eolesen wrote: ↑Fri Sep 09, 2022 2:55 pm
However working conditions have never been worse than they are today on the class 1s.
Ever work a firebox or a coal chute?
Ever have to walk the roof to set brakes?
Ever ride in a caboose without air conditioning or heat?
You guys have it much better today than the railroaders of 50+ years ago...
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Ever run a drafty GE without heat at 90 plus mph?? I have it ain't fun. Same for the A/C except its the summer you get the added enjoyment of a toilet that smells somewhere between a litter box that has not been cleaned in a couple of weeks and dumpster full of rotting seafood on a 100 degree day. I will take the caboose at 50mph.
Have a camera and microphones directly in your face and by this in mean less than 3 ft for your entire shift watching and listening to your every move for "safety". Never to be used for discipline except in an accident. Well that idea went out the window. I do it every day.
Do your job properly to the fullest of your ability, only to have a buff shoot a little video and it turns up on someones desk and they take exception to a procedure you followed which was not nor is a written rule yet your being brought up on charges? Seen it done, I work with a local chairman and he has shared a few.
Onto my freight brothers and sisters. The rules that current class 1 railroaders work under in regards to attendance policies are draconian at best. I am pretty sure I have posted BNSFs and UPs attendance policies. 50+ years ago you needed a day off you made yourself unavailable for the next day the railroad did not care nor did they asses you point towards discipline. They called an extra man to cover your job. They did not screw with your vacation time because they were short help.
Officials were not out to see how many pelts they could hang on their wall. If they were, generally they were spoken to. Unlike today were it seems its part of the training they receive. You can not be going to work looking over your shoulder wondering what am I going to get fired for today. You cant work safely like that around large heavy equipment that can kill you in a second.
The railroad may have been a more dangerous place 50+ plus years ago because of the type of job but people still die out here today. May not be from walking a roof to set a hand brake, could it be from the constant stress they are under to get trains over the road with lack of sleep? Not having some down time with family ? Perhaps it could be lack proper training as some railroads have shortened their training classes from 8 to 6 weeks so they can get boots on the ground. Then rush them through promotion classes and suddenly you have a newly minted conductor who may not be ready for such an assignment. They could end up getting themselves or someone else in a jam or worse, because the way it works for discipline is you did it, he knew about it. Your both fired/banned for a minimum of 30 days if your lucky, most common Ive seen is 90 days.
That is no pay kids
I would also suggest you go on YouTube and follow some folks who are no longer railroad employees, they are not there with an axe to grind but give tips and some in site on what to expect if you were to hire out. Trust me some of us could use it.
Lastly if this job is so great and the railroads treat their employees so well then why are so many with 20+ years of service quitting to find another line of work??? That's a lot of money and benefits to be leaving on the table for you and your significant other.