SMART - TD Local 306

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


Why Right to Work is wrong for union and non-union - 2/3/2017

Why Right to Work is wrong for union and non-union

Tire builder Jesse Isbell outlines in his recent blog post how the Right to Work bill is nothing more than a pack of lies intended to break unions and make the rich richer. Isbell and thousands of his co-workers lost their jobs when the Oklahoma City Bridgestone Tire plant that was the core of an entire community, closed – a casualty of the passage of Right to Work legislation in his home state of Oklahoma. Read how the so-called Right to Work measure devastates working families across our country and has a detrimental economic impact on everyone – union or not, from medium.com, here.

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Statement from GP Sellers on Meeting With President Trump - 1/27/2017

Statement from GP Sellers on Meeting With President Trump

Earlier this week, I was joined by SMART Government Affairs Director Steve Dodd and General Vice President Gary Masino in a meeting with President Trump and Building Trades leaders at his first work day in the Oval Office.  Throughout, we were regarded with respect and courtesy.

We met with the President to hold a frank and honest discussion about the issues that lie at the heart of what our members and working families have on their minds. Jobs, income security and the ability to get ahead in today’s economy.  We commend the President for moving ahead on the issue of foreign trade deals as he promised during his campaign.

Our members know that we must get to work on rebuilding our American infrastructure. We look forward to working with the new administration as he turns his campaign promises into new jobs in order to do just that.

An investment in our infrastructure wouldn’t just benefit SMART members, it’s an investment in the middle class. It’s not solely roads and bridges—it includes our rail and transit networks, and upgrading schools, hospitals, universities, and energy assets, too.

While we have not always agreed with the President or the Republican Party, our union will support what’s best for our members and America’s working families. We’re ready to roll up our sleeves for our Union, the middle class, and the entire nation.

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Negotiations update on the National Rail Contract - 1/27/2017

Negotiations update on the National Rail Contract

Dear members,

On December 5, 2016, SMART Transportation Division issued a press release to announce that the unions participating in the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) had requested that the National Mediation Board (NMB) mediate the group’s negotiations with the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC).

The decision to move the process forward with a request for mediation was made after our last negotiating session with the NCCC, when it became apparent that the prospect of reaching a voluntary agreement had grown significantly less likely, due in large part to the outcome of November’s elections. During negotiations, the organizations submitted a proposal that would provide the framework of an improved wage, work rule and benefit package that we believe our members have earned.

The carriers responded with an offer that was significantly less in every regard. Your negotiating team found the carriers’ demands for certain work rule changes unacceptable. In our opinion, these changes would compromise safety by creating a negative impact on rest and predictability. In addition, the carrier proposed unsatisfactory wage increases and dramatic cuts to our health care benefits, both of which were also unacceptable.

We have negotiated in good faith because we believe a voluntary agreement is in the best interests of our members and will continue to do so while in mediation. However, we stand firm in our conviction that our members deserve a better outcome than the carrier’s proposal and we will exhaust every avenue available to achieve a contract settlement with equitable compensation and benefit improvements that reflect the employees’ contributions to the carriers’ success. Additionally, we will not accept or propose a contract that adds to the already intolerable levels of unpredictability and rest deprivation that our members currently endure.

What’s next? The parties will engage in mediation as part of the dispute resolution process required by the Railway Labor Act. If a voluntary agreement is not reached in mediation, the process provides for a proffer of arbitration by the NMB, which, if refused by either participant, will then release the parties to engage in self-help (strike/lockout).

Moving through the Railway Labor Act to a strike is a long and arduous process, and requires that the parties exhaust every opportunity for settlement before a work stoppage disrupts the nation’s transportation system. However, the right to strike is a part of the process and the only person who can take away your right to strike is the President of the United States, who may intervene and appoint a Presidential Emergency Board.

In the event that we reach that point, I will be calling on all of our members to reach out to the White House and request that our newly elected President not interfere with our right to exercise self-help in our quest for a fair and equitable contract settlement.

To better explain the process that governs from this point forward, click on https://smart-union.org/td/washington/abridged-version-railway-labor-act/ to read an abridged version of a more detailed explanation of the Railway Labor Act.

Fraternally,

John Previsich
President, Transportation Division

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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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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