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Transportation union wants federal action against Class 1 railroads’ attendance policies

By Admin

Reported by Joanna Marsh for Freightwaves.

The Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO is urging federal agencies to rein in Class I railroads’ attendance policies, which TTD says force union employees to work long hours without adequate rest.

TTD wants the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Transportation to determine whether the attendance policies should incur statutory or regulatory violations, according to a new policy brief issued by the group, whose leaders are meeting in Washington this week to formalize TTD’s policy and regulatory agenda.

If the policies don’t violate the law, TTD wants the Federal Railroad Administration to address “degrading fatigue conditions,” including through the promulgation of a forthcoming fatigue management plan rulemaking.

FRA confirmed that it is working on drafting a final rule, but no timeline has been established.

The statements by the union coalition, which consists of 37 transportation-related unions, comes as the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the International Union of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) have tussled in federal court with BNSF (NYSE: BRK.B) over BNSF’s revised attendance policy, which took effect in February.

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