Posts Tagged ‘John Previsich’

TTD, SMART TD urge end to shutdown

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich supports a rapid resolution to the partial federal government shutdown and fully endorses this message from AFL-CIO TTD President Larry Willis that was sent to U.S. representatives.

January 10, 2019

End this Unnecessary and Harmful Government Shutdown

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I urge you to pass H.R. 267, the FY 2019 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill and end the partial government shutdown by passing the remaining spending bills. Another day cannot pass without federal workers returning to their paid work.

As the country approaches the third week of a government shutdown, roughly 800,000 government employees are either working without pay or furloughed with no end in sight. Those numbers do not include the thousands of federal contractors going without pay and who will not likely be retroactively compensated for their loss of work. This Friday, hundreds of thousands of federal workers will miss their first paycheck of the year. This is no longer a theoretical discussion of the effects of a shutdown. Facing post-holiday bills, many workers will have to decide whether they can put gas in their car, pay the bills, or meet childcare or medical expenses. Already, thousands are beginning to apply for unemployment.

Simultaneously, shuttered agencies like the Department of Transportation (DOT) are unable to fulfill their mandates. Many of DOT’s grant making operations have been closed, forcing local and state transportation officials to halt or slow transit, rail, and even road projects until federal funding is guaranteed. In Oklahoma alone, 45 highway projects worth $137 million will be delayed. If the shutdown continues, New York City’s public transit system is expected to lose $150 million per month. Worse, state transportation agencies across the country may be forced to cut maintenance, reduce service, or furlough state workers within their transportation systems to make up for the lapse in federal funding.

The high safety and security standards that we demand and require of our transportation network are also being undermined during this government shutdown. Nearly all staff at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been furloughed – stalling accident investigations and causing modal safety recommendations to languish. At the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), critical aviation safety inspectors and systems specialists are prevented from doing the important work of keeping our skies safe. Air traffic controllers are working without pay, and their training academies have been shuttered, further exacerbating a staffing crisis that has plagued this workforce for too long. Furthermore, federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers are reporting to work assignments that are often understaffed and are facing the added stress of not being paid, through no fault of their own.

TTD’s 32 affiliate unions represent workers in all modes of transportation. We know that consistent and strong federal investment in our transportation network not only keeps us safe, but also spurs economic growth and job creation for all Americans, expands the middle class, and creates mobility options in communities across the country. But these benefits are jettisoned when we halt funding for critical transportation accounts and bring uncertainty to an industry and sector that is so critical to our country. While H.R. 267 and the other spending bills being considered this week may not offer the funding levels we or others would prefer, it should offer a bipartisan compromise framework to get federal employees back to work.

We implore you to end this partial government shutdown now and allow federal workers to go back to serving the American people. On behalf of transportation labor, I urge you to pass H.R. 267 and reopen the nine federal agencies by passing the remaining spending bills.

Sincerely,
Larry I. Willis
President,
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

To read more about how the shutdown is affecting the transportation industry, visit this page from the AFL-CIO TTD.

Transportation Division leaders in attendance at TTD executives’ meeting

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and Vice President John England were in attendance Sept. 12 as the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD) Executive Committee convened in Washington, D.C., and helped to set the agenda for the 32-union coalition’s future efforts.

Atop the committee’s list of goals is creating and sustaining good jobs that working families want and need by strengthening America’s transportation network and improving workplace safety at a time when stagnating wages, a changing economy, and coordinated, sustained attacks on the rights of working people have fueled a new wave of activism among workers.

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and Vice President John England pose for a group picture of the AFL-CIO TTD Executive Committee after its meeting Sept. 12.

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and Vice President John England pose for a group picture of the AFL-CIO TTD Executive Committee after its meeting Sept. 12.

“Transportation workers belong to unions and are organizing today because working people know collective bargaining is the best path to good jobs and a fair economy,” said TTD President Larry I. Willis. “The policies we fight for today and every day are focused on improving quality of life for frontline transportation workers and creating an economy that enables those who work hard to lead dignified lives.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. John Katko (R-NY), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, were in attendance at the meeting and participated in the discussion among union leaders.

“The dedicated men and women who power our transportation network and enable our economy to thrive deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and know they are safe at work, receiving fair pay and benefits,” Schumer said. “Fixing our transportation infrastructure, revitalizing the middle class, and enhancing the rights and working conditions of those who work in the transportation trades should be a priority for Congress.”

“Making sure our transportation system is safe, secure, and a creator of good jobs is one of my top priorities,” Katko said. “I look forward to working with TTD unions and all stakeholders to develop comprehensive, commonsense solutions to our most pressing transportation challenges.”

Union leaders committed themselves to shaping FAA legislation that will cement America’s aviation industry as a hub of good, middle-class jobs by prioritizing pro-safety, pro-worker initiatives. Key issues transportation labor leaders will push for include securing minimum rest requirements for flight attendants, prohibiting dangerous flag-of-convenience business models, mitigating assaults against customer service agents, upholding strict pilot training requirements, and barring the operation of single-pilot cargo planes.

Taking aim at changes made by Amtrak that threaten the carrier’s long-distance routes and the good jobs those routes provide, Executive Committee members pledged to fight for a national passenger rail system that serves the entire country. They also called on the Trump administration and lawmakers to halt dangerous efforts by the freight carrier Kansas City Southern to move rail operations, brake inspections and jobs to Mexico.

“Strict freight rail regulations exist for a reason,” Willis said. “By seeking to write their own rules and undermine longtime standards, Kansas City Southern is jeopardizing good jobs and safety. Transportation labor will not stand for it.”

Labor leaders also vowed to work with members of Congress to pass legislation designed to mitigate the epidemic of assault facing America’s transit operators. Bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate requiring transit agencies to work with frontline employees to develop risk-reduction plans and implement proven safeguards is a priority for transportation labor leaders.

TTD’s Executive Committee also pledged to fight for regulations that would ensure the temperatures in commercial aircraft cabins remain at healthy, safe levels.

TD Hollywood, Fla., Regional Meeting, Day 3: Previsich talks contract, cross-border crews at final session

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich foresees a very different scenario when the next round of national rail negotiations starts in 2019, he told the audience at the closing session of the TD Regional Meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

“When we entered into the last round, you’ll recall that the railroad business was down … the railroads were claiming they were losing money” Previsich said. “That situation is now entirely different.”

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich responds to members' submitted questions during the closing session of the third and final day of the TD Regional Meeting at the Hilton Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Fla., on Aug. 8.

SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich responds to members' submitted questions during the closing session of the third and final day of the TD Regional Meeting at the Hilton Diplomat Resort in Hollywood, Fla., on Aug. 8.

Carriers have been reaping record profits and increased revenue and received the gift of a corporate tax reduction from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last year. But instead of reinvesting their gains in their infrastructure or rewarding their workforce, rail carriers have used it to buy back stocks to boost their share prices.

That means with the national rail agreement open for negotiations in late 2019, the carriers will not get to recycle the economic argument, Previsich said.

“We will not tolerate in negotiations any claim for lack of revenue, or for lack of available money to provide a decent increase to our membership in the face of record stock buybacks that enrich a select few,” Previsich said. “We won’t stand for it. It’s an important time, given the political climate, given the economic climate, that we now reap what we’ve earned.”

Previsich also touched upon the situation in Texas, where Kansas City Southern (KCS) started early last month the practice of allowing foreign rail crews to cross into the United States at the Laredo border crossing and travel nine miles into our country before replacing them with American workers.

“The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) thus far has taken absolutely no action to stop this practice,” Previsich said. “FRA has an obligation to ensure the safety of American workers and the American public. Their refusal to live up to that obligation is not acceptable. On this matter, FRA is allowing the railroads to self-regulate and self-certify without oversight.” He told attendees at the meeting that the union will do “anything and everything” to attack FRA’s lack of responsibility on the issue.

“We deem it to be unsafe, we deem it to be a threat to our jobs,” Previsich said. “We are not going to let them (FRA) stand aside while a Class I carrier allows foreign crews to cross the border and steal our jobs while jeopardizing the safety of our members and the general public.” He called for members to prepare to act to put the pressure on when and where it is needed.

“When that time comes, we’re going to let you know,” he said. “We want you to do everything you can to ensure that each and every member delivers a strong and powerful message to Washington.”

SMART TD Regional, Day 3: President Previsich answers member questions

SEATTLE — SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich answered questions from members about the Janus decision, upcoming 2019 national rail labor contract negotiations and discussed new technological initiatives.

Transportation Division President John Previsich addresses the closing session of the SMART TD Regional Meeting in Seattle on July 4.

Transportation Division President John Previsich addresses the closing session of the SMART TD Regional Meeting in Seattle on July 4.

The Janus decision affects a handful of properties that have SMART TD representation, but leaves rail properties relatively unscathed for the time being, Previsich said.

“Our rail people, for the most part, don’t worry about it — yet,” he said. “The direct result of this decision will not directly affect anyone who works for BNSF, UP, CSX, NS, most of your short lines…”

Potentially one rail property and some bus properties could be affected by Janus, he said.

“Where we do have to worry is our operations that are operated by the public agency not under the Railway Labor Act — typically it’ll be a municipal bus company,” Previsich said. “We’ve had meetings with each and every property. They’ve already been contacted, they know what to do and we’ll go ahead and work our way through. ”

It’s those future attacks from anti-labor interests and court cases that we’ll have to be aware of in this era where all branches of government are stacked against labor, he said.

“They’re not done yet — we’re going to see more of it,” Previsich said. “Not only are both houses of Congress lined up against us, the White House is lined up against us and the Supreme Court is lined up against us.”

To fight back, union brothers and sisters, their friends, neighbors, families and others will need to vote and get the word out on issues important to the union, such as safety.

“Elections matter,” Previsich said.

Also regarding politics, a member asked about how the viewpoints of members who are more conservative would be addressed.

“We welcome a free and honest dialogue and discussion about a number of issues,” Previsich said. “But the one thing that we need to do, that we’re going to do and what we are going to continue to do is to educate our members about our issues.”

Some members may have strong feelings on conservative issues, but those issues need to be balanced with the impact it will have on their livelihood and their families, he said.

“Not everybody is going to vote the way I would like them to vote, I understand that,” Previsich said. “But what I do want, and I think what we all want, is for those votes to be educated votes. We want the people casting the ballots to know what the issues are.”

Also ahead, is the start of negotiations for a new national rail contract, which is up in 2019, with a number of details to be determined.

Previsich said that the joint negotiating tactics by unions that were successful in the last contract will be repeated at least at the outset of the new talks as the carriers offer up their resistance.

“Going into those negotiations, there are some things you can count on,” he said. “Number 1, they won’t want to give us any more money; Number 2, they’re going to want to attack our healthcare … they’re going to go after our workers. That’s standard, that happens every time.”

The labor side is well aware of the breaks the carriers got with the Republican tax plan that was passed in late 2018, and that will definitely be in play during contract talks, Previsich said.

“Our job this time is to get a better deal than we got last time. That’s what we’re looking for — that’s what we’re always looking for,” he said. “They can’t hide behind finances. Not only do they have record revenues and record profits, it’s record tax cuts, record givebacks, record stock buybacks…the economics are going to work in our favor this time around.”

A Section 6 filing to signal the start of negotiation will be filed in the future, he said.

SMART TD also is improving its technological base, Previsich said.

“One of the things we are trying to do is leverage the technology in a way that is going to improve communications that we have,” Previsich said.

Questions were submitted by members using the upgraded and improved SMART TD app. It can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or through Google or by visiting www.smart-union.org/td/mobile.

Also ahead are upgrades from the decades-old legacy system to help improve how local secretaries and treasurers do their jobs with a rollout planned to begin in October with full implementation in January 2019.

SMART TD Regional, Day 1: Solidarity key to fighting in post-Janus world

Strength, unity and education will be the way to fight the United States Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision last week on Janus v. AFSCME 31 that overturned more than four decades of legal precedent.

That was the message given at the opening session of the SMART Transportation Division Regional Meeting on July 1 in Seattle.

The 49-page decision written by Justice Samuel Alito and supported by the four other conservative justices eliminates the ability of public sector unions to collect agency fees from those employees who refuse to be union members, yet still receive the benefits negotiated by unions.

“Janus is something that is indicative of an anti-labor movement in certain parts of the government that they’re working very hard to take away the rights and privileges that we have worked for for a number of years,” SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich said.

SMART TD General Counsel Kevin Brodar explained to attendees the magnitude of the decision and how the conservative tilt of the court, achieved with the installation of President Donald Trump’s nominee Neil Gorsuch, poses an ongoing menace to labor.

“It is everything we thought it would be,” Brodar describe the Janus decision, written by Alito. “From every page drips his contempt for labor and unions. This is less a legal opinion as it is a right-wing manifesto against labor. That’s the sad story.

“Justice Alito and his Federalist Society conspirators are once again trying to sell the public on a two-century-old idea that organized labor is nothing more than legalized extortion. Having lost the battle of ideas over the years because unions are still here, they have taken the idea that they can strangle unions out of existence by ending their funding.”

Janus overturns the 9-0 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education made in the 1970s in which, Brodar said, “some of the heaviest hitters in the legal field” all agreed that unions had the power to collect agency fees from “free-riders,” non-paying members who still received benefits negotiated by the unions.

“This is essentially a green light to anyone who wants to stop paying unions dues in the public sector,” Brodar said. “The idea is to drain union coffers of their money, drain them of their political clout, drain them of the ability to represent their members. With that, disappears a decent wage, pension plans, health care — all gone. That’s the plan of this case.”

The Janus decision is another attack on the United States labor movement, Brodar said — the newest moment in a long line of resistance against people uniting for a common cause to improve their lives.

“This case is an attack on working people. It’s an attack not just on public sector unions, but all of us in this room. This is an attack on every member of this union,” Brodar said. “No matter how many bayonets and bullets they used, they couldn’t kill the idea. They couldn’t kill the cause. It exists today. Why is that? Because this is a righteous and just cause. And you, all of you here, are the heirs to that cause.”

The fight will continue, Brodar said, and he urged members to come together, educate themselves and be prepared to battle future efforts to weaken the power of labor and tip the scales in the favor of the carriers.

“This is not the last shot. There will be many more shots coming. It’s up to us to respond,” Brodar said.

“If this union disappears, there are dark days ahead. There are dark days right now — there will be another Supreme Court appointment who won’t be a labor-friendly guy.

“What we need is solidarity. It’s solidarity that brought us here,” Brodar said. “There’s work to be done, and it’s time.”

 

SMART TD General Counsel Kevin Brodar speaks out about what’s ahead for unions in the wake of the Supreme Court decision in Janus v. Afcsme, overturning decades of union-favored precedent, at the opening session of the Seattle Regional Meeting, Monday, July 2.

SMART TD President’s statement on Washington derailment

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio (Dec. 19) — SMART Transportation Division is assisting as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts its investigation and offers its sincere condolences to the victims and families of those affected by the Dec. 18 Amtrak Cascades derailment outside of DuPont, Wash.

Members of SMART TD’s national Safety Task Force have responded to the accident scene and will work along with the NTSB and other rail investigators to help determine probable cause of the accident and to make appropriate safety recommendations at the conclusion of the investigation.

SMART TD has a Party Status agreement with the NTSB that makes the federal agency the chief source of information for this and other accident probes involving trains. Because of this, neither the union nor its representatives will make any official comments as to the status of the accident investigation or the events leading up to the accident. All media inquiries should be directed to the NTSB, which will provide details about the accident and the investigation. Any comment on the investigation from current or former members does not speak for the union or its membership.

“We will await the facts of the investigation and will not speculate in any way about the circumstances leading up to this accident,” SMART TD President John Previsich said. “We offer our sincere condolences to the victims and families of the victims of the Cascades derailment, and our personnel will help investigators as they look for answers as to the cause of this tragedy.”

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The SMART Transportation Division is comprised of approximately 125,000 active and retired members of the former United Transportation Union, who work in a variety of crafts in the transportation industry.

SMART TD members ratify National Rail Agreement

By a margin of nearly four to one, SMART Transportation Division members have voted to APPROVE the new National Rail Contract. The voting was conducted by BallotPoint Election Services, who certified the following results for each craft eligible to vote:

CRAFT ACCEPT REJECT
Conductors 79.89% 20.11%
Brakemen 78.98% 21.02%
Engine Service 76.58% 23.42%
Yardmen 79.97% 20.03%
Yardmaster 86.68% 13.32%
Combined 79.57% 20.43%

The approved contract will have an effective date of December 1, 2017, with implementation of new pay rates and employee healthcare cost-sharing modifications planned for January 1, 2018. Employees’ monthly healthcare contributions will remain frozen at $228.89 for the life of the contract.

The term of the agreement is for five years, from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2019. In addition to a 3% increase previously negotiated and already implemented on January 1, 2015, the contract provides for full retroactive pay of 2% from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017, and 4% from July 1, 2017, until implementation of the new rates. Thereafter, affected members will receive a boost in wage rates of 2.5% on July 1, 2018, and 3% on July 1, 2019.

The ratified contract will cover over 35,000 SMART TD members employed by BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern, Union Pacific and numerous smaller carriers, all of whom were represented in this round of bargaining by the rail industry’s National Carriers’ Conference Committee.

The SMART TD negotiating team was led by President John Previsich, who was assisted in the negotiations by Vice Presidents David Wier, John Lesniewski, Troy Johnson, John England, Doyle Turner and Jeremy Ferguson, along with General Chairpersons Danny Young (BNSF), Mark Cook (NS), Brent Leonard (UP) and Steve Mavity (CSX), all four of whom are nationally elected TD officers in addition to serving as General Chairpersons.

For this round of bargaining, SMART TD joined forces with five other unions to form the Coordinated Bargaining Group. The other unions in the CBG are the American Train Dispatchers Association; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers and the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers/SEIU.

President Previsich commented: “I believe that our negotiating team, along with the teams from the other unions in the CBG, are to be commended for staying the course during a long and tedious round of negotiations. The easy thing for them to do when the going got tough was to declare defeat and walk away from the negotiating table, as others have done, but our team never wavered. By rejecting the carriers’ unreasonable demands while staying at the table and continuing to negotiate, the team was successful in obtaining an agreement that achieved an approval rate of 79.57%.”

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The SMART Transportation Division, formerly the United Transportation Union, is the largest rail union in the United States representing members in all operating crafts, including engineers, conductors, trainmen, switchmen and yardmasters.

Follow this link to view this release in PDF form.

Congressional leaders seek investigation into safety of long trains

After derailments, blocked crossings and other complications, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure have asked for the federal Government Accountability Office to study the effects of longer freight trains.

In the letter dated Nov. 7, ranking members Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Michael E. Capuano, D-Mass., made the request after referencing the derailment Aug. 2 of a CSX train in Hyndman, Pa.

The derailment of 32 cars from the train that consisted of five locomotives and 178 rail cars caused the evacuation of about 1,000 town residents and destroyed a house. The representatives noted in their letter that the average freight train consists of about 70 cars.

“Recent press reports indicate that some railroads are now operating trains with close to 200 or more cars that are more than two miles long,” they wrote. “We have concerns that longer trains can create unusually long delays at grade crossings and may pose safety risks to train crews and the public.”

DeFazio, a ranking member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Capuano, a ranking member on the Railroad Subcommittee, also mentioned operational challenges for rail workers, such as possible loss of radio contact, or service delays as a direct result of the longer trains.

“We appreciate that these congressional leaders have asked for a review of these dangerously long trains.” SMART-TD President John Previsich. “This issue was also addressed by John Risch, our national legislative director, at a recent STB hearing.”

Risch appeared Oct. 11 in Washington D.C. before the Surface Transportation Board at a listening session focused on problems with CSX’s service.

“Urging CSX to do better will not fix the problems that excessively long trains cause,” Risch said during his testimony. See a full article and video of that testimony here.

DeFazio and Capuano’s letter asks the GAO to look into various aspects of longer trains from the perspective of rail worker and public safety and also to examine the levels of oversight available on the federal, state and local levels to remedy safety concerns posed by longer trains.

To read the letter, follow this link.

UTUIA donates $5k to Hurricane Harvey relief

The United Transportation Insurance Association (UTUIA), in a show of fraternal solidarity and generosity, has donated $5,000.00 to the UTU Disaster Relief Fund to be used for SMART TD members who have been negatively impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

“Many Brothers and Sisters of the UTUIA have been affected by the devastating flooding in Texas. The officers and staff of the UTUIA have elected to forward a donation of $5,000.00 to help ease the pain and burden placed on those who are attempting to recover from this disaster,” said UTUIA President Ken Laugel.

In response, SMART TD President John Previsich said, “I wish to extend my personal thank you to the UTUIA and President Laugel for this magnanimous donation to a worthy cause. Our union brothers and sisters are hurting and it is donations like this one that will help our members get back on their feet. We must show them that they are not alone and that we care during what is certainly an unimaginably difficult time.”

Members who wish to donate to help their union brothers and sisters may do so by making checks payable and sending them to:

UTU Disaster Relief Fund
24950 Country Club Blvd.
Suite 340
North Olmsted, OH 44070-5333

For questions, please call Transportation Division headquarters at 216-228-9400 and reference Disaster Relief.

Previsich, Risch speak at San Antonio Regional Meeting

Q&A with SMART TD President Previsich at San Antonio Regional Meeting, June 14, 2017

SMART TD President John Previsich answers members’ questions during the closing session.

 


 

SMART TD President Previsich honors retiree Ken Menges at San Antonio Regional Meeting, June 14, 2017

SMART TD President John Previsich presented a certificate of appreciation to retiree Ken Menges for his work on improving the SMART TD Alumni Association.

 


 

SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch speaks about legislation concerning our membership, June 14, 2017

SMART TD National Legislative Director John Risch gave an update to our membership on what’s going on legislatively in Washington D.C.

Negotiations update on the National Rail Contract

Previsich

Dear members,

On December 5, 2016, SMART Transportation Division issued a press release to announce that the unions participating in the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) had requested that the National Mediation Board (NMB) mediate the group’s negotiations with the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC).

The decision to move the process forward with a request for mediation was made after our last negotiating session with the NCCC, when it became apparent that the prospect of reaching a voluntary agreement had grown significantly less likely, due in large part to the outcome of November’s elections. During negotiations, the organizations submitted a proposal that would provide the framework of an improved wage, work rule and benefit package that we believe our members have earned.

The carriers responded with an offer that was significantly less in every regard. Your negotiating team found the carriers’ demands for certain work rule changes unacceptable. In our opinion, these changes would compromise safety by creating a negative impact on rest and predictability. In addition, the carrier proposed unsatisfactory wage increases and dramatic cuts to our health care benefits, both of which were also unacceptable.

We have negotiated in good faith because we believe a voluntary agreement is in the best interests of our members and will continue to do so while in mediation. However, we stand firm in our conviction that our members deserve a better outcome than the carrier’s proposal and we will exhaust every avenue available to achieve a contract settlement with equitable compensation and benefit improvements that reflect the employees’ contributions to the carriers’ success. Additionally, we will not accept or propose a contract that adds to the already intolerable levels of unpredictability and rest deprivation that our members currently endure.

What’s next? The parties will engage in mediation as part of the dispute resolution process required by the Railway Labor Act. If a voluntary agreement is not reached in mediation, the process provides for a proffer of arbitration by the NMB, which, if refused by either participant, will then release the parties to engage in self-help (strike/lockout).

Moving through the Railway Labor Act to a strike is a long and arduous process, and requires that the parties exhaust every opportunity for settlement before a work stoppage disrupts the nation’s transportation system. However, the right to strike is a part of the process and the only person who can take away your right to strike is the President of the United States, who may intervene and appoint a Presidential Emergency Board.

In the event that we reach that point, I will be calling on all of our members to reach out to the White House and request that our newly elected President not interfere with our right to exercise self-help in our quest for a fair and equitable contract settlement.

To better explain the process that governs from this point forward, click on https://smart-union.org/td/washington/abridged-version-railway-labor-act/ to read an abridged version of a more detailed explanation of the Railway Labor Act.

Fraternally,

John Previsich
President, Transportation Division

Our SMART TD Brothers and Sisters in Louisiana need your help!

Dear Members of the SMART Transportation Division:

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana flood waters, caused by an unprecedented, “thousand-year rainfall” have subsided, yet the devastation left behind in loss of life and destruction of property is immeasurable.

Baton Rouge is located nearly 100 feet above sea level, and was not considered a high flood risk area, which left most homeowners without flood insurance. Even those who had flood insurance are realizing nearly all of these insurance policies cap out at $30,000, which barely covers the cost of clean-up.

Some of those affected by the devastation are our Brothers and Sisters of SMART Transportation Division (SMART TD) who live in and near the Baton Rouge area. The silver lining is, and will continue to be, the generosity of citizens around the country who are giving what they can to help those affected to reclaim their lives.

We are asking the SMART TD family to rise to the call and give what you can, so that the daunting task of starting over and rebuilding can begin. Your generous donation will help lessen the struggle and bring real hope and relief to our SMART TD members who are suffering from this great loss.

SMART TD will administer donations sent to the UTU Disaster Relief Fund.

Questions? Please call the Transportation Division at: 216-228-9400.

Contributions may be sent to:

UTU Disaster Relief Fund
Suite 340
24950 Country Club Blvd.
North Olmsted, OH 44070-5333

Sincerely,

previsich_signature

 

 

John Previsich
President, SMART Transportation Division


The SMART Transportation Division is comprised of approximately 125,000 active and retired members of the former United Transportation Union, who work in a variety of different crafts in the transportation industry.