• Union voting update, 2022 contract

  • For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.
For topics on Class I and II passenger and freight operations more general in nature and not specifically related to a specific railroad with its own forum.

Moderator: Jeff Smith

  by eolesen
Op-ed today in Real Clear Policy.... I'm not a big fan of Jerry Glass, but he has been involved in labor relations and the RLA for about 40 years give or take.

https://www.realclearpolicy.com/article ... 62808.html
These are historically rich deals based on the framework recommended by a panel of three neutral arbitrators hand-picked by President Biden. The agreements are the product of the actions that elected rail labor leaders took with the support and direct intervention of the President, an unabashed supporter of organized labor. They will make jobs that already were in the 93rd percentile of total compensation of U.S. wage earners even better.
It is hard to argue that the 24 percent wage increase is not very significant. It is also fair to say that the average pay of a rail employee, which will exceed $110,000 by the end of the new contract, is excellent. Most American workers would also jump at valuable and secure federal retirement program that railroads fund and the chance to participate in the platinum-level health plan these deals maintain.
  by Gilbert B Norman
This is particularly true in the more challenging, blue-collar jobs. One such profession – railroading – has been under the microscope this year unlike at any time since the early 1990s. Most Americans don’t pay attention to this sector, yet as railroads and labor union leaders recently went deep into the 11th hour to reach new collective bargaining agreements, the nation learned how important railroads are to our economy.
This point noted by Mr. Glass in his excellent treatise regarding the dispute (I think I'm a bit more pro-union than is Mr. Olesen; I'll be voting YES on the Worker's Rights Amendment appearing on ballots throughout Illinois come Tuesday) bears consideration. Railroads are simply, as DPM noted maybe fifty years ago, "Out of sight, out of mind".

Away from the Northeast and a small number of metropolitan areas elsewhere with well-established regional services, who rides a passenger train anymore? Railroads are simply an industrial enterprise that "ties you up" at an X-ing.

Now what if there were to be a nationwide strike of Amazon, Fedex, and UPS drivers, bet that would be more of a "snap to" moment for John Q!!!!
  by STrRedWolf
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Nov 04, 2022 8:25 am Now what if there were to be a nationwide strike of Amazon, Fedex, and UPS drivers, bet that would be more of a "snap to" moment for John Q!!!!
Given that a lot of stuff that's shipped between Amazon, Fedex, and UPS centers is on train (you see a ton of Amazon and FedEx containers on trains)... um... that's going to be a "snap to" movement there (or the next best thing).
  by eolesen
I'm pro.choice where unions are concerned. That's why I voted No.

The libertarian in me simply cannot vote for something that limits what future generations may want to do.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Railjunkie
justalurker66 wrote: Mon Oct 31, 2022 10:21 pm I usually shoot for three stars but in some areas of the country two and a half is all that is available. I rarely take a two star. (I stayed at a 2 1/2 a couple of nights ago that had a better pool and breakfast than the 3 star I stayed at the night before.)
Hotels are done by contract not convenience. Union reps will be given a list by cooperate lodging and settle on which they think will be the best. As the hotel manager would you show the room as dumpster fire or have your best cleaning staff go through it with a fine tooth comb before showing it. In another thread I have stated the different types of issues either myself or co workers have had with hotel rooms.
As for HOS once your time is up (12hours) its 10 hours off. However it can be manipulated by the carrier. Been there seen it had the argument. If it means a 2 hour van ride a deadhead via train to your place of lodging then that is what its going to be. Ohh and lets not get started on railroad provided transportation...
  by Railjunkie
https://www.freightwaves.com/news/boile ... -railroads

"Members of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) have decided not to ratify a labor agreement with the railroads, stakeholders said Monday.

IBB members represent about 300 rail employees, many of whom work on repairing locomotives.

IBB joins the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way – Employees Division (BMWED) and the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) in rejecting the labor deal. Their votes send all three unions back to the bargaining table.

Meanwhile, members of the two largest unions representing locomotive engineers and train conductors — the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers – Transportation Division (SMART-TD) — are voting this week on whether to ratify their labor contracts. Those results are expected to come out next Monday. Both unions represent roughly half of the over 100,000 rail workers affected by labor negotiations."
  by STrRedWolf
I just heard about it this morning off the NBC Today Show. CNN is also reporting on the vote.

Interesting quote:
The unions are clear that they don’t want Congressional action to impose a contract that keeps them on the job. They believe the threat of a strike is the best way to get a new deal their members can accept, particularly one which provides paid sick time missing from the current labor deals.

“Congress should not have to intervene. The railroads should provide paid sick leave to its employees,” the BMWED said in a statement in response to Walsh’s comments. “They have the money to do it, and it literally would cost them a penny of every dollar of record profits to provide it. It’s only 2% of what CSX, NS and UP spent so far this year in stock buybacks. It’s literally nothing to them, yet they refuse to provide it.”
  by Railjunkie
Ive been saying it all along it is not about money. It is about quality of life. I pay over $250 a month for supplemental coverage for just in case I get hurt and cant work. No its not the Duck way to expensive. The coverage is not great but at least I have something other than Railroad unemployment @ $72.80ish a day.
  by lensovet
The flip side to the carriers, of course, is that not providing sick pay means it's more likely that someone won't bother calling out sick for something minor. The benefit of that isn't monetary, it's operational.
  by Gilbert B Norman
The Wall Street Journal reports that only the Conductors have failed to ratify and then only by a narrow margin:

Fair Use:
... .“SMART-TD members with their votes have spoken, it’s now back to the bargaining table,” said SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson. “This can all be settled through negotiations and without a strike.”

SMART-TD said that 50.87% of train and engine service members voted to reject the agreement. Most railroad workers represented by SMART-TD are conductors, and it also represents other groups like brakemen and yardmasters.
Previously unknown to me, each craft within these now "amalgamated" unions that represent employees within and without the railroad industry, still vote independently. Thus, the Yardmasters, formerly with their own union, the Railroad Yardmasters of America (RYA), but now part of SMART-TD, vote as if their union remained as a stand-alone.
  by John_Perkowski
Update from Trains Magazine. The last day of the cooling off period is December 8.

Brief, fair use quote:
By the slimmest of margins, conductors represented by the SMART-TD union rejected the deal, fueling the prospects of a nationwide strike that could begin as soon as Dec. 9. Some 50.87% of voting members rejected the agreement.

Yet the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen ratified their agreement, as did yardmasters represented by SMART-TD. Some 53.5% of engineers backed the deal, along with 62.4% of yardmasters.

Turnout was a record for both unions, reflecting the contentious relationship between railroads and the rank and file.


The cooling off period runs through Dec. 8, making Dec. 9 the earliest the union could strike or railroads could lock out employees.
  by taracer
The conductors have voted no to the tentative agreement and can strike on Dec. 9th.
  by Gilbert B Norman
The Associated Press has prepared an article showing a timeliness of when John "I never use the railroads" Q can expect to have his daily life impacted should there be an industry work stoppage:

Fair Use:
. Another recent report put together by a chemical industry trade group projected that if a strike drags on for a month some 700,000 jobs would be lost as manufacturers who rely on railroads shut down, prices of nearly everything would increase even more and the economy could be thrust into a recession.

And although some businesses would try to shift shipments over to trucks, there aren’t nearly enough of them available. The Association of American Railroads trade group estimated that 467,000 additional trucks a day would be needed to handle everything railroads deliver.


Chemical manufacturers and refineries will be some of the first businesses affected, because railroads will stop shipping hazardous chemicals about a week before the strike deadline to ensure that no tank cars filled with dangerous liquids wind up stranded.


Roughly half of all commuter rail systems rely at least in part on tracks that are owned by freight railroads, and nearly all of Amtrak’s long-distance trains run over the freight network.


It would take about a week for customers to notice shortages of things like cereal, peanut butter and beer at the grocery store, said


Any disruption in rail service could threaten the health of chickens and pigs, which depend on trains to deliver their feed, and contribute to higher meat prices.


..., a rail strike could still impact holiday items shipped to stores later in December, and would definitely hamper stocking of next season’s goods.

Retailers are also concerned about online orders. Shippers like FedEx and UPS use rail cars that hold roughly 2,000 packages in each car.


Drivers are already paying record prices ...

That would only get worse if there is a rail strike, because roughly 75% of all new vehicles begin their journey from factories to dealerships on the railroad. Trains deliver some 2,000 carloads a day filled with vehicles.
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