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Big business calls on Biden to avert rail strike

By Admin

Reported by John Gallagher for Freightwaves.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling on President Joe Biden to help resolve a dispute between the country’s Class 1 railroads and 12 rail unions to avert a possible rail strike beginning July 18.

In a letter sent to the White House on Wednesday, U.S. Chamber President Suzanne Clark warned that the decision last month by the National Mediation Board (NMB) to release the railroads and unions from mediation and begin a 30-day cooling off period “presents a new challenge to the U.S. business community, which is already navigating a difficult environment.”

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Letters citing rail service crisis continue to circulate at STB

By Admin

Reported by Progressive Railroading.

Surface Transportation Board members and other federal officials continue to hear from rail shippers and other rail industry stakeholders about ongoing freight-rail service issues and the supply-chain crisis.

This week, more than 50 Democratic and Republican members of Congress asked the STB to address the problems, particularly those disrupting U.S. food production.

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Rail Roundup: Congressmen press STB to address rail service

By Admin

Reported by Joanna Marsh for Freightwaves.

A bipartisan group of members of Congress are concerned about how subpar freight rail service is affecting the fertilizer industry and the greater agricultural sector’s ability to compete in global markets.

In a Wednesday letter to the Surface Transportation Board, 51 congressional members representing states across the U.S. urged the board to address short-term challenges and utilize “practical updates and changes” to ensure that rail service improves.

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Continued Rail Service Problems Necessitate Additional Transparency to Enable STB Action

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) notice regarding its information collection request. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing the totality of rail labor and its 105,000 workers across the country.[1] Our affiliated unions represent workers who perform every task on trains and railroad tracks and at rail yards. These workers are vital to keeping our railroad system operating successfully every day.

Expand the New Reporting Requirements to Address Self Inflicted Service Cuts
As discussed below, while TTD strongly supports the new reporting requirements set forth in the STB decision, TTD requests that additional information be required from Class I railroads to better understand the current rail service conditions and the impact employment decisions are having. Specifically, we request: a narrative description of employment data, employment data reported by craft in addition to job families, and data regarding specific causes for separation.

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TTD to Lawmakers: Boost STB Enforcement Authority on Common-Carrier Obligations

By Admin

Reported by Marybeth Luczak for Railway Age. Transportation Trades Department (TTD), AFL-CIO President Greg Regan is urging a bipartisan group of lawmakers to support legislation reauthorizing the Surface Transportation Board (STB). His agenda: to clarify the railroads’ common carrier obligation and to provide “more effective mechanisms” for the STB to enforce it. TTD’s Regan made […]

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Union leader asks senators to give STB more power to deal with rail service issues

By Admin

Reported by Trains.

The leader of a federation of rail and other unions has written a group of U.S. senators asking that Congress give the Surface Transportation Board more power to enforce railroads’ common-carrier obligations as a way to address ongoing service issues.

Tuesday’s letter from Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Division, AFL-CIO — comprised of 37 unions, including some in the rail industry — urged a group of 21 senators to support legislation that would more clearly define the common-carrier obligation, which currently requires “reasonable service” at “reasonable rates.”

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Rail union urges senators to revise common carrier obligation

By Admin

Reported by Joanna Marsh for Freightwaves.

The Transportation Trades Department is asking Congressional senators to consider revising the common carrier obligation so its meaning is more clear and enforceable.

The common carrier obligation defines the freight railroads’ role in delivering bulk goods, and the Surface Transportation Board uses it as a basis in rendering decisions.

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Air, Rail Groups Stymie Push to Expand Breastfeeding Protections

By Admin

Reported by Lillianna Byington and Paige Smith for Bloomberg Law.

Lingering concerns from the transportation industry are threatening to derail a bill to expand workplace protections for nursing parents.

Lawmakers have been pushing for years to expand on-the-job pumping protections to more workers, legislation that some say is particularly needed now that formula is scarce and the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have increased the need to entice parents back into the workforce. Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), however, blocked a bill that aimed to do that last week, driven by concerns that its requirements are “overly broad and burdensome” for transportation workplaces.

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RAILROAD UNIONS REACH IMPASSE AND MAY REQUIRE PRESIDENT’S INTERVENTION

By Admin

America’s Workforce Union Podcast.

AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Greg Regan joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed the impasse reached by major railroads and their unions after a government board ended efforts to mediate a settlement over a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The railroads involved in the stalled talks include Union Pacific Corp. and BNSF Railway Co. With negotiations at an impasse, President Joe Biden and Congress will likely take action as railroad workers cannot strike, Regan explained. Workers are fed up with oppressive attendance policies, low pay and healthcare concessions, he added.

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‘We didn’t sign up to die’: US transit workers sound alarm over rising violence

By Admin

Reported by Michael Sainato for the Guardian.

Monique Rondon, a bus operator in New York City for 23 years, has been spat on and assaulted several times on the job.

Now transit workers and labor unions across America are sounding the alarm over the trend of violence, assaults, and abuse that workers in the transportation industry in the US have faced throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, a crisis they say will continue to worsen without federal action and implementation of safety protections and rules.

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