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REGAN: RAILROAD LABOR SHORTAGE BOILS DOWN TO QUALITY OF LIFE ISSUES

By Admin

AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Greg Regan joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed how policies have exacerbated a worker shortage in the railroad industry. 

Most of the issues faced by the railroad industry stem from a 30 percent cut in the workforce, Regan said. These companies have enacted draconian attendance policies that discourage people from becoming employees, he explained. Furthermore, many new employees drop out during training because of attendance requirements and quality of life issues, he added.

Regan then discussed the likelihood of a nationwide railroad strike and what Congress could do to avoid it.

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RWDSU asks holiday shoppers: Be kind to stressed workers

By Admin

Reported in the Labor Tribune.

With holiday shopping fully underway, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union wants shoppers to be kind to often-stressed retail workers.

In a series of tweets posted on the union website, but meant for the general public, the union explains that the problems customers will encounter between now and the end of the year are not the fault of the stores’ workers, either union or non-union.

Instead, RWDSU tweeted, they’re due to a combination of supply bottlenecks and bosses’ decisions to stick with just-in-time ordering rather than lay in merchandise in advance.

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Holiday railroad strike possible as unions reject tentative contract

By Admin

Reported by Justin Franz for the Montana Free Press.

A sense of deja vu is overtaking the U.S. railroad industry this week as labor leaders and major railroad representatives try to figure out how to avoid a strike that could bring freight and passenger trains to a halt in the middle of the busy holiday shipping season.

It’s a scenario eerily similar to one that played out just over two months ago, when White House officials helped broker an eleventh-hour deal to avoid a national strike back in September. But that deal was only temporary while it awaited ratification votes by workers represented by 12 different labor unions.

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Incoming House Republican rulers plan barrage of anti-worker laws, sham probes

By Admin

Reported by Mark Gruenberg for People’s World.

The “anti-PRO Act.” Slow-walking union recognition elections. No card check. Comp time instead of overtime. Convoluted requirements bosses can impose on workers seeking paid family and medical leave. And partisan investigations, especially of Biden-named NLRB members Gwynne Wilcox and David Prouty, coming out of our ears.

Welcome to the forecast, leaked from the self-proclaimed leading “union avoidance” law firm, a.k.a. union-buster, Littler Mendelson, plus other sources, of what the House Republican-run Education and Labor—whoops, Education and the Workforce—Committee will try to impose on workers and their allies in the upcoming 118th Congress.

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ALPA Objects To ‘Alarming Increase’ in U.S. Visas for Pilots

By Admin

Reported by Gregory Polek for AIN.

The Air Line Pilots Association again has raised objections to what it calls airlines’ improper use of U.S. work visas to recruit foreign temporary pilots and shift flying away from U.S. aviation workers. The most recent complaint stems from the removal of a clause in the Department of Transportation’s approval of a joint venture agreement between Delta Air Lines and LATAM that ALPA claims ensured U.S. pilots and other workers “a fair and equitable share of growth in flying.”

In a statement released Tuesday, ALPA cited an “alarming” increase in pilot positions certified by the Department of Labor to allow employer sponsorship of H1-B and E-3 visas for “specialty occupations.” The “specialty occupation” designation denotes a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the specialty as a prerequisite for employment. According to ALPA, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Administrative Appeals Office has repeatedly determined that the piloting profession does not qualify as a specialty occupation.

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Railroad unions struggle to get rebellious workers to ‘yes’ on contracts

By Admin

Reported by Eleanor Mueller for Politico.

More than half of freight rail workers will vote on proposed contracts next week amid a highly organized effort by some of their colleagues to urge a “no” vote.

It’s the biggest test yet of the Biden administration’s push to avert an economically crippling rail strike after it helped a dozen unions broker a compromise with freight carriers in September. A rebel group, Railroad Workers United, is stoking opposition among members who believe the compromise green-lit by union leaders doesn’t go far enough to address working conditions that have led to severe attrition at the nation’s largest carriers.

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Rail strike deadline looms as unions struggle to approve deal

By Admin

Reported by Zachary Halaschak for the Washington Examiner. 

The risk of a disruptive strike is growing after another union voted down a labor agreement between rail workers and railroads that would end months of negotiations over pay and working conditions. The deadline for the agreement’s approval is just weeks away.

Workers at a dozen unions involved in the railroad negotiations have until Dec. 9 to approve the agreement (which has already been approved by both the unions’ leadership and the railways), or the United States could face the prospect of rail strikes that would devastate the country’s supply chains and create economic chaos right before one of the busiest times of the year. That date is when a so-called “cooling off” period ends and workers are allowed to strike.

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Labor unions push for ‘stress test’ to determine whether railroad employment levels are adequate

By Admin

Reported by Trains.

A rail labor union coalition has proposed that Congress require federal regulators to conduct an annual “stress test” that would determine whether the Class I railroads have enough people, equipment, and infrastructure capacity to meet freight demand.

The recommendation, made Nov. 10 by the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO, comes amid ongoing rail service problems due to crew shortages at the big four U.S. Class I railroads, BNSF Railway, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific.

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Transportation Unions Unveil 2023 Agenda

By Samantha Brown

WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest transportation labor federation, the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO, convened 37 unions to set the federation’s annual agenda for working people in aviation, transit, maritime, rail, and other transportation industries. At the semi-annual board meeting on Thursday, union leaders voted unanimously to approve the federation’s 2023 agenda, which […]

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Transportation Trades Department asks Congress for regulation addressing rail service

By Admin

Reported by Joanna Marsh for Freightwaves.

Congress should consider implementing an annual “stress test” for the railroads to ensure that railroads have adequately invested in their infrastructure and people, according to policy position papers approved by the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) at a biannual meeting this week.

These position papers serve as policy action guidelines for the coalition for the upcoming months, according to TTD, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. These viewpoints have the support of the group’s 37 member unions, including member railroad unions. 

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