• Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).
Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

Moderator: MEC407

  by soolinexec
I see you got yourself a new "cancer". My condolences. My advice to MM&A, grow a set of balls and prepare your battle contingencie for Strike mode. It really amazes me these so called Union supporters and employees can't operate within a business without being involved with Unions. You just don't get it. You really don't. Old school, old school, old school, old school. Prepare yourself for disappointment.

To you so called railroaders who can't seem to do without a union security blanket, don't point any fingers at management when things go sour. You have no one to blame but yourselves. Your good ole boy mentality needs to leave! Unions won't do much of any gain for you except charge you 70 bucks a month. A real sad day here for MM&A. My advice to MM&A, go check out a good pro active tech school for a new pool of eager canidates for future employees who have no family in the railroad.

  by Cowford
Look on the bright side: now MMA has ~70 fully-trained, experienced professional railroaders instead of that bunch of idiot, dangerous, off-the-street untrained scumbag scabs they had working there yesterday! Wow! Hats off to the BLET! :(
  by soolinexec
Classic "closed shop" mentality. I am here to tell you. You people have got to come out of the dark ages. You don't become highly professional employees just because a vote was in favor of a union. Stupid. Gee, I wanna be a professional. I think I will write it up on a piece of paper and have some so called union offical put his signature and stamp on it. Wow! Sounds like the wizard of oz to me!!!

Unionizing is going to cost you and your fear plenty. You just don;t get it. All you are doing is feeding your greed. don't whine when jobs are going overseas now. They can do it alot cheaper and much more efficient. And guess what? They don't have the white pickett fence mentality. Brace yourself. Job impact soon will follow.
  by soolinexec
Oh, by the way. Since you now have to negotiate your benefits, the company provided benefits should be disappearing soon. Sorry, thats the way it goes.

  by Cowford
Soo Line - perhaps you overlooked the sarcasm that I thought would be evident in my post? :wink:
  by soolinexec
Cowford- I sure did. Subjects like this have a tendency to make me burn, and get to deep without seeing the humor in it all. Thanks for setting me straight, honestly

  by Cowford
No worries. I'd be interested to know the "whys" behind the employees' vote. The BAR appears to have been mismanaged under prior ownership- I'm not sure of Railworld's track record thus far in business stewardship and employee relations.

I feel for the MMA's rank-and-file - actually, all the employees. Operating craft pay must be well below industry averages, future prospects aren't bright... and that sucks. But it reflects reality. MMA is trying to make a go of it in a geography with slowly declining population and industrial base. I get flamed here everytime I state it, but a good portion of the MMA's trackage is redundant. In my opinion, a much trimmed down MMA has a better shot at long-term prosperity.
  by soolinexec
A good piece of advice to the MM&A management staff. 3 items unions go after in their so called contract quest.

1. Job Scope - They want to go back to the old ways where all they do what is in writing. Beware of the "it's not my job" routine such as cleaning a switch, anything that classifies as M/W., they will baulk at any job title that looks like " Transportation specialists".

2. Job description - They will word it to diffuse anything high tech that will make their job easier, like RCL, beware.

3- Seniority - You can guarentee that want a pecking order setup amongs their ranks, and strive for angles to close them.

Backwards or what???

  by SnoozerZ49
I guess there is a lot of history and experience behind your views. I am a BLE&T member and the first agreement was just ratified. I can't say that the agreement attempts to drag the company backwards.

There are important issues that face rail workers, I'm sure we could agree on some and disagree on others :wink: But I would ask you not to use the past to explain todays agreement components . We still work with two man crews, we still get overtime after forty hours, we still get a minimum amount of holidays, we are still dealing with deferred maintenance, the doors of emd engines still leak like screen doors in the winter time, we are still deficating into little plastic bags, we still outlaw in the woods and wait hours for transport, I still have only been home for Christmas once in the last five years.

A lot of these issues are just the nature of the business, I just don't think that the financial pressure that today's managers are forced to operate with would allow them to do anything for their employees that they were not required to do by agreement.

Just some thoughts respectfully submitted,

  by Realityrail
Let's face it--the number one job of the union is to get as many dues paying members as possible. The bottom of the pyramid feeds its dues money to the top of the pyramid--the union officers.

As for negotiations, most union VP's have not been on the ground in years, so to watch them negotiate for "their" members in almost embarassing.

But simple minded people need a father figure to look up to. They can't look up to their managers because if they did, they could be branded as less than real men.

So the union fills this father figure role. The sheep follow the shephard.

Now, take the dues you pay--about $700 or so annually. Put that in a 401K each year, add inflation (union dues never stay flat!) and multiply this over a 25 or so year career. That is one great 401K nest egg for you!

But no, you want to give all that money to the union. So by the time you retire, the union will give you what you have in your head today---nothing!!

  by Cowford
Snoozer - well put! Working a T&E job on the railroad can be a thankless task. I think your points are on the mark. The old saying, "the best things in life are free" could well be adopted by railroad management. There are a lot of little issues that, with little cost, a little ingenuity and a lot of partnership with the rank-and-file, could be dealt with to create a much improved working environment.

  by SnoozerZ49
Well, Mr. "reality", thanks for calling me simple minded. If your experience is as a railroad manager with many years of experience I could see your opinions would be based on years of having to deal with things the way they used to be. If you are a non union worker in t&e, well good luck earning $11-$13 an hour at the pleasure of your tyranical boss. You're right though, I would rather have a decent 401k than pay union dues. However at non union wages I doubt I would have much left to contribute to the 401k and support my family.

I think I recognize the difficult situation managers operate with. I also believe if you were or are a manager, I'm glad I don't work for you :-)

By the way, I do believe that the union movement needs improvement, I also know enough not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
  by soolinexec
Amazing but predictable. I haven't got time to expand on this but the timing of your replies are predictable. I am sure it has something to do with your sister railroads out there, and now that you have more members who joined your good ole boys club, you must feel you got a voice now and feel comfortable to repsond. Why respond now?? Why not last May? Afraid to stand alone?

And I'm am sure some of these replies are from the sister ralilroads now that you belong to there club. What are brothers and sisters for if they can't speak up for 1 another, right? No early responses when they didn't have a pledge pin or a union card? This isn't a VFW hall where members speakup only when the are in a group.

You do not have to wait until your brothers and sisters show up.
I see you people still do not get the picture. Amazing thing about T&E people. They go to work with a posture attitude, talk tough, do not like to talk to other people than there own. The reality? Scared little boys who can't make it on their own.

You need to loose big out there people. Humble pie. Your sense of urgency is taking a back burner to your " It's all about me" agenda.
I am hear to tell you, your not seeing the picture. You still have 1970's priorities.

  by SnoozerZ49
Mr. Sooline:
sorry I don't quite understand all your points but to make things a bit more clear since I have just started reading the thread over the past few days, I have worked in union and non union environments, I have been a member of the UTU and the BLE&T, I am in t&e service though I have never worked for the BAR, MMA or any other road in Maine.

I haven't spoken here before because I never visited the thread. I am not an elected officer of the union. I am a dues paying member, I attend meetings regularly where I express my opinion and inquire into a wide variety of issues.

Considering the number of posts you make along with Mr. Reality and the tone and tenor of those posts its probably ridiculous to even respond to your rants. You constantly make references to the way things were with unions back in the 70's. Well those days are gone and if you worked in the business now you would know that regardless of the way things were they are very different these days, union or non union.

Closed mills, empty warehouses, lost jobs, vanishing investment, billlions spent on management bonuses and golden parachutes and thousands of containers of chinese made goods all available at your local Walmart, this is the world we all live in now. I won't be ashamed to state that I belong to one of the only organisations that have the goals of working men and women in mind.

Rant all you want its not the unions that have brought this country to its knees it has been the people at the top. The American dream of hard work paying off does not work anymore.

I'll get off my soap box, I'd been trying to keep it stowed away from this thread but, what the hell :-D

Mr. Soo I'll leave you to rant in peace!

  by Realityrail
One must think out loud that with the pay scale of T&E people these days, that we could attract more educated people than this!

Please, stay away from the MMA as we have enough people who cannot think on their own already!