Potential U.S. Railroad Shutdown Friday, 09/16/22

Hardcoaler Sep 12, 2022

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    As long as it includes a serious adjustment to the "Hi-Viz" style work policies, otherwise the rank & file might balk.
     
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  2. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Boxcab, Don't believe everything you see on the news. The IAM (International Association of Machinist) yesterday voted NO on the current contract offer. As a member of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Railroad) I've not even received my ballot yet, and the union said are ballots will not be counted until 9-29-22. The IAM has already announced the approval of a strike on 9-29-22 if a new agreement is not reached. Also don't forget, the railroads can still lock us out at 12:01 AM 9-16-22, it's a two way street.

    Now let me clear some things up as the railroads are not the saints they are claiming to be. First the railroads had already laid off half their work force pre pandemic, now they are claiming they took great risks keeping everyone employed during the pandemic. But the fact of the matter is, we were completely understaffed and forced to work overtime and forced to work all holidays beginning in September 2019. While everyone was spending long weekends with their families during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, we were all forced to work, because they had laid off half the work forced in 2019, long before the Pandemic Lock down.

    During the pandemic we were told we were essential employees and were given paperwork from the AAR that would allow us access to the railroads in the event highways were shut down and entire towns were quarantined.

    Now the railroads are acting like they are doing us a favor by not even giving us a cost of living raise, while they are increasing our health insurance payments by at a minimum $100 a month. If could be more because now instead of paying a flat rate, they want us to pay 15% of the total cost of the insurance. So my rates my increase every year, while the railroads continue to earn massive profits. Other companies have profit sharing where they use the profits to offset things like health insurance. Not the railroads, profits are only shared with Wall Street in the form of Dividend payments. They also threw out our request for sick days, yes you read that correctly we do not have sick days and if you call off too many days in a row because you are sick, they will fire you. We also ask for another week of vacation and two more holidays, both of which were thrown out. The sad part is, working for the railroad use to be a good job, but Precision Scheduled Railroading has taken that away and I've already seen members of my craft leave and find better paying jobs with better benefits outside the railroad. What's even sadder, no one has been hired to fill those open positions, so we struggle on now with even less employees. It's very sad and I'm here to tell you don't believe everything you hear on the news and the railroads are not the saints they make themselves out to be and the unions are not the evil money grabbers the railroads are trying to convince the public that we are. Is it so wrong to want a few sick days a year, so I don't have to go to work sick, for fear of being fired? Sure the union will fight for my job, but I've seen that process take up to two years. How do I feed my family during those two years?

    I know everyone on this board in one way or another enjoys photographing or modeling railroads, I'm a modeler myself, but I just wanted to let everyone know the real story and not the one sided story you're going to hear on the news. And to answer the question of why am I still with the railroad, I'm only 5 years away from retirement, at 61 years old, I do not wish to start all over again at another employer, so I'm gong to try and stick it out here for the next 5 years. Yes I'm a late hire, so I do not qualify for 60/30.
     
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  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    "Details were not disclosed about the tentative agreement, which came ahead of Friday's strike deadline."
    Well there goes my question.... :p

    I have serious misgivings to the notion this is an "acceptable" agreement. The class 1s have showed absolutely no willingness to give up profits to treat their people like humans, much less relax draconian attendance policies. The country as a whole stands to lose a lot more than you can imagine if this strike lasts for more than a couple days.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I do understand. I saw the word "tentative". Am waiting to read the proposed deal. Comments I am seeing from RR folks elsewhere are using the word "postponed", in reference to striking. I am thinking this has just been an effort to temporarily avert a strike, more than anything else.
     
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  5. acptulsa

    acptulsa TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you very much for the update. As you say, there is a lot of official misinformation about this. I think all of us here really appreciate getting some true facts to chew on, in an age when true facts are getting rarer than caboose sightings.
     
    HemiAdda2d likes this.
  6. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    does this mean im gunna get all my stuff that i ordered months ago coming in now ???:D(y)
     
  7. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Boxcab, The Engineers and Conductors now have a tentative contract that has to be voted on. Which means they now enter another 30 day cooling off period. If during the next 30 days, they reject the tentative offer, many things can happen. Congress can just impose the current tentative contract on them, the railroad can lock everyone out and / or the unions can strike.

    Like I mentioned, the IAM already voted down their tentative contract and on 9-29, they can strike. Of course congress can order another 30 day cooling off period of they can just impose the PEB 250 recommendations without any further negotiations.

    Also I just received my ballot today for the IBEW-Railroad tentative contract which is to be counted 9-28-22 and if it's voted down, we can strike on 9-29-22. Again congress can order another 30 day cooling off period or they can impose the PEB 250 (Presidential Emergency Board) recommendations on us as well.

    So very short answer, a railroad strike will not happen tomorrow, but depending on how the votes go from the 12 different unions that represent the railroad employees, there could possibly be a strike at some point in the future, aka the problem may have just been kicked down the road a little further.

    Sadly this current contract will end 12-31-24 and at that time we will begin the negotiation process all over again. Also just to clean up any confusion, railroad contracts never expire per the Railway Labor Act of 1926 until a new contract is approved. Each contract is for a 5 year period, but at the end of contract, if a new contract has not been approved, the current contract stays in effect. So yes, I'm still being paid under the contract that expired in 2019.
     
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  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  10. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    I've talked at length to a couple of seasoned engineers since that "offer." they don't intend to vote for it, and they don't expect their union will in any numbers. Ditto the conductors. To them what money has been offered by the railroads doesn't compensate for the losses of the last decade or so and they don't see anything concrete on the schedule issues. They have indicated they are ready to leave railroading if forced back to work under these conditions. We shall see how it bears out, but its not looking promising.
     
  11. rch

    rch TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't run across ANYONE who supports the tentative agreement since the particulars were released the other day.
     
    Philip H likes this.
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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