Union Plus scholarship deadline is Jan. 31

The deadline for applying for a Union Plus scholarship is Thurs., Jan. 31. Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $4,000. These one-time cash awards are for study beginning in fall of 2013. Students may re-apply each year. For complete details click here.

They hire you, then work to fire you

By John Previsich, UTU Assistant President/ GS&T –  Discipline in the railroad industry is a curious business. I recall that when I first hired out, I was proud of my new employment. The railroad had selected me over other well-qualified applicants, and I was sent to school and provided extensive on-the-job training before being allowed to […]

Transit friend to head Senate Budget Committee

By Bonnie MorrVice President, Bus Department –  Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington State, is the new chairperson of the Senate Budget Committee, which makes decisions on how much of the annual federal budget is available for transit. As chairperson, Sen. Murray will set the agenda and tone of Senate Budget Committee hearings and […]

Senate confirms two to Amtrak board

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Christopher R. Beall and Yvonne Brathwaite Burke as new members of the Amtrak Board of Directors for five-year terms. Beall, of Oklahoma, is a partner at Highstar Capital, an infrastructure investment firm specializing in the transportation, environmental services and energy sectors. Previously, Beall was chief financial officer for Aslan Group, […]

Rail unemployment extended benefits to continue

The so-called fiscal cliff bill approved by the House and Senate Jan. 1 allows extended railroad unemployment benefits to continue through Dec. 31, 2013, with Congress appropriating $250,000 to the Railroad Retirement Board to administer those extended benefits under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. The extension affects those railroaders out of work at least six […]

Rail random alcohol, drug test-rate static for 2013

Random alcohol and drug testing rates for railroad workers in safety sensitive positions will remain at the same rate during 2013 as 2012. The Federal Railroad Administration said that because the random alcohol testing violation rate has remained below 0.5 percent for the past two years, the minimum random alcohol testing rate will remain at […]

Previsich adds GS&T to his duties

Previsich UTU Assistant President and International Vice President John Previsich has been named to the additional post of UTU general secretary and treasurer (GS&T) by the UTU Board of Directors.   Previsich also will continue handling assignments as an International vice president, but those assignments will be pared down given his new duties.   Previsich succeeds […]

International VP Delbert Strunk to retire

UTU International Vice President Delbert Strunk, who recently was selected by the UTU Board of Directors to succeed Kim Thompson as International general secretary & treasurer Jan. 1, chose, instead, to retire Dec. 31. Thompson previously announced his Dec. 31 retirement. The UTU Board of Directors will meet to determine another successor to Thompson.

SEPTA fails in backdoor attempt to escape FELA

It is no secret that railroads have tried with all their king’s horsemen and all their king’s men (and women) to send to the dust bin of history the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA), considered the best friend of rail workers in forcing carriers to improve workplace safety. That 1908 law allows railroaders to recover […]

FRA: Intensive conductor training essential

One of the strongest studies validating the need for two-person crews and intensive training for conductors has come from the Federal Railroad Administration. The conclusion is that the conductor and engineer function as a team, with managing multiple priorities essential to safe train operation – especially with regard to use of positive train control technology […]