District Lodge 19

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NEWS

 

6.16.15

 

Attn: District Lodge 19 Machinists

 

Yesterday, the National Mediation Board released from mediation the Unions representing the employees of New Jersey Transit (NJT). The unions, working together in the New Jersey Transit Rail Labor Coalition, immediately announced their intention to invoke a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB), which will make non-binding recommendations to settle the four year old contract dispute.

 

The Coalition includes every rail union on NJT, representing more than 4,000 commuter workers.

 

“By announcing our intention to invoke a PEB, we want to remove any fears the riding public may have that a strike could occur in July. Our goal is to reach a voluntary agreement. We are optimistic that a neutral PEB will find reasonable our proposals to follow the pattern settlements reached on New York commuter railroads. There is simply no justification for the workers we represent to fall further behind their counterparts on Long Island and Metro-North Railroads”, said the coalition spokesmen.

 

Negotiations for new contracts began on July 1, 2011. NMB efforts at mediation have failed to produce any agreements, prompting today’s releases. Under the governing Railway Labor Act, self-help would be possible at 12:01 AM, July 16, 2015, unless one of the involved Governors, the commuter agency or unions request that President Obama appoint a Presidential Emergency Board. Once appointed, the PEB will have thirty days to hold hearings and issue non-binding recommendations to settle the dispute. Creation of the PEB will start a 120 day cooling-off period during which neither side can resort to self-help.

 

We will keep you updated with additional news as it develops.

 

6.12.15 - District Lodge 19 has been working hand in hand with legislators to help create well-paying IAM jobs. As we are well aware, IAM membership growth greatly increases our strength in all facets of the collective bargaining process. As we continue to grow in number and strength, we will gain critical leverage that will result in better contracts for our members across America.

Today, at Alstom Transport in Hornell NY, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, along with AP/DGC John Lacey and GC Gary Naylor, urged the Department of Transportation (USDOT) to green light Amtrak's efforts to buy brand new Acela trains. Schumer said the roughly $3 billion train project could significantly improve rail safety and Amtrak service, as well as boost the local economy and create hundreds of good paying middle-class jobs in communities like Hornell. Schumer explained that Amtrak is currently seeking the necessary federal approvals to purchase new high-speed trains for the Acela service along the Northeast Corridor, which could mean great things for Upstate New York.

“Allowing Amtrak to purchase new Acela trains would be a huge step forward in improving rail safety and service in the northeast. This could have the potential to create good-paying, middle-class jobs for Upstate New Yorkers at companies like Alstom…” said Schumer. “That’s why I’m calling on the U.S. Department of Transportation to give Amtrak the federal approvals needed to produce new, state-of-the-art trains from companies like these. This could be a win-win-win that would improve rail safety, bring jobs to Upstate New York, and improve the Amtrak experience for passengers along the entire Northeast Corridor.”

Schumer explained that the Amtrak procurement process could also help create substantial opportunities for U.S. companies – like Alstom. Once Amtrak gains approval to purchase these trains, Senator Schumer hopes to bring these jobs to his state. If awarded to Alstom, this contract could provide a big boost to our membership in Upstate New York. Alstom anticipates that, if awarded this contract, it will create 500+ new Machinist jobs in Hornell.

Additionally, Senator Schumer praised the IAM and District Lodge 19 for their efforts on Capitol Hill and their steadfast work in negotiating excellent labor agreements for the Machinists at Alstom and around the country.

 

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WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a safety advisory recommending actions that passenger railroads take to prevent trains from speeding.  The advisory is the latest in a series of steps FRA has taken to keep passenger railroads safe for the traveling public.

“Today the FRA is taking a smart and targeted approach to addressing a major issue involved in recent passenger rail accidents,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “Safety is our top priority at the Department, and today’s advisory is but one step we are taking to raise the bar on safety for passenger rail.”

The FRA recommends that passenger railroads immediately take the following actions to control passenger train speeds:

Identify locations where there is a reduction of more than 20 mph from the approach speed to a curve or bridge and the maximum authorized operating speed for passenger trains at that curve or bridge.

Modify Automatic Train Control (ATC) systems (if in use) to ensure compliance with speed limits.

If the railroad does not use ATC, ensure that all passenger train movements through the identified locations be made with a second qualified crew member in the cab of the controlling locomotive, or with constant communication between the locomotive engineer and an additional qualified and designated crewmember in the body of the train.

Install additional wayside signage alerting engineers and conductors of the maximum authorized passenger train speed throughout the passenger railroad’s system, with particular emphasis on additional signage at the identified locations.

“The FRA fully expects passenger railroads to take immediate action and implement these recommendations,” said Acting Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg.  “We will continue to take action in the coming weeks to prevent human error from causing accidents and to keep passengers safe on the nation’s railroads.”

To view a copy of the Safety Advisory, click HERE.

 

Amtrak's Northeast Regional Train 188 from Washington, D.C., to New York City was carrying 238 passengers and five crew members when it derailed soon after 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, throwing all seven cars into disarray along the busy New York-Philadelphia corridor.

For more information, please visit: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/05/13/fatal-train-crash/27222401/

 

The Engineers and Conductors of North Carolina & Virginia Railroad and Chesapeake & Albemarle Railroad, represented by IAM&AW District Lodge 19, just ratified a new 5 year agreement. The agreement provides nearly 16 percent wage increases when compounded. Additionally, the agreement increases the amount of vacation and increases flexibility with how vacation may be taken. The agreement also calls for three additional paid holidays. There were some work rule changes that provide training on all shifts as well as limiting long shoves in order to increase member safety.

The membership ratified the agreement by 100 percent. “The work ethic and safety record of our members on the NCVA  and CA allowed me to negotiate an excellent agreement that 100% of our members voted to approve. I would like to thank the members on these railroads for taking this positive step toward a brighter future for themselves and their families”, said General Chairman Andrew Sandberg.

 

As you may be aware, District Lodge 19 has been through litigation in Houston, TX recently.  We are pleased to announce that the jury ruled in favor of District 19.  Please click here to see a summary from General Counsel Mark Schneider.

 

The Iowa State Council of Machinists received an unexpected visitor during their spring business and election meeting on February 14, 2015, in Des Moines.

IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger, while traveling from Seattle to Washington, DC, dropped in for a quick visit.

While there, he was asked to take part in the Council’s installation ceremony.

“Since we have the No. 1 card-carrying Machinist member in the room…” said Iowa State Council President and IAM District 6 Directing Business Representative John Herrig.

Happy to oblige, Buffenbarger led the installation of six new Iowa State Council of Machinists officers and executive board members.

“It’s no wonder he's here on Valentines’ Day,” said Herrig. “He loves what he does. He loves the Machinists Union. He loves the working class.”

Buffenbarger thanked the Council for their continued service to Iowa’s working families, and warned of a number of tough battles still ahead with right-to-work laws popping up across the country and the attacks on retiree pensions.

He highlighted the IAM's recent CSX Railroad deal, which helped keep IAM Local 104 jobs in Huntington, WV, in-house and ensure 20 more years of work with a no furlough clause, as a possible model for finding innovative ways to re-purpose farm manufacturing jobs in Iowa.

Watch “Thinking Outside the Locomotive.”

“The Big Four – that’s CSX, Norfolk-Southern, BNSF and Union Pacific – all want the same deal because they see it’s working,” said Buffenbarger. “It’s being replicated already in Cincinnati and Chicago.”

Iowa State Sen. Tony Bisignano (D) was also on hand for the ceremony. He spoke about his job at the state capitol, where there’s currently a Republican majority.

“We are stopping a lot more ugly than we’re going to pass good,” said Sen. Bisignano.

The Iowa State Council of Machinists celebrated 75 years of service in 2014.

 

On January 13, 2015, we met with the NCCC (National Carriers Conference Committee) for initial conferences and to set future dates for National Freight Negotiations.  We will be back at the table in the beginning of March.  We will keep you updated as negotiations progress.

Please click here to view our "Section 6" notice

 

The NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) issued a ruling Friday that will streamline the organizing process.  The new rule shortens the time between when an election is ordered and when it is held. The ruling eliminates the 25 day waiting period and reduces litigation that can be used to stall the election.  It also requires the company to furnish organizers with phone numbers and email addresses for workers.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said the NLRB's "modest but important reforms" will help reduce delays and make it easier for workers to vote on forming a union.  "Strengthening protections for workers seeking to come together and bargain collectively is critical to workers winning much-deserved wage gains and improiving their lives", said Trumka.

This ruling is set to go into effect on April 14th, 2015.

On Thursday, the board also ruled that employees who have access to their employer's email system have the right to use it for union organizing as long as it isn't on company time.

 

source: AP (Associated Press)

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