Rail and bus workers continue to call out to the United Transportation Union for representation in these troubling times.
The UTU’s ability to negotiate industry-leading contracts, process grievances and achieve workplace safety improvements are most often cited as the reason.
Over the past few weeks, the UTU was successful in three additional organizing drives, bringing to 27 the number of new properties added to the UTU family within the past 44 months.
Workers at Columbia & Cowlitz Railway (which includes Patriot Woods Railroad) in Longview, Wash.; Intermodal Services of America of Lorain, Ohio; and First Transit of Farmington, N.M., are now represented by the UTU.
Transportation and mechanical employees at shortline Columbia & Cowlitz Railway (which includes Patriot Woods Railroad for representation purposes) — both part of the Patriot Rail group and operating in southwest Washington state — voted unanimously for UTU representation, rejecting another labor organization. UTU Director of Organizing Rich Ross and Assistant President Arty Martin made presentations to the workers, leading to a unanimous show of support in the representation election.
Intermodal Services of America (ISA), which provides intra-plant switching for manufacturing and processing plants at numerous locations in the Midwest and Southwest, voluntarily recognized the UTU as its transportation employees’ bargaining representative. Ross, UTU Assistant General Counsel Erika Diehl, Illinois State Legislative Director Bob Guy and Local 1895 (Chicago) Local Chairperson and Regional Organizer Larry Grutzius were instrumental in the organizing drive.
At First Transit, a public transit operator and part of First Group America, former UTU member Steve Moots, now employed there, provided a testimonial on UTU representation abilities to his fellow then-unorganized workers. Bonnie Morr, alternate Bus Department vice president, was assisted in the organizing drive by Alternate Vice President John England, Columbia & Cowlitz Railway General Chairperson Sean Kibbee, New Mexico State Legislative Director Dennis Baca and Assistant President Arty Martin.