Posts Tagged ‘Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen’

Excursion Trains Draw Some Opposition From Union

March 19, 2021

A proposal by tour train operator Rocky Mountaineer to launch service between Denver and Moab, Utah, has drawn opposition from a railroad labor union.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen told the U.S. Surface Transportation Board it opposes some aspects of the service.

In particular, the union is disputing Rocky Mountaineer’s request for an exemption “from virtually the entirety of the Interstate Commerce Act as amended by the ICC Termination Act.”

Although the union acknowledged that some exemptions are appropriate it said those sections dealing with safety, efficiency, and fair wages and safe and suitable working conditions remain relevant, and the company should not be exempted from them.

 “The board has a duty to ensure that [American Rocky Mountaineer’s ]operations are safe, that ARM does not negatively impact safe and efficient operations of [Union Pacific, which will host the trains], and that ARM’s operations are not detrimental to public health and safety,” the filing states. “… ARM should only be exempted from specific provisions that truly do not apply to its operations, and where ARM is truly different from other carriers,” the union said in its filing.

Amtrak, Unions Seek ‘No Ride’ List

January 15, 2021

Amtrak and two labor unions are urging the federal government to create a “no ride” list similar to the “no fly” list maintained by the Transportation Security Administration.

The proposal was made in the wake of rioting on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol in which a mob invaded the building and sent members of Congress and their staffs seeking shelter.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our employees,” Amtrak CEO William Flynn said in a statement.

“Since the start of the pandemic, our dedicated front line employees have kept our trains running, providing a vital transportation service to essential workers,” he said.

“We join our labor partners in continuing to call upon Congress and the Administration to make assaults against rail workers a Federal crime, as it is for aviation workers, and to expand the TSA’s ‘No Fly List’ to rail passenger service.”

The two unions that called for the “no ride” list included the International Association for Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Division, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

The unions sent their request seeking an emergency order to the Federal Railroad Administration and Department of Homeland Security.

The unions noted that there are no laws or regulations that penalize those who interfere with or do harm to members of train crews.

Nor is there a screening process for passengers similar to that conducted by TSA agents at airports.

The FAA in the meantime has announced that it is tightening enforcement of its rules for how airlines will handle unruly passengers aboard flights.

That action followed multiple reports of members of Congress being verbally harassed and threatened about flights and in airports.

Unions Seek Protection for Trains in Washington

January 13, 2021

Two railroad labor unions have asked the Federal Railroad Administration and Department of Homeland Security to protect passengers and railroad workers of Amtrak, MARC and Virginia Railway Express services in and around Washington.

The Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Transportation Division and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said they are seeking additional security measures in the wake of rioting that occurred in the nation’s capital on Jan. 6.

The unions have asked federal authorities for a minimal standard that any regulation granted to prohibit the interference of a train crew’s duty be in line with that of aviation statutes and regulations.

The letter to the FRA and Homeland Security sent by the unions cited  “the very real risk and potential for additional violence and riots.” It noted that Washington remains on high alert.

BLET, Amtrak Reach Tentative Pact

March 2, 2018

A union representing locomotive engineers has reached a tentative contract agreement with Amtrak.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said the pact governs pay rates, benefits and work rules for about 1,400 engineers.

BLET has mailed its members ratification ballots and a synopsis of the agreement with voting to be completed by April 1.

The union represents more than 1,400 locomotive engineers who operate Amtrak passenger and commuter trains.