Posts Tagged ‘Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees’

Union Wants More COVID-19 Safeguards

July 15, 2020

A railroad union is pressing Class 1 carriers to begin testing and tracing of all railroad workers for COVID-19.

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division wants rail companies to take daily temperature checks and implement other stringent safeguards.

The union said in a news release that four BMWED members have died from COVID-19 and hundreds of other employees have been affected by it.

The union made the requests in letters sent to Class 1 CEOs.

Union Urges Caution Among its Members

June 25, 2020

A union representing track maintenance workers is urging its members to take precautions while working to avoid contracting COVID-19.

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamsters also took aim at Amtrak and Chicago commuter railroad Metra for being negligent in testing and tracing employees for COVID-19.

The union said there has been a rash of positive coronavirus cases among its members at several railroads, estimating 109 members have been affected by a coronavirus exposure.

Of those 15 individuals tested positive and remaining 94 are in a self-contained quarantine.

In a statement, union officials said doctors expect many of those in in quarantine will test positive in the coming days.

Those workers were employed by Amtrak, BNSF, CSX, Canadian National and Norfolk Southern.

Three union members have died from COVID-19.

The union said some of the spread of COVID-19 has come from post-work socializing. It urged its members to be more cautious by isolating and separating as much as possible.

“Go outside to hang out. Keep some distance,” the union told its members.

In the meantime, some union members have established informational picketing in front of the home of Amtrak board chairman Anthony Coscia.

An Amtrak spokeswoman said the passenger performs contact tracing in accordance with federal Center for Diseases Control guidelines and performs no-expense testing for those with symptoms or possible exposure.

However, the union said social distancing is often impossible in its work and it wants monthly testing as well as temperature screenings before work.

After accusing Metra of putting employees and passengers at greater risk, the rail commuter railroad said in a statement that the union’s views were “distorted.”

NS Union Says Company Serving Rotten Food

January 11, 2020

Railroads and their unions dispute many things including wages and work rules, but one union at Norfolk Southern has gotten into a food fight with the Class 1 carrier.

Members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees said this week that NS is serving track workers poor quality food, describing some of it as “rotten and inedible.”

During a protest at NS headquarters in Atlanta, union members showed photographs showing spoiled chicken and moldy fruit that purportedly had been served to MOW workers on projects in remote areas.

The workers were able to talk briefly to NS CEO James Squires and Chief Operating Officer Mike Wheeler about the matter.

“Norfolk Southern is a massively profitable railroad,” a union official said. “Mr. Squires himself made $11.3 million in 2018. The disrespect shown BMWED members through the serving of moldy, expired food is obtuse. It must stop immediately. If not, we will be back outside his lavish office.”

An NS spokesman said the meeting with the union workers resulted in a “productive dialog” and that the carrier will investigate the matter.

The spokesman said the food served to MOW workers is provided under contract by food vendors.

Unions Reach Pacts with Amtrak, INRD

May 1, 2018

Two railroad unions have announced agreements with two different railroads.

Members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division have ratified a new contract with Amtrak, the union announced late last week.

The union said the pact settles wage, benefits and work rules that were in dispute since Jan. 2, 2015, ensuring that BMWED members will see wage increases, protection of health care and an increase in the number of weeks paid for military training time.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said it has reached a tentative agreement with the Indiana Rail Road governing rates of pay, benefits and work rules for 54 operating employees.

Ratification ballots and a synopsis of the agreement have been mailed to active members with ballots due back on May 23.

The BLET’s INRD members belong to Division 204 and are a part of the BLET’s CSXT-Western Lines General Committee of Adjustment.

BMWE Reaches Contract with Railroads

March 8, 2018

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees has reached a tentative agreement with the National Carriers Conference Committee, which represents the nation’s railroads.

The agreement must now be ratified by the union members. The BMWE has 27,500 members.

The contract establishes wages and work rules that are similar to those reached last year by two other unions, but on health care the BMWE and carriers agreed to binding arbitration.

More than 70 percent of the almost 145,000 unionized freight rail employees have now ratified agreements with the 30 freight railroads represented by the Conference Committee.

This includes the American Train Dispatchers Association (1,600 members); Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (27,200); Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (8,500); Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (11,100); the Transportation and Yardmaster divisions of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (44,000); National Conference of Firemen and Oilers (2,800); and Transportation Communications International Union (6,300).

Unions that continue to negotiate with the Conference Committee include the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (7,600 members); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (6,400); and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers and Helpers.

Bargaining for new contracts began in January 2015. The federal Railway Labor Act requires that existing agreement provisions on wages, benefits and work rules remain in force until revised through collective bargaining, binding arbitration or congressional legislation.

The most recent contracts ratified by the unions will not be subject to renegotiation before Jan. 1, 2020.

A Railway Age analysis is that the new contracts will put almost $33,000 more into the pockets of the highest-paid workers by mid-2019, and more than $16,000 into the paychecks of those in the lower wage rungs. There are no work rules changes.

Employee monthly premiums for health care insurance are capped at $288 a month through mid-2020. The railroads will continue to pay about 90 percent of all employee healthcare costs.

Amtrak negotiates separately with about a dozen unions and it has reached new contracts with conductors and engineers that are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.

Those agreements increase wages by almost 19 percent through July 2021 and cap employee healthcare contributions.

Amtrak continues to negotiate with the BMWE and other labor organizations.