Posts Tagged ‘yardmaster’

H.R. 2 passes U.S. House and moves to Senate

H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act, a massive $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill that contains provisions important to members of all crafts in the SMART Transportation Division and to sheet metal workers, passed through the U.S. House of Representatives by a 233-188 vote on July 1.

A major component of this bill is the INVEST in America Act that passed the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in late June.

H.R. 2 contains:

  • a two-person freight crew requirement
  • bus and transit operator safety measures
  • blocked-rail-crossing enforcement
  • a cross-border solution
  • yardmaster hours of service
  • additional funding for Amtrak
  • requirements for carriers to meet CDC guidelines and to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to transportation workers

“This is an unprecedented step ahead for many of our union’s major issues through the legislative process,” SMART Transportation Division President Jeremy R. Ferguson said. “Our concerns were heard and addressed by the writers of this bill — safety for workers and communities alike in the bus and transit operator safety measures and in the crew-size provision, funding for Amtrak, and a number of other provisions intended to rebuild and transform the nation’s roads and rails.

“Federal agencies and big-pocketed lobbyists have tried to obstruct the essential protections that this bill provides to our members and to the people who work on, live near and use our nation’s transportation network. These representatives all had the foresight and initiative to move them forward.”

Ian Jefferies, CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), earlier in the week had an op-ed published that was highly critical of the legislation, targeting the two-person crew portion and one that dealt with study of potential rail transport of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) specifically, saying the bill “woefully missed the mark.”

In the column, Jefferies also argued that legislators were “putting their collective thumbs on the scale” regarding railroad safety in regulating the crew-size safety issue.

The INVEST in America component of the Moving Forward Act was shepherded by House T&I Chairperson Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat, through the committee June 18. He commented on July 1 after the bill’s passage:

“Passage of this bold, forward-thinking infrastructure bill is proof that finally, there is a majority of us in Congress who won’t accept the status quo and instead are willing to fight for a new vision that invests in our communities, addresses the climate crisis, and creates better opportunities for all. And we get there by putting millions of people to work in jobs that cannot be exported, while harnessing American-made materials, ingenuity, and innovation,” he said. “With the Moving Forward Act, we make it clear that our infrastructure does not have to be a product of the past, with crumbling roads and bridges, unreliable transit and rail networks, inequitable outcomes, and little regard to our changing climate and our changing economy. I challenge my Senate colleagues to join the House in thinking big and being bold on long-overdue investments not only in our infrastructure, but also in the communities and the people we all represent.”

Leaders in the SMART-TD National Legislative Department thanked DeFazio and the bipartisan group of Democrats and a trio of Republicans who supported H.R. 2.

“As if we need any additional evidence that elections matter, this result shows that the 2018 change of party control in the House made a difference,” National Legislative Director Greg Hynes said. “We appreciate those legislators who supported this legislation in its journey through the House. There is more work to be done and a path to be cleared for this legislation, and our membership is more than willing to put in the time to make legislators understand why the bill provisions are necessary.”

The Moving Forward Act now moves to the United States Senate, where, according to Politico.com, Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, called the bill “nonsense,” “absurd,” “pure fantasy” and vowed that it will die before getting to the White House, where the president has threatened to veto the bill.

Retired GC De Genova dies at 67

De Genova

Richard P. “DG” De Genova, 67, died Tuesday, February 14 surrounded by his family.

De Genova hired out with the Youngstown and Southern (Y&S) Railway while attending Youngstown State University (YSU). After receiving his BA in History/Secondary Education in 1972, he was a substitute teacher for the Struthers, Lowellville and Campbell, Ohio, high schools.

De Genova realized that his true passion was the railroad and hired out as a brakeman with the then B&O Railroad (now CSX) in August of 1973. Throughout his career, he held the positions of brakeman, road conductor and yardmaster. A member of Local 1948 in Youngstown, Ohio, De Genova served the union as general chairperson for CSX B&O Yardmasters (GCA 247) for 24 years. He settled countless claims for the membership and worked tirelessly to defend the rights of the membership.

In his free time, De Genova was a history buff who enjoyed reading historical books and watching documentaries. He was also a fan of the Cleveland Indians and other local baseball teams.

De Genova is survived by his wife of 38 years, Phyllis (Gallas); two daughters, Angela (Jonathan) Bellack and Natalie De Genova; parents, Mary K. and Joseph De Genova; and sister, Barb (Gary) Roberts. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Patrick.

Visiting hours are Friday, Feb. 17 from 5-8 p.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, 2726 Center Rd., Poland, OH 44514. A prayer service will be held Saturday, Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m. at the funeral home. A mass of Christian burial will follow at 10 a.m. at the Holy Family Parish, 2729 Center Rd., Youngstown, OH 44514.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Beatitude House, 238 Tod Lane, Youngstown, OH 44504-1714, or online at www.beatitudehouse.com.

Click here to read De Genova’s official obituary and to leave condolences.

SMART TD extends their condolences to the De Genova family, friends and all who knew De Genova.