• More Bad News for MMA

  • 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 NYC27
 
Lots of bad news for the MMA in the last month or so:

Yesterday, one of the MMA's large customers, the OSB mill at Megantic, suffered a major fire and will be closed up to 8 months and may shut down altogether. I'm also hearing that they had another derailment into the St. Croix (?) river.

In old news they:
* lost 5% of their revenue with the GP closing
* suffered a fairly significant derailment at Hampden
* have recently had bridge problems on the ex-CP that forced them to temporarily detour several large blocks of traffic via Guilford and SLR from Northern Me Jct. to Sherbrooke
* their workforce is now unionized
* turnover at the upper management level seem to be high with new top marketing, operating and engineering people.

How much more can they take?? If the BLE pushes for wage increases or more stringent work rules they could sink the company at this point. Is there anything positive to report?
  by soolinexec
 
Yeah I hear yeah. Espically with the BLE getting their damn nose into the picture. I am sure MM&A owners and staff are gearing up for battle though. Ole Ed won't take this sitting down. I sure like to know what kind of schooling they have out their because their actions sure look like old school mentality.

I got a feeling the real reason they wanted to Unionize is the protect their own asses. Brothers? Yeah right. Hypocrites. What the underlying truth is when business gets a bit slow, they fear layoff, and that's when they want to be able to fight amongs themselves in fashion union ranks to see who goes to the top of a list, and who falls to the bottom. If any of you Engineers are reading this. look long and hard. There are no brothers among you, just fellow employees with hidden agendas looking for a rank structure to go by when things get tuff. Money, Money, Money.

There was a saying by General Patton: It's not how big the dog is in the fight, but how big the fight is in the dog.

Sure hope it resides in the MM&A staff. It sure doesn't with the Running trades.

  by NYC27
 
Heard MMA is cutting back service due to decreased carloadings. What is going on? Tri-weekly service between Madawaska and NMJ? Houlton local? Sounds like they are continuing to head down the same path as Iron Road. Everyone had so much to say when Railworld took over but now that things are turning sour there isn't a peep out of this board.

  by Realityrail
 
And what should they say? That Maine is a crappy state for business? MMA is doing all they can to make a go of the place. Unfortunately, the business climate in Maine is marginal at best. High taxes and a not so skilled work force increases the costs of MMA's customer's products. I am certain that as the need for increased service comes, so will additional train service.

How about a fuel tax on trucks that has them paying their share of the road repair costs? That will level the playing field. Lower state taxes on business to bring in more and better businesses. That will lower state revenue, but also add jobs. With the dope smoking and growing crowd on Maine care and all other Maine social aid programs forced into productive jobs, the state budhget will also decrease.

Too bad the state legislature has no guts!

  by Cowford
 
And what should they say? That Maine is a crappy state for business?
Exactly... why state the obvious?!? :(

  by riffian
 
[. What is going on? Tri-weekly service between Madawaska and NMJ? Houlton local? ]

Not sure what this statement is saying. What about the Houlton local? Has it been confirmed that mainline service to Northern Maine Junction is now three days a week? What days north and which south? How about other connecting locals (Millinocket, Squa Pan)?

  by SnoozerZ49
 
[quote][/quote]Yeah I hear yeah. Espically with the BLE getting their damn nose into the picture. I am sure MM&A owners and staff are gearing up for battle though. Ole Ed won't take this sitting down. I sure like to know what kind of schooling they have out their because their actions sure look like old school mentality.

I got a feeling the real reason they wanted to Unionize is the protect their own asses. Brothers? Yeah right. Hypocrites. What the underlying truth is when business gets a bit slow, they fear layoff, and that's when they want to be able to fight amongs themselves in fashion union ranks to see who goes to the top of a list, and who falls to the bottom. If any of you Engineers are reading this. look long and hard. There are no brothers among you, just fellow employees with hidden agendas looking for a rank structure to go by when things get tuff. Money, Money[quote]

[i]Well, I guess everyone is entitled to an opinion, at least for now the US is still a free country but I have to say your remarks a bit over the top. Yes, I am a member of the BLE&T and yes that now means I am a Teamster as well. I am not familiar at all with the specific details of why the operating folks chose to join the union. I would say though that people don't join a union because everything is going well. I can only speak from my own experience but in situations where the company is unable or unwilling to maintain its physical plant and equipment problems result. In order to provide protection from arbitrary discipline and scapegoating the framework of an agreement can provide some essance of a "rule of law" into the process. Railroaders are not afforded the protection of most labor legislation. Union representation can provide balance to offset irresponsible management when it appears.[/i][/quote]

  by SnoozerZ49
 
I'd like to restate that I DO NOT know the situation at MMA. My comments were not made to cast aspirsions on MMA, I can only say that I have a new agreement, I think it is flexible and is not an attempt to drag things backwards on my railroad. Railroad management is under tremendous pressure to deliver the goods to stockholders. I think I need someone to back me up and keep every new scheme from being implemented regardless of the impact on safety.

When you start talking about remote control however, I think that I deserve to have someone stand up for me to try and prevent me from being forced into a dangerous situation. The physical characteristics, track profile and maintenance standards of my railroad make remote operations problematic. I don't think that the big shots in upper management can appreciate those factors. Why is it okay to give one man control over a long cut of cars trundling through switches, across diamonds and into sidings yet management prohibits getting on or off moving equipment regardless of the speed? Unions aren't perfect, history proves that but neither was McGuiness, Young, Mellon, etc...

  by Realityrail
 
People resist progress.Snoozer is still mad that the railroads switched from wood fuel to coal.

The BLE will help every one on the railroads they represent. They will help themselves to dues money from those employees to keep the union fat cats in power , making more money than any of their members ever could. Oh, and add a fat expense account and first class air travel, items most companies do not allow.

how about this? I'll support unions the day that the fat cat union officers cap their salaries to the same salaries of the people they represent.

  by SnoozerZ49
 
Insults aren't very effective. I don't remember steam and I don't lament the old days. I work hard on the job every day I work. I wouldn't mind discussing the pros and cons of the union but my guess is that it would have to be on a different thread. The old us vs. them argument does not work for your view either.


If you work on a road where you don't have to worry about the arbitrary actions of a manager who manages through intimidation and scare tactics consider yourself lucky, not every one does.