• The RCL controversy continues , courtesy of the UTU

  • General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.
General discussion about railroad operations, related facilities, maps, and other resources.

Moderator: Robert Paniagua

  by GN 599
 
GOLDEN-ARM wrote:Hey, BigC, the BLE has NEVER sold out an employee, protected under any operating craft. The fireman were always UTU, something most UTU guys either don't know, or choose to ignore. We have been, since day one (remember, we are still the OLDEST organized labor union in the Americas),a union dedicated to the protection, and promotion, of our craft. We have 1 man-1 vote, which the UTU does not, and we do everything by democratic vote, not what the GC tells the LC to vote on. BLE was going to agree to those remotes, and trainmen would have had the same opportunity to operate them, but with safety rules, Federal certification, and penalties applied to carriers, for failure to adhere to those rules. Cup of coffee? I have bought MORE than my fair share, for some tight-assed Conductor, who never returned the favor. We have always been engineers, and we have sold out no-one. Regards :-D
Good info Golden arm you are correct, the promotion to engineer is a UTU contract alot of guys dont realize that.

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
Again, the BLE was, and is, a union to promote and protect the rights of engineers. We never had any conductors. Just like on the NYS&W, where all train crew members are BLE, we are bargaining for engineers. Those "other" guys are engineers, not yet promoted. Whatever you imagine happened in Canada, you have to remember, that Canada is an entirely different world, compared to the US, as far as railroading goes. If the BLE was the only representation on the property, at the time, then anyone not in train service as an engineer, is waiting for promotion. Whatever agreement they came up with, was done democratically, with each single member having a vote, and not even the LC or GC had a vote, that weighed more than the newest of the new guys. If they changed something regarding the craft of trainmen, it was voted on. Not a "cramdown", like you get from the pirates at the UTU. Besides, does anyone really have a concern, about what's going on, in the "Great White North"? (that oughta fan the flames.........) This is the US, and we don't railroad like them Canuks do. Now, about those firemen, flagmen, switch-tenders, head man, swing man, rear brakeman, oilers, cabooses............ :(

  by thebigc
 
GOLDEN-ARM wrote:Again, the BLE was, and is, a union to promote and protect the rights of engineers. We never had any conductors. Just like on the NYS&W, where all train crew members are BLE, we are bargaining for engineers.
So if the BLE has sole representation of operating crafts, it's justified for them to sell the other crafts down the river as long as engineers benefit?!? I wonder if those guys on the MRL and others know what's in store for them. I'll also keep this in mind if you guys ever try to raid us with "A" cards.

No one will ever confuse the BLE with a labor union, that's for sure!

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
The BLE has the sole bargaining rights on that particular carrier. The members were polled, a vote was taken, and a DEMOCRATIC application of that vote was applied. The members on that property correctly chose the union, that would best represent all of the members on that property. Each individual member has a vote, something that you still don't have, or understand, as a UTU member. YOUR opinion doesn't count for s&#%, on your property, because you can't vote, about things that effect you. BLE(T) members all get that vote, on every aspect of what effects them. I was in the UTU, once upon a time. I know, firsthand, what rights you are being denied, as a member of that greedy, soul-less, all for one, and that one is me, union. You are stuck working under whatever agreements, and "sweetheart" deals, your GC and LC conspire, with management, to force upon you. ANYTHING we get, as members of the BLE, every single member has voted on, and it is a true democracy of the members, not a dictatorship. And as far as "raiding" you, these are the words, of the scared upper "leaders" of your "union" trying to desperately hold onto an ever eroding base of members. WE have never raided any property, and as far as "A" cards go, once again, if the members on your property individually vote for representation, by another union, that's the fairness of democracy. The "leaders" in Cleveland will continue to spew lies, and propaganda, as long as they continue to be bankrupt, have their leaders in prison, lose membership to the older, more powerful union, and continue in their status of being the ONLY transportation union to have been thrown out, and banned, from membership in the AFL/CIO, for those very tactics YOU mentioned, about "raiding" other peoples unions, and TRYING to force a single union representation, on several properties. FAILURE was the result, along with banishment from the AFL/CIO. Please don't bash my union, as I only report the truths, about yours. REGARDS!!! :-D


As a postscript, that was some clever "editing" of my statement. Other members on the property I mentioned, are engineers awaiting promotion. The BLE(T) most certainly does represent trainmen, as well as Dispatchers, on properties where those employees are BLET members. You left out the last half of my sentence, which is akin to changing what I said. UTU has engineers, in it's membership, but you have absolutely NO bargaining rights for those members. I don't hear you mentioning that fact, however............. :(

  by Aji-tater
 
It does not seem either side is going to "convert" the other. It's like Catholic or Protestant, Democrat or Republican, Tastes Great or Less Filling. Whatever you are, makes sense to YOU and it's hard to imagine the other guy does not see the clear, obvious facts that you do. I love a good argument and it is educational seeing each side put forth their points, but at some point it's time to agree to disagree (or else meet down behind the sandhouse at midnight and duke it out).

I've got to say I have heard more complaints about the UTU from UTU members, than I have heard complaints about BLE from BLE members - the BLE guys seem happier with their union overall. But that's just from guys I encounter and is not a scientific survey.

  by jg greenwood
 
Aji-tater wrote:It does not seem either side is going to "convert" the other. It's like Catholic or Protestant, Democrat or Republican, Tastes Great or Less Filling. Whatever you are, makes sense to YOU and it's hard to imagine the other guy does not see the clear, obvious facts that you do. I love a good argument and it is educational seeing each side put forth their points, but at some point it's time to agree to disagree (or else meet down behind the sandhouse at midnight and duke it out).

I've got to say I have heard more complaints about the UTU from UTU members, than I have heard complaints about BLE from BLE members - the BLE guys seem happier with their union overall. But that's just from guys I encounter and is not a scientific survey.
Since 1966, off & on, I'm forced to say that I've had it "snapped off in me" by both unions. That being said, the most severe hosing was at the hands of the BLE. Could it be that you've heard more compliants from UTU members simply because their membership is so much larger than the BLE? Long live the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen!

  by pablo
 
I have the unique position of working at a non-union railroad and yet being a union member. My full-time job is as a teacher, and do not misunderstand any of my following comments: I am not in your positions, and do not know all that you have dealt with or are dealing with. I would suggest that the two different school district employees' unions I have been associated with have been strong, and have advocated for the teachers. I have seen unions much stronger: there are some, which will remain nameless, that are so strong that the instructors cannot be told ANYTHING by the administration, and the administration is absolutely powerless to do anything, unless the instructor were to commit a felony in the classroom. And then maybe not even. While weak teachers' unions likely exist, I haven't seen one.

I bring this up because of conversations that I have had with union railroad employees on numerous occasions. These employees are not employess on my railroad, but I see them (or talk to them) regularly. I don't know how you could go about doing this, but there's no way that the loss of jobs in such marginal conditions would be acceptable in my district. If an aide (non-tenured, much cheaper, much lower education) attempted to teach a class because the dictrict told them to, it would last exactly until the unoin president found out about it.

What we have here are Remote Control locomotives that are clearly a danger. What is being done about it? Not talk, but action?

In a school district, the largest expense that exists are the teachers' salaries. While employees' salaries on a given class 1 are likely the largest expense, with capital spending, and trackwork, etc., I didn't think the gap was so big. Can anyo0ne speak to the percentage that might be saved by going RCO?

Dave Becker

  by thebigc
 
Aji-tater wrote:It does not seem either side is going to "convert" the other. It's like Catholic or Protestant, Democrat or Republican, Tastes Great or Less Filling. Whatever you are, makes sense to YOU and it's hard to imagine the other guy does not see the clear, obvious facts that you do. I love a good argument and it is educational seeing each side put forth their points, but at some point it's time to agree to disagree (or else meet down behind the sandhouse at midnight and duke it out).

I've got to say I have heard more complaints about the UTU from UTU members, than I have heard complaints about BLE from BLE members - the BLE guys seem happier with their union overall. But that's just from guys I encounter and is not a scientific survey.
Agreeing to disagree is fine by me. The point I was trying to illustrate was that the BLE is very capable of selling out their members, not just the UTU. Ask the Conductors of VIA. But I guess that's what they deserved for voting for BLE representation. What GA tried to convey is that they were sold out for the good of the engineers and after all, they're in an engineers, ahem, union so what did they expect? I'm not buying it.

Maybe my views are skewed due to the clear distinction of crafts where I work. You're either a conductor or an engineer, but you ain't both. You only get one roster number. C&T are UTU and engine service employees are BLE, but can join the UTU if they wish.

  by GN 599
 
Lets face it, we are basicly along for the ride and the carriers will do what they want when they want.

  by roadster
 
you said it GN 599. It's a shame that there are such anamosities between the operating crafts. We need to atleast agree to stick together against the Company before a big chunk of jobs are sold down the river. I personally spent 5 years in the UTU when I first hired on. Even after I had my Engineers cert.. (4 years) I just switched in Nov. '04 after alot of soul searching, research and observation. You have to be UTU when hired on as a conductor. You may switch to BLE&T (since they joined the Teamsters and included the trainmen)after that or when you get your cert.. However, if still operating as a Trainmen/conductor any claims for such craft must still be handled by UTU LC. UTU has exclusive rights to bargain for Conductors and Trainmen on contractual issues. Just as the BLE&T has for Engineer contractual issues. We hopefully have garnered our opinions from our own experiences and observations. Not trusting third person heresay when making our decisions. I am not saying I am totally happy with the BLE&T, but I guess it's more like I'm less unhappy with the BLE&T vs. the UTU.

  by GOLDEN-ARM
 
Hey, Aji, just where is this "sandhouse".............. :P

  by wsp871
 
After stop training LET's on the Alabama Division, NS has taken the RCLs off the hump in Norris Yard and Sheffield Yard. Standing for what you believe in and for your fellow employees does work! Tell your neighbor about it and see what they think about RCLs passing them by at RR xings. What do you think the general public would think about if they knew some new hire was opperating a locomotive by their house, handling LP gas?

  by Aji-tater
 
LOL! GA you sound like you're ready to rumble! "Attitude Adjustments" were not too common "back then" but they did happen. (I can recall as a young punk getting on the wrong side of a cranky old timer. We blew a lot of hot air about going off the property to settle it but we didn't go - and thinking back it's a good thing, I'm sure he would have made ballast out of me)

As for UTU vs. BLE, what can you do. Both are active, both have their supporters and detractors, and neither one is perfect. No matter what anybody says, the diehards on the other side won't buy it, so at some point everybody has to move on to other topics. It was an interesting post and we had some strong feelings expressed without fisticuffs (yet) and without getting the topic locked (unbelievable!!!!).

  by slchub
 
Final report by FRA regarding RCL vs. conventional switching can be found here:

http://www.fra.dot.gov/us/content/1462

  by thebigc
 
Just in case you guys thought I was making up that VIA deal and for those with selective amnesia, take a look at this.