• National Railroads Strike in September?

  • 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 STrRedWolf
 
Presidential Emergency Board issues rail contract recommendations meant to advert strike.
WASHINGTON — The Presidential Emergency Board charged with making recommendations to resolve the longstanding contract differences between the U.S. Class I railroads and their unionized workforce today submitted its report to the White House, railroads, and organized labor.

The board recommended a 22% wage increase, along with $5,000 in service recognition bonus payments, over the five-year life of the contract retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020. That was below the 28% increase the unions sought, but above the railroads’ 16% proposed wage hike.

The railroads and unions are $9 billion apart in their wage proposals, the board noted in its report, which was shared with Trains News Wire prior to its release.

The board also recommended what it called “modest improvements” in the existing health and welfare benefits package, and no reductions in benefits or a shift in cost-sharing, aside from the uncapping of a previously agreed to 15% employee contribution per month.
They also ask for the two sides to further negotiate on engineer/conductor scheduling, under threat of binding arbitration. Crew consist issues should be removed from the national level.

30 day cool-off timer starts now.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
From Railjet 67 somewhere near Lake Chemise---

Thirty days cool off then "self help".

I think a settlement will occur in time.
  by Railjunkie
 
IF the class 1s back away from the one man crew non sense, a major sticking point. You may see an agreement. I have seen where the FRA has made some tentative rulings on this but nothing official as of yet. Myself, I kinda have a dog in the fight as our contract with Amtrak is also up and currently being negotiated. What happens here will have an effect on what happens with the unions within Amtrak.
  by BandA
 
We've seen a bad-case scenario in Megantic, Quebec Canada of what can happen with one-man crews. OTOH, does a train picking up lets say 4 empty hoppers really need two crewmembers?

That is the least detailed 124 document I've ever seen, and I've only looked at about half. Definitely a 30,000 foot view. I'm just gonna wild guess, but I suspect that railroaders will find the inflation adjustments to be inadequate as the CPI is understating the true inflation rate. I guess they will authorize a strike. I had thought we were already beyond the emergency board phase but apparently not. Will a deadlocked congress / senate give Joe Biden legislation to impose a settlement or binding arbitration? Probably, after a short strike.
  by STrRedWolf
 
BandA wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 1:37 pm We've seen a bad-case scenario in Megantic, Quebec Canada of what can happen with one-man crews. OTOH, does a train picking up lets say 4 empty hoppers really need two crewmembers?
In limited cases and limited distances with a remote control and auto-shutoff? No, and it can be proven on some of the Class 3's (example video. For the Class 1's on any semblance of runs that span most of a day? Oh hell no. In all cases, it's situational/case-by-case.
  by 57A26
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 7:05 am Mr. MMI, somewhere before I had learned that train dispatching on UP was done with non-Agreement employees. I had further learned that it is "a stop along the way" as part of their Management Trainee program.

It also can result in "dispatching by the book" as distinct from "dispatching to move the traffic". I once learned of an incident from a railfan friend who was riding, post-merger, Amtrak #6, Zephyr, somewhat to the east of Sacramento (let's say Auburn). Here was a case of the Zephyr was running behind a freight moving at maybe 25mph - and apparently this continued all the way over Donner to Truckee. He was astounded that the Zephyr wasn't runaround the freight, and was sure a skilled (Agreement) Train Dispatcher would have found the opportunity to have done so.

But it should come as no surprise that any outside observer of industry affairs (sure means railfans) does not know the whole story; and even if held this guy (now deceased) was quite astute with good "situational awareness" traits, still didn't know all pertinent parameters.
UP dispatchers are company officers. At least one Director in the Harriman Center has stated that he viewed it as an entry level to management. However, not all of them are there to start climbing the ladder. Many have been there for years and are happy (all things being considered) to stay there. Many are also from the field ranks. Off my seniority district, two conductors and one engineer became dispatchers.

Like every other fact of life, the trick dispatchers are often micromanaged by their superiors. And some of those supervisors may not have much dispatching experience. The guy you hear on the radio may not have come up with what may appear as a questionable decision.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
From Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg--

Mr. Junkie, are Amtrak Passenger Engineers-BLET, part of the Conference?

I spent some of my eleven year railroad career in Labor Relations. I think the Act with its Emergency Board provision, then the "cooling off" will suffice. The RLA I really think has a good track record of keeping the peace. Unfortunately, it hasn't had quite the same record with airlines. Maritime only has the Trilogy.

Now if they do "hit the beicks" won't you have to X a Chessie picket line?

I'm totally with you about crew consist, it's one thing in the yard, but operating a 100 car train with only a "Conductngineer" is asking for trouble. Being an Operating Employee, you know better than I everything that could wrong and how much longer with only one man, it will take to fix it.

Finally, allow me to sincerely apologize for initiating the now killed at my request topic regarding a prominent person going to Atlanta by surface transportation. I deliberately avoided links to the material from The Times to avoid having any political discussion. I thought I did my part, but you and others thought otherwise.

Gotten Nacht
  by Ridgefielder
 
BandA wrote: Thu Jul 28, 2022 3:20 am I am assuming that none of the unions are going to go on strike against the passenger railroads. Do some of the freight railroads still operate passenger service?
I believe UP and BNSF operate Chicago-area services over their own lines under contract from METRA.
  by eolesen
 
Unions are pissed that the PEB split the difference on the increases and sided with management on the other aspects...

Democrats are in a really bad position... if they move to impose an agreement, they further alienate the unions. If they allow a nationwide strike to happen, if comes right after Biden's PEB and after Buttigeig claimed to solve the supply chain crisis.

Republicans are in the same position, but the unions don't expect their support. Much less backlash.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Railjunkie
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Aug 19, 2022 4:37 am From Imlauer Hotel Pitter Salzburg--

Mr. Junkie, are Amtrak Passenger Engineers-BLET, part of the Conference?

I spent some of my eleven year railroad career in Labor Relations. I think the Act with its Emergency Board provision, then the "cooling off" will suffice. The RLA I really think has a good track record of keeping the peace. Unfortunately, it hasn't had quite the same record with airlines. Maritime only has the Trilogy.

Now if they do "hit the beicks" won't you have to X a Chessie picket line?

I'm totally with you about crew consist, it's one thing in the yard, but operating a 100 car train with only a "Conductngineer" is asking for trouble. Being an Operating Employee, you know better than I everything that could wrong and how much longer with only one man, it will take to fix it.

Finally, allow me to sincerely apologize for initiating the now killed at my request topic regarding a prominent person going to Atlanta by surface transportation. I deliberately avoided links to the material from The Times to avoid having any political discussion. I thought I did my part, but you and others thought otherwise.

Gotten Nacht
Herr Norman
Amtrak engineers/conductors are not part of the current labor negotiations. However what comes out of the freight agreement usually ends up with us. Not part and parcel but the general frame work.
As for crossing a picket line, both my grandfathers were union men one a welder the other an electrician Alco and GE. I do recall strikes as a kid. I think if CSX were to picket at work I would not cross less I be haunted by their ghosts for the rest of my days.
The railroads offer was a joke the PEB ruling is a joke, the Gov't stated how railroaders were heroes for keeping things moving and this is the best they can do? Just cut in half the unions offer. The local kid in your grocery store receives better treatment for doing a whole lot less. Upon further review I cant help but see a strike.
The one man crew non sense has do to with two things
1. PSR cheaper to run trains with just a single person cause on paper nothing ever goes wrong. More money for the shareholders. Screw the engineers that are being forced to be on call 7 days a week or be facing discipline.
2. IETMS Do not need a conductor when you have a computer that tells the engineer everything that is ahead of him and is prepared to take action if the engineer is not. Remember inward facing cameras and PTC were done for "safety".
Lastly apology excepted.
  by BandA
 
Do all the railroad workers nationwide covered by these agreements have the same pay scale? I.e. an engineer in LA gets the same money as an engineer in Nebraska?
  by Railjunkie
 
STrRedWolf wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 5:17 pm
BandA wrote: Thu Aug 18, 2022 1:37 pm We've seen a bad-case scenario in Megantic, Quebec Canada of what can happen with one-man crews. OTOH, does a train picking up lets say 4 empty hoppers really need two crewmembers?
In limited cases and limited distances with a remote control and auto-shutoff? No, and it can be proven on some of the Class 3's (example video. For the Class 1's on any semblance of runs that span most of a day? Oh hell no. In all cases, it's situational/case-by-case.

Had to give this a bit of a cooling off for myself lost a family friend to a RCO accident. The magic box failed him. The safety cut out failed while he was leaning in to adjust the knuckle and was coupled up in between the cars. He was able to say goodbye to his wife after they found him. He pleaded with with the EMTs to let his kids down to see him but all involved felt it was better for them to stay further away. Once they pulled the pins to uncouple the cars he died instantly. Locomotive engineer in the cab and he is still alive and well today.

They are not safe not only for the above reason. Equipment is constantly being sideswiped, running through misaligned switches, over derails and out the ends of stub tracks. This all cost money and jobs. Operators have pressure on them to produce X amount of cars switched per shift. They have constant pressure on them to work quickly and safely but yet "white hats" will hide in bushes, new cars locomotive cabs ect to watch to see how you go about your day. If they do not like what they see your fired.

How many of you spend your day at work looking over your shoulder every two seconds and wondering if you can make it through a shift without loosing your job.
  by eolesen
 

Railjunkie wrote: The railroads offer was a joke the PEB ruling is a joke, the Gov't stated how railroaders were heroes for keeping things moving and this is the best they can do? Just cut in half the unions offer. The local kid in your grocery store receives better treatment for doing a whole lot less.
The local grocery store kid isn't going to have a pension or healthcare benefits anywhere close to what the railroads receive. Nor are they going to have the amount of paid time off.

You can say that the PEBs offer was a joke, but historically they have always split the difference down the middle. If you allow yourself to get into a PEB, that's the risk you take by not negotiating before that.

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by hrsn
 
Had to give this a bit of a cooling off for myself lost a family friend to a RCO accident.
My deepest condolences to you and your family. This experience is what people who go to Disney World and wonder why we don't have automated monorails (like MCO "people movers") need to understand. *Someone* ends up coupling and servicing and working around heavy equipment.
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