-treasurer, the election process begins with an effort to update the membership roster, ensuring accurate addresses are on file for each member. Our constitution’s Article 21B, Section 49, requires each member to keep the local secretary and treasurer advised of his current home address. At the same time, U.S. Department of Labor regulations and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) require the local to take steps to update addresses in advance of an election.

Members can update their address by contacting their local secretary, or can do so themselves through a tab on the homepage of the Transportation Division’s website at www.smart-union.org/td.

Even if your local conducts a floor election, where voting takes place at a physical location rather than by mail, it’s important that your address is up to date. Your local secretary (or secretary-treasurer, as the case may be) needs to mail a notice to all active members of the local to advise them, at least 15 days in advance of tabulation, that an election is to take place. The notice will indicate when and where voting will take place. (Postcards for this purpose are available for purchase from the Transportation Division’s Supply Department.)

If the local is conducting its election by mail, the ballot itself must be mailed out at least 15 days in advance of the date of tabulation, as the ballot serves as the notice of the election.

Nominations

The secretary must post a notice at least 10 days in advance of the October nomination meeting indicating when and where nominations for affected positions will take place. They need not mail this notice directly to members.

Nominations may be made by any member in good standing from the floor at the nomination meeting. Nominations do not require being seconded. Any member may self-nominate. If a member wishes to self-nominate or nominate someone else, but can’t attend the meeting, nominations can be entered through a petition. A nomination petition must state the name of the nominee, the position for which the member is being nominated, and must carry at least five signatures of members in good standing. No nominations can be accepted following the close of the nomination meeting.

If only one member is nominated for a position, that member can be declared elected by acclamation.

The scheduled elections held this autumn offer an opportunity to fill other vacancies which may exist. If the vacant position is a Local Committee of Adjustment (LCA) position, only members of that LCA are eligible to make nominations for the post and to vote in that election. In locals having more than one LCA for different crafts, the secretary will provide a separate ballot for all eligible voters of each craft working under the jurisdiction of the committee involved. Any member in good standing with seniority in one of the crafts represented by the LCA can run for an office in that LCA.

Eligibility

To be eligible to vote, all dues and assessments must be paid within the time frame specified by the constitution. Article 21B, Section 49, indicates dues are to be paid in advance, before the first day of the month in which they are due. Eligibility to make nominations or to be nominated is similar. This means, for example, if the nomination meeting is in October, the nominator and the nominee must have paid all dues obligations prior to October 1. To vote in November, the voter must have paid all dues obligations prior to November 1.

Those in so-called E-49 status are eligible to run for office, but they cannot make nominations and they cannot vote. If elected, acceptance of pay from the company or the union creates a dues obligation.

Elections

As previously noted, candidates must garner a simple majority of valid votes cast to win election.

When it comes to handling elections for the Board of Trustees, instructions on the ballot should be included above the candidates’ names telling the voter: “Vote for three candidates.” Each member of the three-member Board of Trustees must be elected by a majority of votes cast, a requirement which frequently results in the need for runoff elections. The rule of thumb in such runoffs is that for each open position, which must be filled, two candidates will compete.

For example, if nine candidates run for a position on the Board of Trustees, and 200 valid ballots have been cast and counted in the first round of the election, each successful candidate must receive at least 101 votes. If no candidate receives at least 101 votes, a runoff must be held.

The runoff would include two candidates for each open position. In the above example, this means the three candidates with the lowest vote totals are dropped from the ballot, and the names of six candidates appear on the runoff ballot. In the runoff, if only one candidate attains a majority of votes that means one of the three positions was filled, and there remains two Trustee positions to fill, with five remaining candidates. Of those five remaining candidates, the candidate with the lowest vote total would be dropped from the ballot, and another ballot would be issued with four candidate’s names (because there are two positions to be filled).”

More information

Members are encouraged to consult Article 21B of the SMART Constitution for information regarding elections. Unless an item within Article 21B directs you to a further stipulation outside of Article 21B, only the provisions found within Article 21B are applicable to Transportation Division elections. The local election process is addressed directly by Article 21B, Section 57.

Election information and guidelines have been distributed to all Transportation Division local presidents and local secretaries, as well as to general chairpersons, state legislative directors and Transportation Division international officers.

Members can consult their local officers to examine this information, or they can visit the Transportation Division’s website at www.smart-union.org/td, click on “S&T Tools,” and on the resulting page, click on “More forms…” at the bottom of the column marked “Forms and Documents.”

Special Circular No. 32 describes the constitutional provisions involved in the local elections this autumn, and the pamphlet entitled “How to Hold Elections for Local Officers” gives practical, hands-on election guidance and includes samples of nomination and election notices that can be posted.

Local officer positions

The following is a brief description of the duties of the various local officer positions.

The local president presides at all meetings of the local, enforces the provisions of the constitution and bylaws of the local and exercises general supervision over the local’s affairs. The president ensures that local officers respond to inquiries from the international, and with the secretary and/or treasurer, files all reports required by federal, state or local laws. The president may speak on any subject before the local, but may not vote except, in case of a tie vote, casts the deciding ballot.

The local vice president succeeds to local president and fulfills the remainder of the three-year term if the local president resigns, retires, becomes incapacitated, dies, or for some reason cannot fulfill the requirements of the position. Also, if the local president cannot attend a local meeting, the vice president presides at regular local meetings.

In most locals, the offices of secretary and treasurer have been combined. The local secretary keeps an accurate record of all local proceedings, receives all communications, conducts correspondence and is in charge of the local seal and local records. The secretary performs the duties of the local treasurer in locals that do not provide for the separation of the offices of secretary and treasurer.

The treasurer receives all monies due to be collected by the local and provides receipts, except in cases where the local maintains the office of collector. The treasurer holds and keeps secure all local funds and is bonded. The treasurer also keeps an accurate account of all receipts and expenditures of the local on forms provided for that purpose. The treasurer shall also remit all monies due the international to the general secretary-treasurer each month.

In a few instances, locals of 50 or more members maintain the office of collector. The local collector receives all money due the local and provides receipts. Prior to the first day of each month, the collector reports to the local treasurer all the money received during the current month and gives the amount collected to the local treasurer.

The local board of trustees supervises the financial affairs of the local. Upon approval by the local, the board has authority to rent, lease, or purchase property, office equipment or other necessary supplies. The board meets in January of each year for the purpose of auditing the annual report of the treasurer and verifying bank balances and cash on hand.

Questions?

There are many provisions not covered by this article, including those that address candidates’ rights and permitted means of campaigning. Those with election questions are urged to call the Transportation Division office at 216-228-9400. It’s always easier to address issues in advance than after the fact.

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SMART TD refutes Hunter Harrison claim that CSX service disruptions fault of workers - 8/2/2017

SMART TD refutes Hunter Harrison claim that CSX service disruptions fault of workers

Reuters posted on August 1, 2017, that in an email last week to his customers, CSX CEO Hunter Harrison addressed service delays and disruptions by placing blame squarely on his employees, stating that they have been “resistant to change.”

John Risch, SMART TD national legislative director, refuted that claim and outlined the main cause of the service disruptions: Hunter Harrison.

The following are excerpts from the article:

John Risch, a spokesman for the transportation division of the SMART Union, which represents CSX operations employees, said “significant delays” had been caused by Harrison’s changes, such as doubling the size of trains and shutting down hump yards where a freight train’s cars are separated onto different tracks.

“No one is more to blame for CSX’s service disruptions than the man who ordered the dramatic changes to operations and that’s Hunter Harrison,” Risch said by email.

Read the complete article here.

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U.S. Senator introduces railroad deregulation bill - 7/31/2017

U.S. Senator introduces railroad deregulation bill. Her biggest campaign donor? Union Pacific

DeSmogBlog reported that the top campaign donor for U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) is Union Pacific Railroad – and, four of her top 11 donors are railroad companies.

This past June, Senator Fischer introduced the Railroad Advancement of Innovation and Leadership with Safety (RAILS) Act – a legislative initiative aimed at rolling back rail safety requirements including electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes.

If that isn’t disturbing enough, Senator Fischer is the chair of the Senate Surface Transportation Subcommittee.

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SMART-TD Local 306

 

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