Posts tagged Federal Railroad Administration

    Labor unions urge regulators to press big U.S. railroads on employment and service levels

    December 7, 2023 // Employment levels for train crews, maintenance workers, and shop forces is down 13% at BNSF, 22% at CSX, 28% at NS, and 26% at UP compared to 2016, the unions say. “The railroads credit themselves with having increased employment since this Agency held hearings regarding the service failures of the Class I’s in April of 2022. But climbing a few rungs up a ladder in a hole does not mean one is out of the hole,” Edelman wrote. The reductions in staffing levels significantly exceed the decline in rail volume, he says. The smaller workforce means that fewer employees have to inspect, maintain, and repair the same infrastructure. Edelman also says that despite train and engine crew hiring efforts, the railroads remain understaffed and are pressuring employees to work without days off.

    Opinion: Unions, Washington Lackeys Exploit Ohio Rail Tragedy to Fatten Coffers

    June 7, 2023 // the unionistas are pushing for a permanent requirement that all carriers use a minimum of two-person crews. This, despite the fact that the ill-fated Norfolk-Southern train itself had not two but three crew members. Mandating two on a crew would have done nothing to avert the disaster. It’s not responsive to the challenge at hand. Moreover, the make-work provisions will not affect Norfolk-Southern-sized railroads. It will primarily hurt the smaller regional and short-line railroads, which are more likely to use a one-man crew.

    Railroad unions hopeful Biden will act to give workers paid sick time

    December 14, 2022 // 70 Democrats in Congress signed a letter asking for President Joe Biden or some federal agency to issue an order giving rail workers the seven sick days a year they were seeking. The letter pointed out that both the House and Senate supported legislation to do so, with some nominal Republican support in both chambers along with nearly unanimous Democratic support. But the legislation failed because it didn’t get the 60 votes it needed in the Senate. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter from the unions’ congressional allies. But officials with the rail unions said they have been talking to the administration about some kind of executive action to get them the sick time they’ve been seeking, and that they are hopeful action could be forthcoming.

    BACKGROUNDER: Potential Railroad Strike

    September 14, 2022 // On Friday, September 16, 2022, railroad workers could go on strike. This would effectively shut down the nation’s freight rail system and have spillover effects on commuter rail like Amtrak, which is already canceling long-distance routes. If a strike or lockout occurs, Congress has the ability to intervene and has done so in the past. An economic analysis by the American Association of Railroads using the Federal Railroad Administration’s model found a railroad shutdown could cost our economy $2 billion per day. Similarly, a coalition of agricultural organizations said in a letter to Congress, “Uninterrupted rail service is vital to the American agricultural economy.”

    BLET Members Vote ‘Yes’ on Nationwide Strike Authorization

    July 14, 2022 // The National Mediation Board (NMB) on June 14 set in motion a 90-day-maximum time clock toward a national railroad shutdown. It released BLET and 11 other rail craft unions (bargaining in two coalitions collectively representing some 115,000 rail workers) from NMB-guided mediation with most Class I freight railroads and many smaller ones, ending attempts to negotiate, voluntarily, amendments to existing wage, benefits and work rules agreements. This triggered a “cooling off period,” which is set to expire at 12:01 a.m. EDT on July 18, 2022. At that point, self-help is available to the parties, unless President Joe Biden appoints a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) pursuant to Section 10 of the Railway Labor Act. A PEB would halt any strike or lockout by the parties, and would investigate and issue a report and recommendations concerning the dispute. Dennis R. Pierce,