Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

SMART TD opens registration for 2017 regional meetings

SMART Transportation Division has opened registration for the San Antonio and New York City Regional Meetings.

Pre-registration cost for both meetings is $150 per person, per meeting; children 11 and under are free. Persons who do not pre-register, but choose to register after the deadline or on-site will be charged an additional $50 per attendee. The deadline to be considered pre-registered for the San Antonio meeting is Wednesday, May 10. The deadline to be considered pre-registered for the New York City meeting is Tuesday, June 6.

Workshops are free to attend and begin on Monday and end on Wednesday at approximately 12:30 p.m. at each meeting. Members who do not wish to attend meals, tours or golf, do not need to register.

As per usual, spousal/guest tours are $35 per tour, per registered guest; or, $75 per tour per unregistered guest. Tours will take place Sunday, June 11 and Monday, June 12 at the San Antonio Regional Meeting; and, Sunday, July 9 and Monday, July 10 at the New York City Regional Meeting. Tour details will be announced at a later date. Space on the tours is limited; reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The cost for the golf outing is $80 per golfer and includes: green fees for 18 holes of golf, half a cart, lunch and prizes. The golf outing in San Antonio will take place on Sunday, June 11 at the Brackenridge Park Golf Club. There will be no golf outing at the New York City Regional Meeting. Space on the golf outing is limited; reservations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

SMART TD accepts check, money order, Visa and MasterCard as forms of payment. No cash will be accepted for pre-registration or on-site registration. Make checks or money orders payable in U.S. funds to “SMART Transportation Division” and mail payment and registration form to: SMART Transportation Division Regional Meeting, 24950 Country Club Blvd., Ste. 340, North Olmsted, OH 44070-5333.

Questions? Call SMART TD headquarters at 216-228-9400.

Please note that hotel reservations are separate and should be made directly with the respective hotel. SMART TD recommends that hotel reservations be made at this time if you have not already done so.

Registration for San Antonio

The San Antonio Regional Meeting will take place June 12-14 at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio Hotel. Registration and payment must be received at SMART TD headquarters by May 10 for all attendees to be considered pre-registered.

Click here to register online.

Click here to fill-out and print the mail-in form.

Click here for more details about the San Antonio meeting.

Registration for New York City

The New York City Regional Meeting will take place July 10-12 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. Registration and payment must be received at SMART TD headquarters by June 6 for all attendees to be considered pre-registered.

Click here to register online.

Click here to fill-out and print the mail-in form.

Click here for more details about the New York City meeting.

Calls for 2-person crews in response to amphibious vehicle fatalities

The Portland Press Herald reported that as amphibious vehicles (duck boats), designed to traverse land and water, have increased in popularity over the years, so has the number of accidents and fatalities involving these complicated vehicles.  Advocates for increased safety measures are calling for mandated two-person crews on all duck boats.  Some amphibious vehicle companies have voluntarily  instated policies that mandate two-person crews at all times.  Since rail carriers can’t be counted on to do the same, we need to continue all efforts to pass HR 233.

Read the complete article here.

Take just a couple of minutes to contact your legislator in support of HR 233 – The Safe Freight Act, that includes a two-person crew mandate, by clicking here. 

New Hampshire next for right-to-work? State House says NO!

In a close vote, the New Hampshire State Senate voted 12-11 to pass right-to-work (for less) in January. The bill then went to the Republican-controlled House for a vote and was expected to pass. The bill surprisingly failed in the House 200-177, with 32 Republicans voting against the measure.

The State House went even further and voted to indefinitely postpone consideration of right-to-work. This means that the N.H. House cannot vote on another right-to-work bill for the next two years. N.H. Governor Chris Sununu (R) was expected to sign the bill into law if it passed in the House.

Click here to read more from OneNewsNow.

According to the AFL-CIO, states that have enacted these so-called right-to-work laws have lower wages and incomes (about $6,000 less per year); little or no health insurance coverage and pay higher premiums; higher poverty rates; higher workplace fatality rates by 49 percent; and lower investments in education. These laws not only hurt unions, but the members who depend on the union as well.

Click here to go to the SMART TD Legislative Action Center (LAC) to contact your state or federal representatives and voice your opposition of right-to-work laws – and also, to voice your support of H.R. 233: two-person crews on all trains.

Former Alt. Bus Vice President Seymour Kramer dies


Seymour Kramer, 70, retired alternate vice president, bus – west, died January 20, 2017. Kramer began his career as a bus operator for Laidlaw Transit in San Francisco in 1970. As a member of Local 1741, he served as president, vice general chairperson, general chairperson and delegate.

In 1991, he was elected to the UTU’s executive board and in 1994, Kramer was appointed to the position of alternate vice president, bus – west by the UTU board of directors. He was elected to that position at the 1995 UTU convention. During his time as general chairperson and alt. vice president, Kramer assisted with many contract negotiations and assisted in organizing properties that are still part of the bus department today.

In 1996, Kramer left his post as alt. vice president and later served as a mediator for the California State Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Kramer is survived by his wife, Laurie Goldsmith; daughters Hannah and Sasha Kramer; sister Karen Florman and many friends.

Click here to leave condolences for the family.

Retired Gen. Chairperson William “Butch” Young dies

SMART TD member and former railroad conductor, William “Butch” E. Young III died at the age of 74 on Feb. 15, 2017, in Chino, Calif. Family was his main priority, and Butch was a loving husband, father and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife Carol; son Mike, daughter-in-law Lisa and their boys Nathan and Garrett; son Danny and daughter-in-law Julie; and his sister Dianne Howard and brother-in-law Jim Howard.

Young served his country in the Vietnam War as a tank commander and rose to the level of sergeant. After his military service, he spent the rest of his life devoted to helping others in both his personal life and in his professional life. Most knew Young as a dedicated union man who loved his job and the people that he worked with.

He served as the UTU local chairperson for Local 113 in Winslow, Ariz., for 15 years and finished his career as the Coastlines general chairperson. He will be missed by his many friends and his family who held him so dearly, and he will be remembered always.

Memorial Services were private. Click here to leave condolences for the family.

Retired GC De Genova dies at 67

De Genova

Richard P. “DG” De Genova, 67, died Tuesday, February 14 surrounded by his family.

De Genova hired out with the Youngstown and Southern (Y&S) Railway while attending Youngstown State University (YSU). After receiving his BA in History/Secondary Education in 1972, he was a substitute teacher for the Struthers, Lowellville and Campbell, Ohio, high schools.

De Genova realized that his true passion was the railroad and hired out as a brakeman with the then B&O Railroad (now CSX) in August of 1973. Throughout his career, he held the positions of brakeman, road conductor and yardmaster. A member of Local 1948 in Youngstown, Ohio, De Genova served the union as general chairperson for CSX B&O Yardmasters (GCA 247) for 24 years. He settled countless claims for the membership and worked tirelessly to defend the rights of the membership.

In his free time, De Genova was a history buff who enjoyed reading historical books and watching documentaries. He was also a fan of the Cleveland Indians and other local baseball teams.

De Genova is survived by his wife of 38 years, Phyllis (Gallas); two daughters, Angela (Jonathan) Bellack and Natalie De Genova; parents, Mary K. and Joseph De Genova; and sister, Barb (Gary) Roberts. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Patrick.

Visiting hours are Friday, Feb. 17 from 5-8 p.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, 2726 Center Rd., Poland, OH 44514. A prayer service will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home. A mass of Christian burial will follow at 10 a.m. at the Holy Family Parish, 2729 Center Rd., Youngstown, OH 44514.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Beatitude House, 238 Tod Lane, Youngstown, OH 44504-1714, or online at

Click here to read De Genova’s official obituary and to leave condolences.

SMART TD extends their condolences to the De Genova family, friends and all who knew De Genova.

Ohio Republican brings Right To Work to House floor

Source:, 2/13/17

Columbus, OH – On February 13, 2017, Rep. John Becker (R) introduced HB 53, a Right to Work measure designed to weaken collective bargaining rights for public and private employees. HB 53 would allow public sector employees to opt out of joining a union or paying union dues, and would eliminate state mandated “fair share” or agency fees used for collective bargaining purposes.  Current state law allows collective bargaining agreements to require collection of “fair share” fees from non-union employees.  The measure would also enable unions to opt out of representing employees who choose not to join. Read more here.
Left: Dr. King’s quote on  ‘right to work’ lie.

Railroad worker awarded $7.5 million in toxin exposure case

According to the National Review. com, a jury in Madison county, Wisconsin ruled against Union Pacific Railroad by awarding $7.5 million in damages to a former railroad worker for contracting severe illnesses that were deemed directly linked to his longterm exposure to creosote and other toxic materials during his 31-year career as a railroad worker.  Read the complete article here.

Los Angeles: bus ridership down, commuter rail up

According to an article posted by, despite taxpayer support and route expansion, bus ridership with Los Angeles County’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) has dropped considerably over the past several years. Conversely, commuter rail ridership has increased, prompting Metro officials to look at possible long-term plans for commuter rail expansion. Read the complete article here.

Alaska Railroad to lay off 31 employees, eliminate 18 jobs

The Alaska Railroad announced Friday, Feb. 10 that they will lay off 31 people and eliminate 18 vacant positions, 8 percent of its workforce. Employees were told on Friday that their last day will be March 13. The positions being eliminated range from interns to vice president-level jobs.

The railroad has 609 full-time employees and hires approximately 150 more employees in the summer months to help with increased traffic in passenger rail.

Since 2008, Alaska Railroad has eliminated more than 300 year-round positions.

Click here to read more from the Alaska Dispatch News.