Transportation News

Carriers ask court okay to violate contracts

The nation’s major railroads have asked a federal court to permit them to violate existing collective bargaining agreements with the UTU and the BLET when the railroads implement new hours-of-service regulations that take effect July 16.  The soon-to-be-implemented hours-of-service limitations are directed by Congress in the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), whose intent is to reduce train-crew […]

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 1 (revised)

UTU Rail Safety Alert No. 1 (revised) (Following is the first safety alert, revised June 22, issued by the UTU’s recently appointed Rail Safety Task Force. UTU International President Mike Futhey appointed the task force in response to a sharp spike in railroad on-duty employee fatalities. The UTU and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and […]

Spending your dues money wisely

By Kim ThompsonUTU General Secretary & Treasurer Nobody spends someone else’s dollars as carefully as we spend our own. The UTU International leadership is especially sensitive to the fact that members entrust us with their own hard-earned dollars, and every member rightfully expects their union to gain the most value for their dues money. We […]

Members helping members, the UTU way

By Vic Baffoni,Vice president, UTU Bus Dept. Local UTU officers sacrifice much of their personal time, without compensation, to assist and serve their memberships, and they deserve recognition for their outstanding commitment. That is what I intend to do in this month’s column. Two such individuals deserving of recognition for their hard work and dedication […]

UTU opposes taxing health care benefits

WASHINGTON – The UTU and 30 other trade unions have jointly written members of Congress in opposition “to any proposal” that would pay for health care reform “by altering the tax treatment of employer-provided health care. “We believe this would be a step in the wrong direction that could jeopardize the overall reform effort,” wrote […]

Know your rights when injured

WASHINGTON — The Federal Railroad Administration has issued an interpretation of its regulations on employer harassment and intimidation of injured employees — welcome pointers to help rail workers, injured on the job, know their rights. The interpretation focuses on situations where a carrier supervisor or other rail official accompanies an injured employee into an examination […]

Conductor certification moving forward

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 provides that no later than April 2010, the FRA must conduct a rulemaking to determine the principles, elements and methods of conductor certification. The FRA says it is now prepared to move forward on that rulemaking with the assistance of a Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) working group […]

Medicare now requires dependents’ SSNs

A new federal law requires railroad workers to provide the Social Security numbers of their dependents. The Medicare secondary payer statute and regulations contain a series of rules for determining whether Medicare is the primary payer for a person who has both Medicare and other health coverage. In order to satisfy these regulations, the Centers […]

Pay GA-23111 and COBRA electronically

Here’s an opportunity to save a 44-cent stamp and better assure your UnitedHealthcare payments for GA-23111 plans and COBRA coverage arrive on time. It’s called electronic funds transfer, or EFT, and it permits your UnitedHealthcare premiums for GA-23111 plans and COBRA coverage to be automatically deducted from your checking account, even when you are away […]

Easing the pain of furloughs

By UTU Assistant President Arty Martin As a union, we can’t make the economy better, but we always attempt to make life better for our members caught up in the downturn. Many younger members, having left non-railroad employment to take railroad jobs, have now found themselves furloughed, and their hopes for a better future for […]