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Railroads oppose FRA’s proposed train crew rule, labor backs it

By Admin

Reported by Progressive Railroading.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s proposed two-person train crew rule is drawing opposition from the industry’s two major trade associations and support from transportation labor unions.

Officials from both the Association of American Railroads and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association announced their disappointment with the rule, which the FRA announced yesterday.

The rule would require at least two crew members for all railroad operations, with exceptions proposed for those operations that do not pose significant safety risks to railroad workers, the public or environment. It also would establish minimum requirements for the location of crew members on a moving train.

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Trains to Need at Least Two Crew Members Under Proposed Rule

By Admin

Reported by Lillianna Byington for Bloomberg Government.

The Transportation Department is advancing a proposal to mandate at least two crew members on trains, a move that railroads argue would hurt the industry and should be reconsidered.

The proposed rule, set to publish in the Federal Register Thursday, would allow for some exceptions and includes a process for railroads to petition the Federal Railroad Administration to continue existing or new one-person crews. The controversial action comes after Republicans and industry representatives argued that a crew-size mandate isn’t needed, while labor unions supported the efforts, saying reducing operators would jeopardize safety.

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FRA proposes minimum 2-member crew size for most trains

By Admin

Reported by Joanna Marsh for Freightwaves.

A train crew would typically have to include at least two people under a rule proposed by the Federal Railroad Administration.

The proposal — which drew conflicting responses from the Association of American Railroads and the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO — comes as labor unions and the railroads are at loggerheads over a labor contract, while questions about technology’s role in freight rail operations loom large. The requirement would reverse a May 2019 decision that a rule governing train crew size wasn’t warranted.

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New rule to thwart railroad efforts to cut train crews to 1

By Admin

Reported by Josh Funk for AP News.

Major railroads will be required to maintain two-person crews under a new rule announced Wednesday that will thwart industry efforts to cut crews down to one person.

The Federal Railroad Administration said in a rule published in the Federal Register that railroads will be required to continue using two-person crews in most circumstances as they haul all kinds of cargo, including hazardous materials, across the country. But there will be an exception to allow short-line railroads that have already been using one-man crews to continue using them and railroads can apply for permission to use smaller crews if they can prove it is safe.

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Supply chains: The rail labor mayhem that Biden entered has been brewing for years

By Admin

Reported by Dani Romero for Yahoo Finance.

Rail workers across the country were set to walk off the job on July 18 before President Joe Biden intervened, the latest development in a contentious saga that has been brewing for years.

In an executive order signed on July 15, Biden established an emergency three-person board of arbitrators to work with the freight railways and their 115,000 workers to hammer out a contract that has been under negotiations since January 2020.

“The president’s goal is to make sure America’s freight rail system continues to run without disruption, delivering the items that our families, communities, farms, and businesses rely on,” the White House stated in a press release.

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FEDERAL COMMISSION SEEKS TO MEDIATE RAILWAY WORKER CONTRACT DISPUTE

By Admin

America’s Workforce Union Podcast

Samantha Brown, Communications Director for the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed how the Presidential Emergency Board, appointed by President Biden, seeks to reach a contractual agreement between the United Rail Unions and the railroads.

Biden recently announced the formation of the board under the process laid out by the Railway Labor Act after voluntary bargaining between the unions and the freight railroads stalled. Brown explained this was due to the railroads negotiating in bad faith. It is the final attempt to reach an agreement before a work stoppage or a lockout occurs, she added.

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AFL-CIO official on railroad labor dispute: ‘There is a basic fairness issue at stake’

By Admin

Reported by Yahoo Finance.

AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Greg Regan joins Yahoo Finance Live to weigh in on how the union contract negotiations with railroads are proceeding, the issues at stake including wages and benefits, and the potential for work stoppage.

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Seven US unions urge senators not to raise pilot retirement age

By Admin

Reported by Pilar Wolfsteller for Flight Global.

A group of US unions has come out against raising the pilot retirement age from 65 currently – an idea that has been circulating in order to help alleviate the current pilot shortage.

In a letter to US senators on 19 July, the seven unions deny a shortage even exists, calling it a “false narrative” created by airlines and an “excuse for some airlines to water down pilot training requirements and flight experience time”.

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President Biden’s executive order aims to keep the freight trains running on time

By Admin

Reported by George Anderson for Retail Wire.

President Joseph Biden last Friday stepped in with an executive order designed to keep freight rail workers from striking over the next 60 days.

Mr. Biden signed the action naming an emergency board of arbitrators that will help resolve disputes between the workers and their employers. The arbitrators have been tasked with coming up with recommendations for the parties to consider in an effort to find a middle ground that will avert a strike or further federal intervention.

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‘Ticking time-bomb’: Lag in protections for transit workers could hamper hiring and system upgrades

By Admin

Reported by Eleanor Mueller for Politico.

Congress passed long-fought-for provisions aimed at improving transit workplace safety as part of its bipartisan infrastructure bill in November, 20 months into a pandemic that saw violence against workers spike across industries. One requirement: that transit agencies and unions join forces to form safety planning committees.

But the agency responsible for implementing the language, the Federal Transit Administration, says it doesn’t plan to enforce the provisions until the end of 2022. And the group that represents transit agencies, the American Public Transit Association, is pushing to extend that timeline, which it says does not give its members enough time to pull together the requisite committees.

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