Update on hours-of-service regulations
|What’s new:UTU, BLET challenge HOS interpretations (10/29/09) UTU, BLE comment to FRA on HOS (07/28/09) Carriers ask court okay to violate contracts (07/01/09) FRA interprets hours-of-service changes (06/26/09) What the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 states (06/16/09)|
New hours of service regulations went into effect in July 2009. Although the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 contemplated implementing agreements to be in place in order to coordinate the new law with governing agreement rules, the carriers have largely resisted doing so. This means that the new regulations became effective without modification of collective bargaining agreements on most properties. Instead, the carriers filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to permit them to violate existing collective bargaining agreements with the UTU and the BLET. General chairpersons have kept the door open to negotiations as the carriers gain experience with the new regulations, and it is still contemplated that the carriers will come to the negotiating table and implementing agreements will be achieved. UTU officers at all levels of the organization are communicating and sharing their experiences, concerns, ideas and recommendations for appropriate handling of the carriers’ violations or abuse of the new regulations. The UTU, jointly with the BLET, has commented on the Federal Railroad Administration’s interim interpretation of the new hours-of-service regulations. While we continue work to produce a safe and equitable outcome, members should contact their state legislative directors for additional information on interpretation of the new regulations; and their local or general chairpersons for information on filing claims for violations of their respective collective bargaining agreements.