William “Larry” Foster, a SMART Transportation Division Alumni Association member and retiree from Local 226 (Moberly, Mo.) who proudly served our union as Missouri’s state legislative director for the better part of two decades, passed away May 4 at his home. He was 80.

Foster

Foster began as state legislative director in April 1992 and was re-elected to multiple terms leading the state legislative board until his retirement in 2008. He also worked as a conductor for Norfolk Southern.

“Larry was the one early on in my railroad career that got me interested in our legislative department and helped guide me as a new legislative representative and executive board member until his retirement in 2008,” said current Missouri State Legislative Director Jason Hayden (Local 1405, St. Louis, Mo.). “His legacy and imprint on this board will never be forgotten, and he will be dearly missed.”

A U.S. Army veteran, having served from 1959-68, Brother Foster was a member of the Moberly Masonic Lodge and the Sweet Springs Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Linda; daughters Lori Barrier (Ronnie) and Toni Stock, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A visitation is planned 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Cater Funeral Home Chapel, 1520 E. Rollins, Moberly, MO 65270. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at Cater Funeral Home Chapel with burial following in Memorial Park Cemetery.

SMART Transportation Division offers its condolences to Brother Foster’s family, friends and the union brothers and sisters in Missouri who mourn his passing.

Follow this link to view Foster’s official obituary and to leave condolences for the family.

While waiting for a response to our recent request to the National Mediation Board that a proffer of arbitration be issued by the Board to move our contract dispute to the next level, CBC unions participated in two additional days of mediated bargaining sessions with NCCC this week.

Once again, the nation’s class 1 rail carriers showed just how far removed they are from the realities that their employees and shippers are experiencing. Without regard for the beating that these rail carriers took in front of the Surface Transportation Board a week ago, and ignoring their continued record profit reports, the rail carriers continue to advance proposals at the bargaining table that they have previously been told are unacceptable to the CBC Unions and our members.

Due to the NCCC’s refusal to negotiate a fair agreement in good faith, all CBC Unions again request that the NMB proffer arbitration to the parties to stop the endless delays by the rail carriers.

As we advised in January and April, we had hoped that the involvement of the NMB would cause the industry to refocus on addressing the legitimate needs of the men and women whose labor generates their positive financial returns. That has not happened, and there is no indication that it will without allowing the remaining steps of the Railway Labor Act to play out to compel a favorable settlement.

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The unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition are: the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA); the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen / Teamsters Rail Conference (BLET); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); the International Association of Machinists (IAM); the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB); the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers/SEIU (NCFO); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU); the Transportation Communications Union / IAM (TCU), including TCU’s Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division (BRC); and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART–TD). Collectively, the CBC unions represent more than 105,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 80% of the workforce who will be impacted by this round of negotiations.

Follow this link for a pdf of this release.

FTA has not yet implemented worker safety provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

WASHINGTON – Today, 20 labor organizations representing transit drivers and other transportation workers urged Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Nuria Fernandez to immediately implement the safety provisions in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to protect transit workers from assault.

Four months after the passage of the BIL, the FTA has yet to implement these safety provisions. Meanwhile, transit workers continue to face danger on the job.

Assaults against transit workers have long been a concern but dramatically increased during the last three years of the pandemic, as did assaults on other frontline transportation workers like airline and airport workers.

Labor unions representing frontline transit employees have responded to this crisis over the years through legislative and regulatory measures, most recently securing several provisions in the BIL to protect transit workers.

Because of the BIL, the FTA is now statutorily required to collect accurate data on transit workforce assaults, to reform its Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan (PTASP) process to include worker voices and incorporate measures to reduce the risk of assault in every transit system, and to update its national safety plan to address the risk of assault and public health concerns.

The unions wrote: “Our members include bus and rail transit operators, station agents, car cleaners, mechanics and other frontline workers, all of whom are at risk of assault and worse each day they arrive at work. President Biden committed to protecting these workers and that promise was enshrined into law as part of the BIL. Before, and particularly during the COVID19 pandemic, these workers have laid their lives on the line every day to ensure Americans have access to safe, reliable transportation, and we must not turn our backs on them another day.”

Signers of the letter include the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO (TTD) and the nation’s largest transit unions, including the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers–Transportation Division (SMART-TD), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and Transportation Communications Union/IAM (TCU).

The letter was also signed by the following unions: Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA), Association of Flight Attendants–CWA (AFA), Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes–IBT (BMWED), Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS), International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW), International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB), International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (IOMM&P), International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU (NCFO), Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), and Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS).

Read the letter here.

Attention all SMART-TD and BLET members! Tonight at 7:00 p.m. central standard time (8:00 p.m. EST), SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson and BLET President Dennis Pierce will be airing a joint interview on the Rails Tails & Trails YouTube channel, which can be viewed at the following link: https://youtu.be/6N9r6QIGqA8.

Presidents Ferguson and Pierce will be providing updates on recent developments with BNSF’s HiViz attendance policy, commentary on our national rail contract negotiations, and discussion of other important issues affecting members of both Unions. 

As additional information, beginning at 6:00 p.m. CST (7:00 p.m. EST), Rails Tails & Trails host Jon Chaffin will be doing a giveaway for supporters of his channel. All members are encouraged to tune in, subscribe to the channel, and leave your feedback in the comments section. We are looking forward to finding out if you think the interview is informational, and if you would like the presidents to join a future episode on the Rails Tails & Trails podcast. If so, please comment on which issues you would like to see them discuss. 

We thank you for your continued support as we work diligently to keep all members informed!

Local 759 (Paramus, N.J.) President and Legislative Representative Rafael Becerra met with Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Tom Carper and Gov. John Carney on Friday, March 4, in Wilmington, Del., as part of an event promoting the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), formerly known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Pictured, from left, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, Local 759 (Paramus, N.J.) President/Legislative Representative Rafael Becerra, Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Delaware Gov. John Carney pose for a photo during an event at the DART First State facility in Wilmington, Del., on Friday, March 4.

Brother Becerra, a veteran bus operator for Community Coach based out of New Jersey, frequently travels the main thoroughfares between the states and has been a SMART-TD member since November 1984.

“It was a great honor in meeting Transportation Secretary Buttigieg, Gov. Carney and Sen. Carper,” Becerra said. “The infrastructure law will accomplish a big transformation in our nation — not just the conditions of our roads and bridges — but in how people get around via bus and transit.”

Becerra has been a bus driver for nearly four decades and helped to evacuate people in conjunction with the Jan. 7, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and to transport soldiers to defend the area for President Biden’s inauguration. His experience was chronicled in the March/April 2021 SMART-TD News on Page 7.

“All of our bus members here in New Jersey and from coast to coast take extreme pride in doing their job safely day after day,” said New Jersey State Legislative Director Ron Sabol, who also attended the event. “For decades, President Becerra has served as a dependable bus operator, and he’s helping the membership in two roles as an elected officer. I’m very proud of his work and his leadership.”

The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, of which the SMART Transportation Division is a proud member, released the following statement on March 1 after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.

Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, president and secretary-treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued the below statement in response to President Biden’s first State of the Union (SOTU) address to the nation.

“From the passage of the American Rescue Plan to the biggest investment in infrastructure in our nation’s history, the first year of the Biden Administration was a capstone year of legislative victories for transportation labor unions and working people.

“Chief among these legislative victories is the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), a once-in-a-generation investment across every sector of our transportation network — and an unprecedented investment in workers. 

“We proudly represent 36 labor unions whose members will be put to work during the implementation of this historic legislation, ushering in a new era of manufacturing, construction, and transportation job creation. We applaud President Biden for putting union job creation and worker empowerment at the center of his governing agenda.

“We welcome the progress of the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, which recently released a report outlining 70 recommendations to empower workers, including an initiative to increase worker awareness of their federally protected rights to organize and establish a resource center for information on unions and collective bargaining.

“We urge Congress to heed the President’s call to pass the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would help workers collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

“We look forward to continuing to work with President Biden and the Administration to create good union jobs, invest in America’s transportation infrastructure, and expand collective bargaining for every transportation worker in the nation.”

February 28, 2022 — By letter dated February 24, 2022, the rail bargaining coalition made up of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference and the Mechanical Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers Union petitioned the National Mediation Board (NMB) for a proffer of arbitration, requesting to be released from further mediation sessions. If granted by the NMB, the proffer of arbitration is the next step in the process towards self-help and a potential Presidential Emergency Board to settle their contract dispute with the nation’s rail carriers.

The Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC) unions, which are likewise in negotiations with the same rail carriers, support the BMWED/SMART Mechanical request to be released from mediation and agree that the parties are at an impasse and should be allowed to move the contract dispute to the next steps of the Railway Labor Act’s negotiation process. Although the CBC Unions are also in mediation with their next NMB-mediated bargaining session scheduled in March, the CBC made it clear to the NMB upon entering mediation that there is little, if any, hope of reaching a voluntary agreement in light of the rail carriers’ refusal to bargain in good faith with any of the rail unions. Therefore, the CBC fully expects to be making the same request for a release, and once all rail unions are released from mediation, the CBC will stand alongside the BMWED/SMART Mechanical Coalition through the final steps of the Railway Labor Act negotiation process to bring the bargaining round to a successful conclusion.

A copy of BMWED/SMART Mechanical’s February 23, 2022, letter to the National Mediation Board can be found by clicking here.


The unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition are: the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA); the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen / Teamsters Rail Conference (BLET); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); the International Association of Machinists (IAM); the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB); the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers/SEIU (NCFO); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU); the Transportation Communications Union / IAM (TCU), including TCU’s Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division (BRC); and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD).

Collectively, the CBC unions represent more than 105,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 80% of the workforce who will be impacted by this round of negotiations.


4th Quarter 2021
Net Earnings: Increased 13% to $1.7 billion from $1.5 billion
Diluted Earnings Per Share: n/a – BNSF is not publicly traded
Revenue: Increased 11% to $6.3 billion from $5.7 billion
Operating Income: Increased 12% to $2.4 billion from $2.2 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 10% to $3.9 billion from $3.5 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved to 60.0% from 60.3%


2021 Annual Earnings
Net Earnings: Increased 16% to $6.0 billion from $5.2 billion
Diluted Earnings Per Share: n/a – BNSF is not publicly traded
Revenue: Increased 12% to $23.3 billion from $20.9 billion
Operating Income: Increased 14% to $8.8 billion from $7.7 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 10% to $14.5 billion from $13.1 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved to 60.9% from 61.6%
Read BNSF’s full earnings report.


4th Quarter 2021
Net Earnings: Increased 17% to C$1.20 billion from C$1.02 billion
Diluted Earnings Per Share: Increased 18% to $1.69 per share from $1.43 per share
Revenue: Increased 3% to C$3.75 billion from C$3.66 billion
Operating Income: Increased 11% to a record C$1.57 billion from C$1.41 billion
Operating Expenses: Decreased 1% to C$2.19 billion from C$2.25 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved 3.1 points to 58.3% from 61.4%

2021 Annual Earnings
Net Earnings: Increased 37% to C$4.90 billion from C$3.60 billion
Diluted Earnings Per Share: Increased 38% to $6.89 per share from $5.00 per share
Revenue: Increased 5% to C$14.48 billion from C$13.82 billion
Operating Income: Increased 18% to C$5.62 billion from C$4.78 billion
Operating Expenses: Decreased 2% to C$8.86 billion from C$9.04 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved 4.2 points to 61.2% from 65.4%
Read CN’s full earnings report.


4th Quarter 2021
Net Earnings: Decreased 34% to C$532 million from C$802 million
Diluted Earnings Per Share: Decreased 38% to $0.74 per share from $1.19 per share
Revenue: Increased 1% to C$2.04 billion from C$2.01 billion
Operating Income: Decreased 10% to C$832 million from C$928 million
Operating Expenses: Increased 11% to C$1.21 billion from C$1.08 billion
Operating Ratio: Worsened 530 basis points to 59.2% from 53.9%

2021 Annual Earnings
Net Earnings: Increased 17% to C$2.9 billion from C$2.44 billion
Diluted Earnings Per Share: Increased 16% to $4.18 per share from $3.59 per share
Revenue: Increased 4% to C$8.0 billion from C$7.71 billion
Operating Income: Decreased 3% to C$3.21 billion from C$3.31 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 9% to C$4.80 billion from C$4.40 billion
Operating Ratio: Worsened 280 basis points to 59.9% from 57.1%
Read CP’s full earnings report.


4th Quarter 2021 
Net Earnings: Increased 23% to $934 million from $760 million
Earnings Per Share: Increased 27% to $0.42 per share from $0.33 per share
Revenue: Increased 21% to $3.43 billion from $2.83 billion
Operating Income: Increased 12% to $1.37 billion from $1.22 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 28% to $2.1 billion from $1.6 billion
Operating Ratio: Worsened to 60.1% from 57.0%

2021 Annual Earnings
Net Earnings: Increased 37% to $3.8 billion from $2.8 billion
Earnings Per Share: Increased 40% to $1.68 per share from $1.20 per share
Revenue: Increased 18% to $12.52 billion from $10.58 billion
Operating Income: Increased 28% to $5.6 billion from $4.4 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 11% to $6.9 billion from $6.2 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved to 55.3% from 58.8%
Read CSX’s full earnings report.


4th Quarter 2021
Net Earnings: Increased 258% to $595.1 million from $166.3 million
Earnings Per Share: On December 14, 2021, Canadian Pacific Railway acquired the outstanding common and preferred stock of KCS. Therefore, earnings per share data is not presented because the company does not have any outstanding or issued publicly traded stock.
Revenue: Increased 8% to $747.8 million from $693.4 million
Operating Income: Increased 209% to $810.6 million from $262.3 million
Operating Expenses: Decreased 115% to a negative $62.8 million from $431.1 million due to the merger
Operating Ratio: Improved 70.6 points to –8.4% from 62.2%

2021 Annual Earnings 
Net Earnings: Decreased 15% to $527 million from $619 million
Earnings Per Share: On December 14, 2021, Canadian Pacific Railway acquired the outstanding common and preferred stock of KCS. Therefore, earnings per share data is not presented because the company does not have any outstanding or issued publicly traded stock.
Revenue: Increased 12% to $2.95 billion from $2.63 billion
Operating Income: Decreased 12% to $884 million from $1.00 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 27% to $2.06 billion from $1.63 billion
Operating Ratio: Worsened 8.1 points to 70.0% from 61.9%
Read KCS’s full earnings report.


4th Quarter 2021
Net Earnings: Increased 13% to $760 million from $671 million
Diluted Earnings Per Share: Increased 18% to $3.12 per share from $2.64 per share
Revenue: Increased 11% to $2.9 billion from $2.6 billion
Operating Income: Increased 15% to a 4th quarter record of $1.1 billion from $1.0 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 8% to $1.7 billion from $1.59 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved 2% to a 4th quarter record 60.4% from 61.8%

2021 Annual Earnings 
Net Earnings: Increased 27% to $3 billion from $2 billion
Diluted Earnings Per Share: Increased 31% to $12.11 per share from $7.84 per share
Revenue: Increased 14% to $11.1 billion from $9.8 billion
Operating Income: Increased 28% to a record $4.4 billion from $3.0 billion
Operating Expenses: Decreased 1% to $6.7 billion from $6.8 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved 7% to an all-time record of 60.1% from 69.3%
Read NS’s full earnings report.

4th Quarter 2021 
Net Earnings: Increased 24% to $1.7 billion from $1.4 billion
Earnings Per Share: Increased 30% to $2.67 per share from $2.05 per share
Revenue: Increased 12% to $5.7 billion from $5.1 billion
Operating Income:  Increased 22% to $2.4 billion from $2.0 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 5% to $3.3 billion from $3.1 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved 3.6 points to 57.4% from 61.0%

2021 Annual Earnings 
Net Earnings: Increased 22% to $6.5 billion from $5.3 billion
Earnings Per Share: Increased 26% to $9.98 per share from $7.90 per share
Revenue: Increased 12% to $21.8 billion from $19.5 billion
Operating Income: Increased 19% to $9.3 billion from $7.8 billion
Operating Expenses: Increased 7% to $12.5 billion from $11.7 billion
Operating Ratio: Improved 2.7 points to 57.2% from 59.9%

“The Union Pacific team concluded its most profitable year ever in 2021. We produced double-digit fourth-quarter revenue growth by leveraging our great rail franchise to generate positive business mix and core pricing gains,” UP CEO Lance Fritz said.
Read UP’s full earnings report.


Notes: 

  • Operating ratio is a railroad’s operating expenses expressed as a percentage of operating revenue, and is considered by economists to be the basic measure of carrier profitability. The lower the operating ratio, the more efficient the railroad.
  • All comparisons are made to 2020’s fourth-quarter and 2020 year-end results respectively for each railroad.
  • All figures for CN & CP are in Canadian currency, except for earnings per share.

The Federal Railroad Administration is asking T&E rail members of the SMART Transportation Division to participate in a wide-reaching survey of T&E personnel on the topic of fatigue.

Participants working in T&E roles in either passenger or freight service are highly encouraged to help FRA’s Office of Research, Development & Technology: Human Factors Division gather data via the 49-question survey.

“It’s an opportunity to provide any feedback about fatigue, work schedules and work/life balance,” FRA officials said.

Topics include typical work schedules over a period of days, weeks and months, members’ sleep cycles and their commute times, i.e. “the time (or distance) from home to work and vice versa, with ‘work’ referring to the location where crews start/finish their shift. ‘Home’ may also include away sites where crew members rest/sleep away from their personal home.”

Follow this link to participate in this important survey.

SMART Transportation Division Bus Department Vice President Calvin Studivant and New Jersey State Legislative Director Ron Sabol spent a significant time brainstorming ways to protect members in Sabol’s state last year.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic had added even more potential risk to our members working on New Jersey Transit (NJT) and other carriers. Beyond their daily duties of keeping things moving, the need for workers to enforce COVID safety measures increased the potential for conflict and violent incidents with dangerous outcomes for workers, riders and even the public.

Two assaults on NJT workers drew headlines through the autumn. A union tracking violence against NJT workers reported more than 130 instances of workers being attacked. Something needed to be done.

In response, Studivant and Sabol, in conjunction with SMART-TD legislative and legal leadership, developed and presented what became the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Prevention Act.

On Jan. 10, that legislation was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy.

“I’m very proud of what this law accomplishes in protecting transportation workers in our state,” Sabol said. “It took the help of many people on both our side, including National Legislative Director Greg Hynes and TD Designated Legal Counsel Safety Coordinator Larry Mann, the persistence of other labor organizations, and a receptive, bipartisan group of legislators to get this done.”

Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson (D-Dist. 14) and state Sen. Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. (D-Dist. 18) were the driving forces behind the versions of the Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Prevention Act that ran concurrently in rapid fashion through both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature. On the Republican side, State Sen. Robert R. Singer (R-Dist. 30) also championed the bill that gained massive support from both parties in the Senate.

The Senate version, S-4071, passed unanimously Dec. 20 on a 39-0 vote. The Assembly version, A-6013, passed unanimously with a 76-0 vote the same day.

“We cannot thank Assemblyman Benson enough for his diligence and his amazing effort in putting in the time to make this legislation succeed,” Sabol said after the bill’s signing. “He spent hours engaging fellow legislators with in-depth discussions as he proposed and helped to advance the legislation. The same goes again with state Sens. Diegnan and Singer, who were instrumental in initiating and retaining the overwhelming bipartisan support the law gained, and, of course, Gov. Murphy.”

The Motorbus and Passenger Rail Service Employee Violence Prevention Act upgrades the penalty for all assaults on a motorbus or autobus operator, the operator’s supervisor and a rail passenger employee. It also empowers NJT, motorbus companies and all rail passenger service providers to ban riders from their transportation services for up to one year if the person commits an assault on a motorbus operator, the operator’s supervisor or a rail passenger employee.

If a deadly weapon was used during the assault, the rider may be banned for life.

“Transportation workers are far too often subjected to vicious attacks by irate passengers for simply doing their jobs,” said Benson, who serves as chairperson of the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee. “Our bus and rail employees must be protected as they fulfill their critical duties on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of commuters in our state.”

“This bill, while long overdue, is right on time,” Vice President Studivant said. “The collaborative efforts to secure this piece of legislation is a testament to the men and women who face adverse conditions on a daily basis for simply doing their jobs of moving the people of N.J.”

“Congratulations to Vice President Studivant, SLD Sabol and the New Jersey State Legislative Board for their outstanding work, and thanks to Larry Mann for his guidance in this victory,” National Legislative Director Greg Hynes said. “This legislation could be a great blueprint for other states to follow suit.”

Of note, Gov. Murphy also signed S.771, a second piece of legislation expanding workers’ compensation coverage to include injuries that occurs in employer parking lots. Both SMART-TD and the New Jersey Council of Safety and Health (COSH) supported the bill.