District Lodge 19

where it all begin




 Advance Written by  Released Railage 9/18/2017 


NMB nominees and labor talks advance

Senate confirmation of two new Republican members to the three-member National Mediation Board (NMB), and confirmation of a Democrat to a third NMB term, is anticipated in the next few weeks. The NMB will then be under Republican control for the first time since 2009.

The confirmations may coincide with emergence of a tentative new agreement on wages, benefits and work rules between most major railroads and one of the three labor-union coalitions with which the carriers are bargaining. The major railroads include BNSF, CSX, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific. Amtrak, Canadian National and Canadian Pacific bargain separately, but many smaller railroads are included.

Republicans Gerald W. (Trey) Fauth III and Kyle Fortson were nominated by President Trump earlier this year, but Senate action has been on hold pending nomination of a Democrat. That came Sept. 15, with nomination of Linda A. Puchala to a third term. She had been nominated twice previously by President Obama, with the first of her two previous Senate confirmations coming in 2009.

Separately, an outline of a new five-year wage, benefits and work rules agreement between the railroads’ collective bargaining arm, the National Railway Labor Conference, and one of the three labor-union coalitions with which railroads have been bargaining is said to have emerged from contract talks that began in January 2015. The Railway Labor Act provides that existing agreements remain in force until new ones are forged.

The 13 rail labor unions, bargaining as part of three separate coalitions, represent some 145,000 rail workers. The coalitions have bargained under what many of their leaders consider a dark cloud of national politics. Absent a voluntary settlement, the NMB could declare a bargaining impasse. That would allow President Trump to name a Presidential Emergency Board to make non-binding settlement recommendations that could be converted to a legislatively-imposed result by a conservative Republican- controlled Congress – a potential especially unsettling to unions.

The outline of a tentative agreement with the largest of the three labor-union coalitions – representing almost 60% of affected employees including train and engine workers, signal workers and dispatchers – is said to provide a wage boost over five years and impose greater employee cost-sharing of healthcare insurance premiums. All three coalitions have been bargaining with the aid of NMB mediators.

Even with a tentative agreement with one of the union coalitions, two other coalitions remain in negotiations. And craft-by-craft membership ratification is required of every tentative agreement, which is a multi-month process. There has not been a national rail work stoppage since 1992.

If confirmed by the Senate, Fauth would succeed Democrat Harry Hoglander, who was first nominated to the NMB by President George W. Bush in 2002, making Hoglander the third-longest serving NMB member in the agency’s 83-year history. Fortson would succeed Republican Nicholas Gaele, who voluntarily departed the NMB earlier this year to become chief of staff to Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta.

Fauth has been associated with railroad economics and consulting since 1978 at G.W. Fauth & Associates, founded in 1957 by his late father, and of which he is now president. For four years, he was chief of staff to Surface Transportation Board Republican member Wayne O. Burkes, where he was involved with labor arbitration and dispute resolution arising from rail mergers and the resultant harmonizing of separate collective bargaining agreements. He earned an undergraduate degree in history and government from Hampden Sydney College.

Fortson has been labor policy director and labor counsel for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee since 2004. She previously was a policy analyst for the Senate Republican Policy Committee, and legislative counsel to Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) and Rep. Spencer Bauchus (R-Ala.). She earned an undergraduate degree in history from the University of Colorado, and a law degree from The George Washington University.

Puchala was a NMB senior mediator for 10 years prior to becoming a Senate-confirmed member in 2009, and has skills in alternative dispute resolution. Previously, she was president of the Association of Flight Attendants. Puchala earned an undergraduate degree in business from Cleary University.

The HELP Committee is not expected to hold a public confirmation hearing. Instead, the nominees will meet informally with senators who extend such invitations. The HELP Committee will then vote on whether to send the three names – which is expected owing to no interest in a formal committee hearing – to the Senate floor for a confirmation vote.

As an independent (from the Executive Branch) regulatory agency, the NMB administers the Railway Labor Act that applies equally to interstate freight, passenger and commuter railroads, and interstate airlines. The NMB provides mediation in collective bargaining disputes, voluntary alternative dispute resolution programs, binding arbitration to resolve contract interpretation and employee discipline disputes, and establishes rules for conducting union representation elections.

One controversial issue the NMB could face is whether to establish a fee schedule for resolving contract interpretation and employee discipline disputes. Where airlines and their unions share those costs of such arbitration, taxpayers fund those activities for railroads and their unions, at an estimated $1.2 million annual cost for arbitrator fees, travel, meals and lodging. Advocates say shifting those costs to the users will eliminate the filing of frivolous grievances.

In 2004, a Republican controlled NMB issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing such fees. Railroads were supportive; rail labor unions opposed. While Republican member Read Van deWater voted to finalize the rule, Democrat Hoglander voted “no.” For 18 months, until he departed the NMB, Republican Edward Fitzmaurice abstained from voting. The rule was never finalized. It could be advanced again by the incoming Republican majority.


BNSF is pleased to announce we are offering hiring incentives to the successful and eligible candidate(s) selected for Mechanical positions within our company. 

The program is for Mechanical External Hires requiring relocation because of the distance from the candidate’s home address  to our location. We also have External Hires incentives for jobs located in Alliance, Nebraska and Chicago, Illinois. The positions in Alliance, NE and Chicago, IL do not require individuals to relocate for the incentive.

Certified External Candidates (Journeyman Card)

• $15k paid in 3 separate payments
o $5k successful completion of probationary period and confirmation that the move has occurred (if applicable)
o $5k at the beginning of the second year
o $5k at the beginning of the third year
• This offer will include a 3 year hold-down.  Leaving the location or job for any reason will result in 100% repayment and forfeiture of future payments.
• If a move is required it will also include:
o One-way mileage at the current BNSF rate for up to 2 vehicles
o U-Haul (or similar) rental of up to $1000 paid by the company
o A lodging lump sum at the new location of $2500

Non-Certified External Candidates (Apprentice Program in Process)

• $10k paid in 2 separate payments
o $5k successful completion of probationary period and confirmation that the move has occurred (if applicable)
o $5k at the beginning of the second year
• This offer will include a 3 year hold-down.  Leaving the location or job for any reason will result in 100% repayment and forfeiture of future payments.
• If a move is required it will also include:
o One-way mileage at the current BNSF rate for up to 2 vehicles
o U-Haul (or similar) rental of up to $1000 paid by the company
o A lodging lump sum at the new location of $2500


• To be eligible, a candidate must be offered a position and successfully complete the pre-employment process
• Mechanical Journeyman Hires (Machinist, Carman, Sheetmetal Worker and Boilermaker) must provide documentation of Journeyman status for the same craft (at time of conditional offer)
• Electrician Mechanical Journeyman Hires must provide documentation of Railroad Journeyman status for the same craft (at time of conditional offer)
• All Mechanical Apprentice Hires must provide documentation showing he/she is actively enrolled in an Apprentice program for the same craft (at time of conditional offer)

**All interested candidate must apply at BNSF.com/careers. Additional information will be provided to candidates selected to interview.”



Donation pic

Picture from left to right:
Recording Secretary Andrew Wiater, Secretary Treasurer Mark Kufahl and President Shaun O'Connor

On August 29th & 30th 2017, International President (IP) Robert Martinez and General Vice President (GVP) Sito Pantoja requested support from all Local Lodges to make donations to the IAMAW Disaster Relief Fund. Shortly after we also received a request for assistance from District 19.

On September 14th, a motion was made during our monthly meeting to make a donation of $10,000. The membership voted unanimously to approve the donation.

The Officers and members of L.L. 498 feel there is no choice but to help our Sisters and Brothers in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and the Montana, and other Western State wild fires.

I am extremely proud of all the members of L.L. 498. I hope that their generosity will prompt all other Local Lodges to do whatever possible to support our Sisters and Brothers in their time of need.

On Behalf of All Members of L.L. 498

Shaun O’Connor

President L.L. 498


IAM District Lodge 19 in conjunction with the International Headquarters of IAM&AW have a Disaster Relief Program.  There are ways to donate and guidelines to request assistance.  Please contact your Servicing General Chairman for details on how to get assistance.  To contact your Servicing General Chairman go to Contact Us on the Home Page. If you do not know who your Servicing General Chairman is you may contact the District Lodge Office.

NOTE:  Those who are serviced by General Chairman Derrick Battle may contact Jim Davis as Derrick is immediately affected by the Disaster in Houston, TX

Union Pacific Railroad has posted Diesel Mechanic and Apprentice positions for North Platte, NE.  There are approximately 20 positions available. To see the jobs available go to UP.jobs and apply.


From BNSF - As we have had stronger than anticipated demand for coal, domestic intermodal, and industrial products we have updated our Mechanical hiring plan.  We have now exhausted our internal interdepartmental furlough pool and will be posting for external candidates.  I would like to ask if there are available journeymen from other railroads, industries, or military service that are looking for employment, please inform them to check out bnsf.com/careers or jobs.bnsf.com to apply for a position at any of these locations. As of July 26, 2017 they are not yet posted, but keep checking on the sites listed for up coming postings.

Alliance, NE - 20 Machinist Positions.

Barstow, CA - 15 Machinist Positions

Bridgeport, NE - 1 Rapid Responder Position.

Cicero, IL - 1 Machinist Position.

Clovis, NM - 1 Machinist Position.

Commerce, CA - 6 Machinist Positions.

Corwith, IL - 8 Machinist Positions

Ft. Scott, KS - 1 Rapid Responder Position.

Galesburg, IL - 9 Machinist Positions.

Havelock (Lincoln), NE - 3 Machinist Positions.

Havre, MT - 2 Machinist Positions.

Interbay (Seattle), WA - 2 Machinist Positions.

Lincoln, NE - 11 Machinist Positions.

Silsbee, TX - 1 Machinist Position.

Vancouver, WA - 1 Machinist Position.



National Freight Proposal provided by the Coalition of Carriers', July 12, 2017.

This is not a final offer, but shows the direction the Carrier's have been pushing, from day one with Health and Welfare changes.




       General Wage increases:

       1/1/2015:                   3.0% (Already in effect)

       Agreement Date:    4.0%*

       7/1/2018:                   2.0%

       7/1/2019:                   2.0%

       *     Assumes Agreement effective prior to 7/1/2018.  If thereafter, GWI at that time will be the sum of above GWI's not yet in effect.


       A.     NCCC Work Rule Proposals.

               See Attachment A.

       B.     TCU/Shop Craft Coalition ("Coalition") Common Issues.

              continue negotiations on Holiday, Vacation, Personal Leave, Bereavement Leave, Safety Equipment Proposals (as presented on 2/22/2017).

       C.     Continue negotiations on Shop Crafts' Common proposal on Sick Leave.

       D.     All other Coalition work rule proposals withdrawn.

       E.     NCCC reserves the right to advance work rule proposals and counter proposals to Coalition proposals identified above.

       F.     Compensation package set forth in Part I above subject to adjustment based on negotiated disposition of Coalition proposals described in Part II.


       Plan Design:

              A.     MMCP Non-Copay (In-Network)

                     1.     Individual Deductible          $  700.00

                     2.     Employee Coinsurance        20%

                     3.     Individual OOP Max               $3,000.00

              B.     MMCP Copays

                     1.     Convenience Clinic            $  10.00

                     2.     Primary Care                         $  25.00

                     3.     Specialist                                $  50.00

                     4.     Urgent Care                           $  25.00

                     5.     Emergency Room                $125.00

              C.     Pharmacy


                      1.     Generic                                 $  10.00

                      2.     Brand Formulary              $  35.00

                      3.     Non-Formulary                  50%

                      4.     Specialty                              $125.00

                      Mail Order:

                      1.     Generic                                 $  10.00

                      2.     Brand Formulary              $  70.00

                      3.     Non-Formulary                  50%*

                      4.     Specialty                              $250.00

                       *     Third tier coinsurance min/max of $50/$125 retail, $100/$250 mail order.

              D.     Additional Features

                       1.     Family maximum amounts for deductible and OOP max are double the individual amounts.

                       2.     Similar value differential relative to MMCP in-network vs. OON and CHCB as currently in place.

                       3.     MHSA coverage integrated into medical coverage.

                       4.     Implement all available and relevant pharmacy rules through ESI.

                       5.     Fixed dollar plan cost sharing features are indexed annually (through mutually agreed upon methodology to help preserve Actuarial Value.

              E.     Value-Added Features

                      1.     Telemedicine.

                      2.     Expert Second Opinion services.

                      3.     Member Advocate services.

                      4.     Centers of Excellence for specified conditions.

                      5.     Radiology Benefit Management.

                      6.     End of life counseling/service.

                      7.     Additional ESI programs (channel management, screen RX, enhanced fraud, waste and abuse).

                      8.     Consolidate all Care Management under single vendor/provider.

              F.     ERMA Pharmacy Benefit Design Reforms

                      1.     Adopt current NH&W Plan Pharmacy Benefit Co-Payment Design.

                               -     $5.00/$25.00/$45.00 In Network Retail; $5.00/$50.00/$90.00 Mail Order.

                      2.     Adopt and implement all available and relevant pharmacy rules through ESI.

                      3.     Applicable to individuals who become eligible for ERMA coverage on or after  ________.


              G.     Employee Monthly Contributions:

                       1.     Maintain current contribution methodology.

                       2.     Monthly contribution amount will be adjusted effective July 1 of each year beginning in 2016, and continuing through 2019, based on Payment Rates effective on January 1, of that year.

                               i.     Effective 7/1/2016, such amount will be $228.89.

                       3.     Monthly employee contribution caps as follows:

                               i.     7/1/2017          $245.00

                               ii.    7/1/2018          $260.00

                               iii.   7/1/2019          $275.00

              H.     Cadillac Tax

                       Process, with finality, to implement changes to Plan design as soon as possible to bring Plan value below tax threshold in the event the Plan would be subject to payment of excise tax.

IV.     TERM

          Standard national moratorium.

          Five-year duration (1/1/2015 through 12/31/2019).

          New notices can be served 11/1/2019, effective 1/1/2020.




Core Business Focus (BRC/IAM/IBEW/TCU)


Where restricted and in addition to existing Carrier rights, eliminate any contractual obligation to use Company employees for a) building construction, repair and maintenance, and b) crew transportation.


The Core Business Focus proposal contemplates permanent elimination of any contractual rights to perform certain types of work currently done on a carrier, in whole or part, by BRC/IAM/IBEW/TCU represented forces.

The Carriers' rights and the work within the contemplated coverage are listed below.

All existing rights of a carrier to contract out work are retained. Any existing restrictions on contracting out the following work are eliminated, including any obligation to provide advance notice.

a)     BRC/IAM/IBEW/TCU - Building Construction/Maintenance (includes janitorial)/Repair: Effective the date of this agreement, any restriction on the right of the Carrier to use contractors to perform work related to new construction, remodel/renovation,  repair, or cleaning of a building or any portion thereof  is eliminated.  The term building includes the foundation, floor, walls, roof, doors, windows, plumbing, HVAC, lighting and electrical. The term cleaning will include removal of trash or debris.  Nothing in this provision is intended to restrict the rights of the Carrier to at times delegate some such work to Company forces at management's sole discretion, while otherwise using contractors to perform such work.

b)     TCU - Crew transportation of TYE employees (Outside/Inside terminal): Effective the date of this agreement, any restriction on the right of the Carrier to use contractors to perform the transporting of train crews ("crew hauling"), including intra-terminal, is

         eliminated. Nothing in this provision is intended to restrict the rights of the Carrier to at times delegate some such work to Company forces at management's sole discretion, while otherwise using contractors to perform such work.


Incidental Work/Simple Task

 (IBEW Telecom.)


An employee may be required, so far as the employee is capable, to perform tasks covered by any classification of work rule or scope rules applicable to maintenance of way, signal, or communications work, as follows:


Section 1

(a)     When an employee or employees are performing a work assignment, the completion of which calls for the performance of "incidental work" covered by the classification of work or scope rules of another craft or crafts, such employee or employees may be required, so far as they are capable, to perform such incidental work provided it does not comprise a preponderant part of the total amount of work involved in the assignment.  Such work shall include simple tasks that require neither special training nor special tools.  Incidental work shall be considered to comprise a preponderant part of the assignment when the time normally required to accomplish it exceeds the time normally required to accomplish the main work assignment; and,

(b)     In addition to the above, simple tasks may be assigned to any craft employee capable of performing them for a maximum of two (2) hours per shift. Such hours are not to be considered when determining what constitutes a "preponderant part" of the assignment; and,

Section 2

Any work performed by an employee pursuant to this provision shall be done without additional compensation to such employee and without claim by, or penalty payment to, any other employee.




Richard Anderson New President and CEO of AMRTAK

      Amtrak has named Richard Anderson, the former Chief Executive Officer of Delta and Northwest airlines, as its new president and CEO.

     The announcement comes less than a year into the tenure Charles W. “Wick” Moorman, who took over as the passenger railroad’s chief executive in September. In a recent meeting with The Washington Post’s editorial board, Moorman had indicated that his role was to serve as a “transitional CEO,” working to reorganize and streamline Amtrak’s operations before turning it over to new leadership.    

     In an interview, Moorman said that being able to attract a leader of Anderson’s caliber signals that “Amtrak has a great future ahead of it.”

     [Amtrak named Charles W. “Wick" Moorman as its new president and CEO]

     Anderson will begin the job on July 12 — just a few days after Amtrak launches an ambitious rebuilding program at New York’s Pennsylvania Station, which is already threatening to upend the commutes for thousands of New York City commuters. Amtrak already had announced service reductions along the Northeast Corridor as a result of the rebuilding program.

     As part of the transition, Anderson and Moorman will serve as co-CEOs through Dec. 31, officials said. Moorman will then remain with Amtrak as an adviser to the company. That arrangement is designed to help Anderson make the transition from airlines to passenger rail. Before taking Amtrak’s top job, Moorman was the longtime head of Norfolk Southern Railway.

     Amtrak has named Richard Anderson, the former CEO of Delta and Northwest airlines, as its new president and CEO. (Amtrak)

     “Richard brings to Amtrak his experience running one of the largest global commercial air carriers. The board believes he is the right leader at the right time to drive the quality of customer service that our passengers, partners and stakeholders expect and deserve while continuing our path toward operational and financial excellence,” Amtrak board Chairman Tony Cosia said in a news release announcing Anderson’s appointment. “The board also appreciates all that Wick continues to do to improve Amtrak’s safety culture and strengthen our operating performance, including the important renewal work at New York Penn Station.”

     Given his previous jobs at Delta and Northwest, Anderson brings with him existing relationships with key players on Capitol Hill, including members on the House and Senate transportation committees. That may help as Amtrak tries to stave off proposed cuts to long-distance rail service and fights to secure funding for ambitious rebuilding programs such as Project Gateway.

     Anderson, 62, does not have railroad experience, but he does have decades of experience in the airline industry. He served most recently as executive chairman of the Delta Air Lines board of directors after serving as the airline’s CEO from 2007 to 2016.

     He also was executive vice president at United Healthcare from 2004 to 2007, and CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004, which later merged with Delta. Anderson began his airline career in the legal division of Continental Airlines. Before that, he was a county prosecutor.


District Lodge 19 Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Offers:

Help with Medical Bills -

(excerpts from USA.gov)

If you can't afford medical care or prescription drugs, these state and federal programs may be able to help:

• HealthCare.gov helps you find insurance options, compare care, learn about prevention, and understand the Affordable Care Act.

• State human/social service agencies offer direct aid and referrals to other organizations.

• State Medicaid offices offer help to low-income people.

• Local Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offices offer programs designed to help veterans.

• Eldercare Locator information specialists put you in contact with resources and programs designed to help seniors.

• State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP) help insure children of working families who cannot afford health insurance or don't get it through their work.

• Benefits.gov allows you to complete a confidential questionnaire and receive a list of programs that may help.

Help with Prescription Drug Costs -

If you're looking for help paying for your prescriptions, there are a number of local and federal agencies and programs you can contact:

• State human service agencies provide direct assistance to people in distress and referrals to other local organizations that may be able to help.

• Local health centers serve people with limited access to health care. You pay based on your income and family size.

• Medicare's Prescription Drug Program can provide extra help with the cost of prescription drugs if you qualify and are a Medicare beneficiary.

• Use Healthfinder.gov’s list of prescription assistance resources to find more programs that could help you pay for your medicines.

What The Railroad Retirement Board Is and How It Works -

Railroad Retirement Board The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) is an independent agency in the executive branch of the Federal Government. The RRB's primary function is to administer comprehensive retirement-survivor and unemployment-sickness benefit programs for the nation's railroad workers and their families, under the Railroad Retirement and Railroad Unemployment Insurance Acts. As part of the retirement program, the RRB also has administrative responsibilities under the Social Security Act for certain benefit payments and railroad workers' Medicare coverage.

Provisions Full age annuities are payable at age 60 to workers with 30 years of service. For those with less than 30 years of service, reduced annuities are payable at age 62 and unreduced annuities are payable at full retirement age, which is gradually rising from 65 to 67, depending on the year of birth. Disability annuities can be paid on the basis of total or occupational disability. Annuities are also payable to spouses and divorced spouses of retired workers, widow(er)s, surviving divorced spouses, remarried widow(er)s, children, and parents of deceased railroad workers. Qualified railroad retirement beneficiaries receive Medicare coverage just like social security beneficiaries.

As noted, the RRB pays retirement annuities to employees, as well as their spouses and/or divorced spouses, if the employee had at least 10 years of railroad service, or 5 years if performed after 1995. However, for survivor benefits, there is an additional requirement that the employee's last regular employment before retirement or death was in the railroad industry. If a railroad employee or his or her survivors do not qualify for railroad retirement benefits, the RRB transfers the employee's railroad retirement credits to the Social Security Administration, which treats them as social security credits.

Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act Under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, unemployment insurance benefits are paid to railroad workers who are unemployed but ready, willing, and able to work, and sickness benefits to railroad workers unable to work because of illness or injury. The RRB also operates a placement service to help unemployed railroaders secure employment.

Benefit Year A new unemployment-sickness benefit year begins every July 1, with eligibility generally based on railroad service and earnings in the preceding calendar year. Up to 26 weeks of normal unemployment or sickness benefits are payable to an individual in a benefit year. Additional extended benefits are payable to persons with 10 or more years of service.

Railroad Medicare The Medicare program covers railroad workers just like workers covered under social security. The Medicare program provides health insurance to persons ages 65 and older, as well as persons under age 65 who have been entitled to monthly benefits based on total disability for at least 24 months or who suffer from chronic kidney disease requiring hemodialysis or transplant. In addition to basic hospital insurance (Part A) financed by payroll taxes, there is an elective supplementary medical insurance (Part B) that covers many other medical services, such as doctor visits, durable medical equipment, and outpatient services that hospital insurance does not cover.

Eligible railroad retirement annuitants and social security beneficiaries whose benefits are payable by the RRB are automatically enrolled under both plans, but the annuitant or beneficiary can decline Medicare Part B. Eligible non-retired persons must apply in order to obtain Medicare coverage. The RRB automatically enrolled some 27,100 beneficiaries for Medicare during fiscal year 2016. As of the end of that fiscal year, about 465,300 people were enrolled in the Part A plan, and over 445,900 (96 percent) of them were also enrolled in Part B. Palmetto GBA, a subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, processes medical insurance (Part B) claims for railroad retirement Medicare beneficiaries.

For more information from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) call or go online:  (877) 772-5772  or www.rrb.gov

For assistance through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Contact:  District Lodge 19 EAP Director Josh Hartford at: (207) 474-3934 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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