Why Obama-Biden deserve your vote Nov. 6

By James Stem – UTU National Legislative Director –  UTU endorsements for President of the United States and election to Congress are undertaken with considerable thought, responsibility and accountability. Prior to issuing these endorsements, we did an exhaustive job evaluating the candidates’ positions on transportation, collective bargaining, workplace safety, pensions and benefits, and Medicare. The endorsements […]

3d quarter rail profits wrap-up

BNSF reported a 22 percent increase in profit for the third quarter 2012 versus third quarter 2011, citing improved intermodal (trailers and containers on flat cars) and automotive traffic. BNSF’s third quarter 2012 operating ratio of 68.3 percent was a significant improvement over the 71.7 percent for third quarter 2011. Operating ratio is a railroad’s […]

Chicago Metra conductor assaulted, injured

An on-duty Chicago Metra conductor received medical attention following an assault during a botched robbery attempt at a west side passenger station Oct. 22. According to news reports, the conductor, whose identity was not released, was transported to a hospital with unspecified injuries. The alleged robber, who was said by witnesses to have displayed a […]

UTU TST assists NTSB after Amtrak derailment

The UTU Transportation Safety Team is assisting National Transportation Board investigators following an Oct. 21 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Niles, Mich. News reports indicate the investigation initially is focusing on whether the train was on the wrong track. Some 174 passengers were on board, according to news reports, and seven passengers and […]

Beware this backdoor effort to silence labor’s voice

By National Legislative Director James Stem – You remember Humpty Dumpty, the character created by children’s author Lewis Carroll. Most famously, Humpty Dumpty said, ‘When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean.” Humpty Dumpty may well have written the language for Proposition 32, which goes before California voters on […]

Arbitrator, educator Frank Quinn dies at 80

Arbitrator Frank Quinn, well known to hundreds of UTU officers and members as a long-time educator at UTU regional meetings, a respected neutral in rail arbitration cases and as an author, has died at age 80. Francis Xavier Quinn earned bachelor of arts, master of arts and master of science degrees in education, theology and […]

$1 dues hike sought to fund 2014 conventions

As the initial SMART Transportation Division convention will be held in 2014 – one year earlier than a UTU quadrennial convention that no longer will take place owing to the merger – plus a second SMART convention, UTU delegates are being asked to approve a $1 monthly International dues increase to be deposited into the […]

EJ&E yardmasters, hostlers ratify new agreements

Wier UTU-represented yardmasters and hostlers employed by the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway have ratified separate new six-year agreements by overwhelming majorities. The new agreements provide for annual wage increases and back-pay; establish 401-k retirement plans, disability insurance and prior rights; increase life insurance; and place those members under the national railroad health and welfare […]

Congressional elections matter to UTU members

By John Risch,Alternate National Legislative Director – Congressional elections do matter. They make a difference when it comes to our job security, wages, benefits, retirement and our safety in the workplace. President Obama and labor-friendly congressional representatives and senators not only believe in supporting public transit, Amtrak and high-speed rail, they assured funding was available […]

Absentee ballots might need extra postage

If you are voting absentee by mail, note that your ballot might need extra postage.  Many absentee ballots for the Nov. 4 presidential election are so long and weigh so much that mailing them back to elections supervisors requires extra postage, in many cases.  The U.S. Postal Service generally returns mail with insufficient postage to […]