Who remembers this incident?

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

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TCurtin
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Who remembers this incident?

Post by TCurtin » Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:38 pm

Back in the earlier time of Metro North ---- late 1980s maybe? ---- there was an item reported in the New York media about a conductor who had worked so much overtime that he made more than the president of the railroad. This was of course, an insignificant matter; after all if some service employee works so many hours that he has no life, who the hell cares? But of course the media for some reason thought this made great news and blew it up way beyond what it deserved. I do have to wonder, though, where the media got their info about who earned what.

DutchRailnut
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by DutchRailnut » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:21 pm

Despite not being civil service, New York publishes salaries of all employees of state sponsored agencies.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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GirlOnTheTrain
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by GirlOnTheTrain » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:44 pm

If you're really that morbidly curious...
https://www.seethroughny.net" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"I am no longer just a girl on the train, going back and forth without point or purpose."

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shlustig
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by shlustig » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:36 am

Prior to MN being created, I was in charge of the manpower assignments for the Hudson. Harlem, and GCT/ Manhattan East Consolidated Terminal under PC and Conrail.

The commuter territory was organized as the Metropolitan Region, but our office also covered PC/Conrail and Amtrak jobs. While the freight assignments were separate,
many Amtrak assignments were intermingled with the commuter jobs on the Hudson side.

At any rate, my point is that with each new General Manager and General Superintendent, I invariably had to provide an explanation as to why they were usually between
the 5th and 10th highest paid on the Region. Top earners were always signal maintainers and extra-board engineers and trainmen. The key factor was that it was less
expensive to the carrier to let people work "excessively" rather than hire additional employees, especially since the cost of the fringes rose from about 30% to about 65%
in the time I was there.

So, we had scheduled engineer jobs on the Hudson side that were rated at $80,000 +, and that was back in the 1970's and early 1980's.
Trainmen also benefited from the Luna/Saunders Agreement and the Merger Protective Agreement which combined to give a very generous guaranteed earnings.

TCurtin
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by TCurtin » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:06 am

shlustig wrote:The key factor was that it was less
expensive to the carrier to let people work "excessively" rather than hire additional employees, especially since the cost of the fringes rose from about 30% to about 65%
in the time I was there.
Very true, very true. I have a home business involving RR employee compensation and I am well aware of the cost of railway labor being higher than [probably] most other industries. The end result is that overtime that most would consider excessive is cheaper for the company

Noel Weaver
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by Noel Weaver » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:13 pm

"BLOOD MONEY" I remember this situation quite well, it took place while I was working for Metro North. I remember the conductor in question and there is no doubt he worked for every dollar he received. I believe the company figured they would rather pay out overtime than have more employees which often cost them more in the long run. During my four years there was plenty of work on your day off available if you wanted it. I covered some but not every day off. The company compared overtime costs with benefits for more employees and I guess they were satisfied with the overtime issues. Yes there was more in the pay envelop for the rank and file than with some of the management folks but that was and probably still is the trend in the industry today.

OH WELL!!!!
Noel Weaver

Fishrrman
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by Fishrrman » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:00 pm

Like Noel, I remember that conductor, too.
But I can't remember his name!

Lots of money to be made, particularly back "in the early days".
(J.Albert)

Noel Weaver
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by Noel Weaver » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:23 pm

Fishrrman wrote:Like Noel, I remember that conductor, too.
But I can't remember his name!

Lots of money to be made, particularly back "in the early days".
(J.Albert)
Initials "FL"
Noel Weaver

Head-end View
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by Head-end View » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:07 pm

I seem to remember a major labor dispute when Metro-North took over from Conrail in January 1983. Something along the lines of M-N trying to implement lower salaries and benefits than the union contracts with Conrail and PC. I don't remember if there was a strike; I think there was. Can someone from back then refresh us on that episode? Maybe Noel?

NH2060
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by NH2060 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:34 am

There was indeed a strike. From March 7th until April 18th I believe.

DutchRailnut
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by DutchRailnut » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:09 am

at the time the strike impacted 90 000 commuters, today that figure would be over 300 000 per day , here are some articles about that strike.
https://www.nytimes.com/1983/03/10/nyre ... trike.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1983/04/07 ... 418539600/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

https://www.csmonitor.com/1983/0418/041822.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Noel Weaver
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by Noel Weaver » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:04 pm

I was there and remember the biggest issue between the UTU and the company was crew consist. Basically the UTU was afraid of losing more members with reduced crew consists. We all lost as a result of that job action. Everybody in train and engine service got a big increase in their basic day's pay as a result of agreements and contracts that gave the company somewhat more leeway in their contracts and dealings with their employees. It was a give and take affair but just about every employee got more in their basic day's pay than they got previously under the Conrail agreements. In my opinion we finally got what we were worth. The company wanted the right to decide how many train crew members were necessary on every train and the union did not agree with that. The union "pulled the pin" for several weeks and came out with absolutely no gain whatsoever. I know the year after we went back to work, I had a Harlem job with four cars and only a conductor for a crew. We ran fine day after day and most of the conductors of the time agreed with me, the strike was a lost cause. There was also an inter union battle within the UTU at that time as well and that did not help things either. In short the strike was something that did not have to happen and should not have happened but it did. The trainmen paid big time for a period after the strike ended.
Noel Weaver

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Tadman
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by Tadman » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:14 am

The math behind vey large overtime is clear, but it’s bad optics on the front page of the newspaper. We have the same situation in Chicago with Metra. Every few years they publish a few conductors or engineers making big bucks but never mention the fact those guys work tough hours as base, then give up all days off on top of thst to earn serious overtime.

What really screwed the pooch was the BART janitor making big overtime and taking naps in a broom closet. That’s all a politician needs to hear to introduce a bill capping overtime, even if it doesn’t make financial sense.
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pbj123
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by pbj123 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:33 pm

As I remember, the Conductor's name was Ron Folmsby . He wasn't the only one and he wasn't a senior man at the time, but he learned the game from some of the best.

DutchRailnut
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Re: Who remembers this incident?

Post by DutchRailnut » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:36 pm

nope wrong conductor not going to name names but initials were F.L.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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