The lawsuit, filed on October 3, 2019, by BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Grand Trunk Western, Norfolk Southern, Illinois Central, Union Pacific, and the Belt Railway Company of Chicago, attempts to challenge the crew consist moratoriums of various local agreements and force the Organization to bargain over crew consist on a national level in this upcoming round of national negotiations. As a bit of background, when the crew consist agreements were negotiated, the carriers agreed to a “moratorium” on negotiating over this topic. Under the Railway Labor Act, a moratorium serves to bar negotiations over topics for a defined period of time. The carrier is now insisting that we arbitrate the meaning of the moratorium provisions.
Yesterday afternoon, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed A.B. 337 into law, making two-person freight crews the law of the land, any violations will impose steep fines on a railroad.
Our Two Person Crew Bill, Senate Bill 24 (SB 24), passed out of the Illinois House Transportation Committee this week on a 9-4 vote. The next step would be a full floor vote by the House of Representatives probably sometime next week.
Now is not the time to let our guard down, instead we must use this opportunity to make Two Person Crew the law in Illinois. We need every member to take action TODAY by calling their State Representative to ask them to SUPPORT SB 24!
Final passage of this public safety legislation won't happen unless we all take action, and NOW IS THAT TIME! Your State Representative needs to hear from you today because the railroads won't stop in their efforts to kill our legislation, and trust me, they continue to try.
You can use the link below to identify your STATE REPRESENTATIVE and gather contact info for their office. If you need further assistance please call our office at 312-236-5353. When calling your STATE REPRESENTATIVE the message is simple, PLEASE SUPPORT SB 24!
SMART-TD members and retirees like you are often the difference-maker whether a Member of Congress cosponsors/supports rail safety legislation, or not. Bottom line, member contact works.
Here is a good example. Back in mid-April, Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona's Second District (a strong supporter of rail safety) had not yet cosponsored H.R. 1748. When we asked members in the Second District to contact their Congresswoman, in just two days, 44 members sent her a message through our Legislative Action Center asking her to cosponsor two-person crew legislation.
It worked! A few days later, Representative Ann Kirkpatrick became the 29th cosponsor of two-person crew legislation. And all because SMART-TD member and retirees in Arizona’s Second District contacted their Congresswoman.
As of today, we are now at 36 cosponsors -- but we need even more to show that this bill is gaining traction and worthy of a public hearing. We can’t do it alone here in the nation’s capital; the National Legislative Office needs you to contact your Member of Congress and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1748.
Can I count on you to send a message today?
In solidarity,John Risch
National Legislative Director
SMART Transportation Division
Illinois commuter carrier Metra, in conjunction with Operation Lifesaver, has embarked on a series of educational safety blitzes to raise awareness of the importance of safe behavior around its trains and tracks.
In 2017’s latter half, Union Pacific Railroad rolled out a transportation plan designed to balance the network, boost productivity and improve asset utilization.
The “Blend and Balance” plan called for operating general purpose trains by blending manifest and bulk trains, and balancing the network by running equal numbers of trains daily in each direction. The idea: to balance power and crews, and enhance efficiencies by increasing train lengths.
MUMFORD, Tex. (KBTX) - A major project promising hundreds of new jobs in Robertson County is being scaled back.
Union Pacific is asking Hermiston employees to do more with less after recent layoffs, and some have expressed concern about safety.
Congressman Don Young of Alaska has introduced legislation to require two-person crews on all freight trains – H.R. 1748. This bill is the same as last session's H.R. 233, which would require a federally certified conductor and locomotive engineer on every freight train operating in America.
Our General Chairman is hard at work fighting for working conditions improvements. In his letter SMART Transportation Division leaders President Previsich and Director national Legislative Board. General Chairman Kalbfell is exposing the multiple violations from the Union Pacific Management across our committee.
Read the full letter by clicking the box bellow: