Our union is in mourning after losing two of its active members this week: one in a work-related fatality and one in a traffic accident.
Ryan Sandy, 37, a member of Local 662 (Richmond, Va.) and a former local chairperson of LCA-201C, was killed in an on-the-job accident at 2:45 a.m., Monday, Oct. 12 in the Acca Yard in Henrico County, Va.
Sandy had been a member of SMART Transportation Division since February 2009 and worked as a conductor for CSX.
“We are all shocked and saddened by his passing,” fundraiser organizer Michael Carter posted. “It’s now our turn to give back and help his wife and their children as they deal with the loss of their loving husband and father.”
A number of worker fatalities over the past two years involving union workers went without an NTSB-led investigation, a situation that SMART-TD leadership made clear needed to be changed.
Across the country, Local 556 (Tacoma, Wash.) is mourning the loss of one of its officers.
Clayton Hoffman III, general chairperson of GCA-TMB (Tacoma Municipal Beltline) and local chairperson of LCA-TMB1, died in a fatal traffic accident Oct. 9. He was 43 years old.
The circumstances of GC Hoffman’s death are being investigated. He had been a member of the union since April 2004. He became GC on Oct. 1, 2012, and immediately set to work, said current Local 556 President Bill Price.
“During his time, Clayton negotiated one of the best contacts in shortline history for his members and brought those members to a livable wage,” Price said.
Price said that Hoffman served as a fierce representative of his fellow members and will be missed.
Local 556 brother Kody Henderson, local chairperson of LCA-001a, had this to say about his fallen brother:
“He was union leadership powerhouse and a union leader I looked up to. He was there when I initially took office in 2015 and helped guide me through this local chairman position. We would speak often, and as time went on we would reconnect to share stories and discharge stresses of dealing with management to one another.”
Brother Hoffman is survived by his brother, his sister and his mother.
“Clayton will be missed by all here at Local 556,” Price said.
The SMART Transportation Division offers its condolences to the relatives, friends and the brothers and sisters of Locals 662 and 556 on the passing of Brothers Sandy and Hoffman.
With an estimated 1,000 people in attendance at its Dec. 7 “Holi-Day” celebration, SMART Transportation Division Local 662 at Richmond, Va., reports the event was a resounding success.
Local 662, in conjunction with CSX Transportation and other rail labor organizations, sponsored the UTU/CSX District 6 Safety Committee Family “Holi-Day” at CSX’s Newport News, Va., mechanical department car shop.
The Holi-Day had many indoor and outdoor activities. Those attending donated unwrapped Christmas presents and non-perishable food items that were given to the Salvation Army Angel Tree Project and to the Food Bank of Virginia, Local 662 Administrative Manager Jimmy Galbraith said.
Local 662 would like to thank all of its members and all CSX employees who volunteered for this event, as well as CSX Terminal Manager Steve Salyers and CSX Mechanical Department Car Shop Superintendent Charles Lantz.
Galbraith acknowledged the outstanding efforts of Local Trustee and Safety Committee Rep. Richard Craver, Local Trustee James “Lee” Misenheimer, Newport News Safety Committee Rep. Luke Lenix, Local Legislative Rep. and Safety Committee Rep. Jimmy Schumaker, Local Trustee Tommy Arsenault, Vice Local Chairperson Jimmy “Chip” Hardison and Local Chairperson Jeff Parker.
The UTU/CSX District 6 Safety Committee is an all-inclusive affinity group that provides a voice between the UTU, CSX and other participating rail labor organizations operating under guidelines of the UTU/CSX safety model.
The safety committee’s mission statement and common goal is to provide a cooperative effort in promoting a safe and injury-free work environment, as well as serving to the needs of all rail workers across the CSX system and the community in which it serves.
SMART Transportation Division Local 662 at Richmond, Va., and the CSX/UTU District 6 Safety Committee are hosting a “Holi-Day” for members, family, retirees, CSX employees and friends Saturday, Dec. 7, at the CSX Newport News Terminal Car Shop facility at 5941 Jefferson Ave. in Newport News from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event will feature inflatable bounce houses, games, a photo booth and dunking tank. There will also be a static CSX locomotive display, a live demonstration of a remote-controlled operated locomotive (RCO) and other displays. Attendees will be able to go on a van tour of the car shop, rail yard and piers.
Food, drinks, popcorn and cotton candy will be provided, along with gifts and door prizes.
The local asks that attendees bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the Food Bank of Virginia and an unwrapped Christmas gift for a boy or girl for the Salvation Army Angel Tree Project. Cash donations will not be accepted.