The unscripted Mitt Romney speaks his mind

It is in off-the-cuff comments – rather than scripted press conferences, staged public speaking events or political advertisements on television – that often best reveal the “real” candidate and their thoughts. In off-the-cuff comments by Mitt Romney, at a $50,000 per person fund raiser in Boca Raton, Fla., in May – when Romney didn’t realize a […]

Wisc. anti-union law overturned; but …

A Wisconsin county judge has invalidated the state legislature’s law curtailing collective bargaining rights for most public employees, but an appeal is expected to the state supreme court whose conservative majority may overturn the lower court ruling as it did in 2011 in the face of another successful lower court challenge. Earlier this year, a federal court […]

Assistance sought for UTU hurricane victims

In the wake of devastating Hurricane Isaac, which caused significant property damage and loss to scores of UTU members in its path along the Gulf Coast in August, the UTU is soliciting donations to assist those struggling brothers and sisters. To speed the collection and disbursement of donations, the UTU is using the same special bank […]

UTU member loses foot in Tenn. rail accident

MILLINGTON, Tenn. – A UTU-represented trainman employed by Canadian National Railway subsidiary Illinois Central was seriously injured here early Sept. 5 when reportedly struck by a passing train on a mainline while performing duties on an adjacent track. Millington is a suburb north of Memphis. Shawn D. Hall, 34, married with four children, reportedly lost one […]

Democratic, GOP platforms compared

In comparing the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties, Steven Greenhouse of The New York Times says the GOP platform “calls for numerous steps that could significantly weaken America’s labor unions — public-sector and private-sector ones — and help speed organized labor’s overall decline.” Rather than take his word, here are comparisons of the […]

Ga. & Fla. shortline members voting on new pact

Turner UTU-represented maintenance-of-way employees on Georgia & Florida Railway are voting through Sept. 22 on a tentative new agreement — their first since voting “UTU, yes.” Negotiations were led by UTU International Vice President Paul Tibbit and UTU General Chairperson Doyle Turner (GO 347). Turner heads the UTU’s shortline outreach program. “This tentative agreement, as […]

UTU members ratify pacts on EJ&E, TP&W

Wier UTU-represented employees of Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railway and Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway have ratified new five-year agreements. Negotiating assistance on both railroads was provided by UTU International Vice President Dave Wier. On EJ&E, the ratified contract provides that conductors, brakemen and yardmen receive wage increases, back-pay, an employment guarantee with furlough protection, […]

Senators seek review of rail safety

WASHINGTON – Three senior Democratic senators have asked the General Accountability Office – informally known as the congressional watchdog – to review the state of railroad safety and how the Federal Railroad Administration, state rail safety agencies and other stakeholders cooperate to ensure the safe transportation of rail freight and passengers. The review as requested by […]

No defense for violating worker rights

Even when railroads return workers to their jobs with full back pay after wrongly terminating them for suffering a workplace injury, significant monetary sanctions may still be imposed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Case in point is Norfolk Southern, which was ordered to pay damages in excess of $580,000 […]