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TTD Responds to DOT on Oral Fluid Drug Testing

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed rule regarding the Addition of Oral Fluid Specimen Testing for Drugs. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing workers across all modes of transportation.[1]

The proposed rule would allow the use of oral fluid specimens to be used for drug testing programs. In 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the use of oral fluid drug testing, and this proposed rule would align DOT’s regulations with the new Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid already finalized by HHS. In addition to the establishment of oral fluids as an accepted specimen, DOT also proposes to make a number of changes to its drug testing regulations beyond the scope of the addition of a new specimen.

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STB seeks ways to quickly ease railroad service problems

By Admin

Reported by Bill Stephens for Trains.

There were more questions than answers on Tuesday as federal regulators sought ways to remedy railroad service problems that defy a quick fix because they are rooted in a shortage of train crews.

Shippers told the Surface Transportation Board that rail service has deteriorated, with delays mounting as transit times have in some cases doubled from normal levels. The slowdown in rail network velocity has forced shippers to curtail or suspend production due to late empty or loaded freight cars, and even prompted farmers to consider culling their herds and flocks for lack of feed.

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Transportation Safety, Supply Chain Top Agenda for House Panel

By Admin

Reported by Lillianna Byington for Bloomberg Governement.

House members who oversee transportation plan to reauthorize key safety and freight regulators this year, while pushing for legislation to alleviate supply-chain backups.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee laid out an agenda for the year that prioritizes measures to empower the Surface Transportation Board, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Federal Maritime Commission. The panel will consider its fiscal 2023 budget strategy, which reflects “a bipartisan effort,” on Thursday.

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Precision scheduled railroading is a root cause of supply chain crisis

By Admin

AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Greg Regan joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed how precision scheduled railroading has exacerbated the supply chain crisis and subjected railway workers to grueling schedules with little sick time.

Precision scheduled railroading simplifies routing networks with a focus on point-to-point freight car transportation.

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TTD President Greg Regan Testifies in STB Hearing on Urgent Rail Service Issues

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and our 37 affiliated unions, including the totality of rail labor, I first want to thank Chairman Oberman and the other Members of the Surface Transportation Board for the opportunity to speak before the Board today on the issues facing our freight rail network. The employees represented by TTD-affiliated unions are on the front lines of these challenges and have been sounding the alarm on the state of the freight rail industry for years. It is deeply unfortunate, but also completely predictable, that we would find ourselves here today. As both railroad employees and customers sit before you today to express a shared simple fact – that today’s freight rail network is simply not working for anyone other than railroad investors – we hope that the Board embraces this opportunity to effectuate positive change for rail employees, shippers, and the American public.

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‘Industries dependent upon the railroads’ service are forsaken’

By Admin

Reported by Joanna Marsh for Freightwaves.

The Surface Transportation Board has scheduled a hearing for April 26-27 in response to a letter sent by the National Grain and Feed Association about worsening rail service.

The March 24 letter has gotten support from various rail unions and other stakeholders in recent days. These stakeholders are also asking the STB to examine the causes behind the service delays.

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Unions Renew Calls for Safety Reforms After Brooklyn Subway Attack

By Admin

WASHINGTON – Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, representing 37 unions across the transportation sector, issued this statement following the attack inside the Sunset Park subway station in Brooklyn this morning: “We are horrified by the attack that took place inside a Brooklyn subway station this morning and hope those who were injured […]

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TTD union asks federal regulators to delve into rail service, employment issues

By Admin

Reported by Bill Stephens for Trains.

The Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO has joined the chorus of organizations asking federal regulators to address Class I railroad service problems.

“It is clear that a lack of oversight has allowed Class I railroads to operate in a manner that is harmful to shippers, employees, and the American public, and these issues will not resolve out of self-regulation by the carriers,” TTD President Greg Regan wrote in a letter sent to the Surface Transportation Board on Monday. “We urge the Board to continue to delve into the service issues faced by shippers, and how these issues have been caused or exacerbated by an overly reduced workforce.”

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Transit unions renew calls for new safety measures

By Admin

Reported by Kim Bellware for the Washington Post.

The labor coalition representing dozens of transportation-sector unions has renewed its call for greater safety measures and cited Tuesday’s subway shooting in Brooklyn as the latest example of a public transit and workplace safety crisis.

“It is unacceptable for commuters to fear for their safety when using public transit and for transit workers to fear for their safety while on the job,” Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, said in a statement Tuesday.

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Food Supply Trouble Pinned on Railroad ‘Negligence,’ Layoffs

By Admin

Reported by Lillianna Byington for Bloomberg Government.

Labor unions are blaming freight railroad operators for cutting employees to streamline operations, contributing to rail delays and straining the nation’s food and energy supply chains.

Worker shortages caused by layoffs have hurt the U.S. economy by delaying freight rail shippers, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO told the Surface Transportation Board rail regulator in a letter released Tuesday. It specifically called out grain companies’ concerns about disruption on tracks operated by Union Pacific Corp., Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and Norfolk Southern Corp.

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