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Fired Florida CSX conductor seeking whistleblower protection, changes within company

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 17:41

Fired Florida CSX conductor seeking whistleblower protection, changes within company
http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/fired-csx-conductor-seeking-whis...
By: Kevin Clark , Action News Jax

Updated: Dec 1, 2017 - 9:46 AM

1370
A former CSX employee says he was fired for speaking out about safety concerns to the company and in an interview with Action News Jax.

Louis Billingsley is now seeking whistleblower protection.

During a July interview with Action News Jax, Billingsley shared his concerns about the abolition of certain safety procedures for rail workers. He was fired by CSX this month after nearly 12 years as a conductor.

One policy change eliminated the three-step rule, an extra safeguard to keep cars from moving when employees are working between or under them.

Another change banned the use of the brake stick, meaning conductors now have to tie the brakes by hand.

“It’s just a matter of time before someone seriously gets hurt,” Billingsley told Action News Jax Thursday.

CSX has been under scrutiny for other operating changes since CEO Hunter Harrison took over earlier this year.

As CSX has cut jobs to try to increase efficiency, it has consolidated trains to make them longer.

Billingsley claims the trains have become too long, making it hard for rail employees to communicate from one end to the other.

The longer trains often block neighborhoods and streets for hours at a time on their way in and out of railyards.

“We need to show that we care about the public, we care about the people, and sometimes that’s worth more than record-breaking profits,” Billingsley said.

But Billingsley says when he raised these concerns, CSX became retaliatory.

A day after Billingsley interviewed with Action News Jax in July, he received a short voicemail telling him he’d been fired.

“I couldn’t believe it, I was like, ‘Wow, they really want to shut you up,’” said Billingsley.

Not 40 minutes later, another voicemail from CSX told him he’d been rehired.

“I think they realized what they did, and they put me back into service,” he said.

But for the next couple of months after that, Billingsley claims he was targeted, and that his superiors followed him around and watched his every move.

“Almost two months later, they got me. On a minor infraction,” he said.

The dismissal letter obtained by Action News Jax says Billingsley was fired for running in the gauge of the rail, operating a switch with one hand, and “not maintaining visual contact with the equipment while making a shove move.”

But Billingsley tells us everyone within CSX knew he was fired because he spoke out against the changes associated with Precision Railroading, and what he calls the “culture of fear” within the company.

“It was all from that interview I placed,” he said. “And I did the interview because I think the public needs to know what kind of environment CSX has become.”

When Action News Jax reached out to CSX for this story, a company spokesperson told us:

"CSX does not comment on individual personnel matters. Safety remains CSX’s highest priority in every aspect of our operations."

She then added:

"CSX denies any allegation that it would retaliate against an employee who raises safety concerns."

Billingsley has retained an attorney, who is filing a complaint with OSHA.

The attorney, John Magnuson, told Action News Jax that if Billingsley doesn’t get his job back, they’ll likely file a whistleblower protection lawsuit in federal court.

“I’m an example of what happens when you open your mouth and voice a concern,” Billingsley said.

Fla. rail worker fights firing after speaking out

on safety
http://www.themilitant.com/2018/8202/820254.html

Vol. 82/No. 2 January 15, 2018

BY ANTHONY DUTROW
Louis Billingsley, a freight rail conductor with 12 years experience, is fighting his firing after speaking out against unsafe practices and conditions at the CSX railroad in a televised interview on CBS Action News Jax in Jacksonville, Florida. Jacksonville is CSX’s corporate headquarters.
CSX, one of the two large Class 1 railroads covering the eastern half of the country, along with Norfolk Southern, has been on a drive to combine trains, eliminate workers’ jobs and make more profit for the bosses and bondholders.

Action News Jax reported last June that freight trains often keep traffic backed up in the area for hours, preventing people from getting to work or to medical or other appointments.

One woman interviewed had to miss her treatment for Stage 3 cancer, as all roads out of her neighborhood were blocked by a train.

These longer trains are part of a drive for profits in the rail industry, especially in the seven Class 1 roads in North America — which each rake in at least $453 million annually. Together they control 69 percent of the industry’s trackage, 90 percent of its workers and 94 percent of all freight revenue.

When Billingsley was on a train crew that kept a series of crossings closed, he told Action News in July that seeing people disrupted this way “was heartbreaking.” Billingsley told the reporter that at one point he separated one of the trains in the Dinsmore neighborhood that had blocked traffic for two hours.

“These trains are getting longer and doubling up,” Billingsley told Action News, adding that CSX “stocks are going up, that’s all they care about.”

“I have to walk back here and fix the train, and my radio can’t even reach the engineer it’s so long,” he said.

The day after the interview was aired, CSX sent Billingsley a voicemail saying he was fired. Then 40 minutes later the company sent another voicemail saying he was rehired.

For the next two months, CSX managers followed Billingsley, looking to pressure him into any infraction of their rulebook. They found a pretext to fire him. Billingsley’s “crimes?” They said he stepped on a rail and threw a switch with one hand, neither of which was any conceivable threat to the communities residing near the tracks.

Billingsley has refused to be intimidated. He retained a lawyer, John Magnuson, and filed a claim with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. They are considering a “whistle-blower” suit through the federal courts.

In August 2017, just eight months after CSX inaugurated its “Precision Scheduled Railroading” — a term coined by its new CEO Hunter Harrison — a two-mile-long train, hauling dangerous chemicals, derailed in Hyndman, Pennsylvania.

Tank cars filled with liquid propane and molten sulfur ruptured and burst into flames, forcing the evacuation of over 1,000 people from the town and surrounding areas for days.

Harrison’s version of “precision” railroading is admired and imitated by profit-hungry rail bosses across North America.

Harrison died suddenly in December. The bosses at CSX and its shareholders had brought him over from Canadian Pacific Railway earlier in 2017 because of his record of “turning around” the profit rates at Illinois Central Railway and Canadian National Railway.

He led the bosses there in attacks on jobs, safety conditions, elimination of less profitable yards and train combinations that led to stockholders pocketing higher returns on their shares — 516 percent at Illinois Central, 1989-97; 353 percent at Canadian National, 1998-2009; and 319 percent at Canadian Pacific.

In addition to dangerously increasing train lengths and eliminating safer practices and rules, Harrison and CSX bosses closed major yards, including in Atlanta and Cumberland, Maryland, and they’ve laid off close to 10 percent of the railroad’s 28,000 workers. Nine cars derailed on another CSX train in Hyndman Dec. 29. Management at CSX — and their competitors across the continent — have made clear they will continue their productivity and profit drive, as they have done throughout the industry for decades.

Tags: CSXhealth and safetywhistleblowerretaliation
Categories: Labor News

WorkWeek Radio 1-9-18 On Rail Safety Wrecks 1 Person Crews and KPFA Pacifica Crisis And Future

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:13

WorkWeek Radio 1-9-18 On Rail Safety Wrecks 1 Person Crews and KPFA Pacifica Crisis And Future
WW1-9-18 Rail Safety Wrecks 1 Person Crews and KPFA Pacifica Crisis And Future
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww1-9-18-rail-safety-wrecks-1-pers...
WorkWeek Radio hears from speakers at a rally at the San Francisco Canadian consulate who are demanding the dropping of charges against two Canadian railway workers Tom Harding and Richard Labrie in Quebec for the death of 47 people in the town of Lac-Mégantic. The 67 car train was filled with fuel that exploded and created massive destruction and havoc. The train only had one person as a result of the corporate downsizing and deregulation by the Canadian government.
WorkWeek then interviews John Risch who is the SMART National Legislative Director of the SMART Transportation Division and works on health and safety issues in the rail industry. He discusses the systemic problems that are leading to railroad wrecks.
Next we look at the crisis at Pacifica Foundation and KPFA with Tom Vorhees who is a building of micro and full power radio stations and is on the KPFA local station board. He was also involved in establishing the independent media center in Seattle, Washington to expose the WTO and break the information blockade.
For more information
https://youtu.be/bFawXtH2C-k
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww12-26-17-campaign-for-railroad-w...
http://railroadworkersunited.org/lac-megantic/
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/505b96a8c4aa40a37a143c49/t/5814d3...
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/montreal/mma-lac-megantic-trial-jonat...
http://www.themilitant.com/2015/7905/790553.html
http://www.cbc.ca/…/lac-megantic-criminal-trial-begins-sher…
http://www.newswire.ca/…/steelworkers-local-gives-70000-to-…
https://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=39797
http://hardingdefense.org
http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/steelworkers-local-gives-70000-to-r...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/lac-megantic-criminal-trial-begin...
http://jordanbarab.com/confinedspace/2017/10/24/lac-megantic-trial/
For further information on the case:
Harding Defense Committee
http://hardingdefense.org
Railroad Workers United
www.railroadworkersunited.org
Production of WorkWeek Radio
workweek@kpfa.org
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio

Categories: Labor News

WorkWeek Radio 1-9-18 On Rail Safety Wrecks 1 Person Crews and KPFA Pacifica Crisis And Future

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 16:13

WorkWeek Radio 1-9-18 On Rail Safety Wrecks 1 Person Crews and KPFA Pacifica Crisis And Future
WW1-9-18 Rail Safety Wrecks 1 Person Crews and KPFA Pacifica Crisis And Future
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww1-9-18-rail-safety-wrecks-1-pers...
WorkWeek Radio hears from speakers at a rally at the San Francisco Canadian consulate who are demanding the dropping of charges against two Canadian railway workers Tom Harding and Richard Labrie in Quebec for the death of 47 people in the town of Lac-Mégantic. The 67 car train was filled with fuel that exploded and created massive destruction and havoc. The train only had one person as a result of the corporate downsizing and deregulation by the Canadian government.
WorkWeek then interviews John Risch who is the SMART National Legislative Director of the SMART Transportation Division and works on health and safety issues in the rail industry. He discusses the systemic problems that are leading to railroad wrecks.
Next we look at the crisis at Pacifica Foundation and KPFA with Tom Vorhees who is a building of micro and full power radio stations and is on the KPFA local station board. He was also involved in establishing the independent media center in Seattle, Washington to expose the WTO and break the information blockade.
For more information
https://youtu.be/bFawXtH2C-k
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww12-26-17-campaign-for-railroad-w...
http://railroadworkersunited.org/lac-megantic/
https://static1.squarespace.com/static/505b96a8c4aa40a37a143c49/t/5814d3...
http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/montreal/mma-lac-megantic-trial-jonat...
http://www.themilitant.com/2015/7905/790553.html
http://www.cbc.ca/…/lac-megantic-criminal-trial-begins-sher…
http://www.newswire.ca/…/steelworkers-local-gives-70000-to-…
https://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/headline.asp?id=39797
http://hardingdefense.org
http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/steelworkers-local-gives-70000-to-r...
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/lac-megantic-criminal-trial-begin...
http://jordanbarab.com/confinedspace/2017/10/24/lac-megantic-trial/
For further information on the case:
Harding Defense Committee
http://hardingdefense.org
Railroad Workers United
www.railroadworkersunited.org
Production of WorkWeek Radio
workweek@kpfa.org
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio

Categories: Labor News

ILWU Longshore Worker Dies at SSA Marine Terminal in San Diego

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 14:59

LWU Longshore Worker Dies at SSA Marine Terminal in San Diego

https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/239953/longshore-worker-dies-at-m...

A longshore worker died on January 3 in a forklift accident while working at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal in San Diego, California.

The worker was an employee of Stevedoring Services-America in San Diego, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“On January 3, 2018 Cal/OSHA was notified of a fatality incident at 1790 Water Street involving a worker of Stevedoring Services-America in San Diego. It has been reported that a worker was fatally injured while operating a forklift,” OSHA said in a statement to World Maritime News.

According to a spokesperson from the Port of San Diego, all the details related to the incident are yet to be determined.

“At this time, we do not know the identity of the person who died. Cal OSHA has been contacted, and the incident is under investigation,” the port spokesperson said.

OSHA added that it has six months to issue citations for violations of workplace safety and health regulations.

World Maritime News Staff

Tags: ilwuDeath on the jobslongshore death
Categories: Labor News

ILWU Longshore Worker Dies at SSA Marine Terminal in San Diego

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 14:59

LWU Longshore Worker Dies at SSA Marine Terminal in San Diego

https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/239953/longshore-worker-dies-at-m...

A longshore worker died on January 3 in a forklift accident while working at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal in San Diego, California.

The worker was an employee of Stevedoring Services-America in San Diego, according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“On January 3, 2018 Cal/OSHA was notified of a fatality incident at 1790 Water Street involving a worker of Stevedoring Services-America in San Diego. It has been reported that a worker was fatally injured while operating a forklift,” OSHA said in a statement to World Maritime News.

According to a spokesperson from the Port of San Diego, all the details related to the incident are yet to be determined.

“At this time, we do not know the identity of the person who died. Cal OSHA has been contacted, and the incident is under investigation,” the port spokesperson said.

OSHA added that it has six months to issue citations for violations of workplace safety and health regulations.

World Maritime News Staff

Tags: ilwuDeath on the jobslongshore death
Categories: Labor News

Families Of Korean MV Stellar Daisy Appeal To Get Black Box, Full Disclosure & Safety

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 14:54

Families Of Korean MV Stellar Daisy Appeal To Get Black Box, Full Disclosure & Safety
by Korean Families of the Missing Crewmen of MV
Monday Jan 8th, 2018 2:52 PM
The families of the missing Korean ship MV Stellar Daisy call for finding the black box, full disclosure and proper health and safety protection for all seafarers
sm_stellar_daisy_missing_seafarers.jpg
original image (664x960)
Appeal From The Families Of The Korean MV Stellar Daisy For Finding the Black Box, Full Disclosure And Proper Health And Safety Protection For Seafarers
[the families of MV stellar daisy] 스텔라데이지호

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZU3OoboXnw&feature=youtu.be

Published on Jan 8, 2018
We look forward to your solidarity.

[Korean Families of the Missing Crewmen of MV Stellar Daisy]

https://stellardaisy.weebly.com/

Progressive Korea
https://www.facebook.com/Progressive-Korea-1509062576069743/

Campaign concerning the disaster of the MV Stellar Daisy, a South Korean ore carrier.-Support Needed

The South Korean ore carrier, MV Stellar Daisy, sank in the South Atlantic Ocean, between Brazil and Uruguay, on March 31 2017.

Two Philippine sailors were rescued, however, 22 crew members (8 Korean and 14 Philippine sailors) are still missing. We suspect they are on a life raft designed for 16 people, and there is still a chance they may be alive, due to their professional emergency training, fishing kits, and survival gear.

After the sinking of the ship, the Uruguay MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre)conducted basic search and rescue missions, but only a limited area was covered. The U.S. Navy also joined the air search, but, on four occasions. We are hopeful survivors will be found, yet we must profess profound disappointment at the assistance offered to date by all parties involved.

In addition, we are also concerned about the safety of other sailors employed by the Korean Polaris Shipping company. The maximum life of a carrier is typically 20 years, yet 17 ships in this fleet are up to 25 years old, which makes them dangerously outdated.

Working conditions on these "Floating Coffins" are horrible. The crew barely have time to eat and sleep, and the internet service on board was cut off by the company, which leaves crew members isolated from the outside world. The sinking of the MV Stellar Daisy has the first accident on the 52 converted carriers currently on the world's oceans. Unfortunately, given the conditions and their age, we fear it will not be the last.

Please help us with this difficult situation.

We call on:
The South Korean government, to uphold its duty to protect the lives of its citizens by resuming the search & rescue mission for the missing crew members as soon as possible, and to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the disaster and punish those responsible.
The U.S. government, to respect the rights of the affected families, by investigating the facts about their loved ones and disclose to the families all information, including photos and videos so far attained, especially concerning the possibility of the unaccounted life raft; first sighted by the U.S. Navy.
International organizations, to work closely to impose stricter safety regulations, to prevent future accidents occurring on these outdated carriers.
International labor unions, to collaborate in a united effort to improve overall working conditions of maritime crew.

Sincerely,
The Korean Families of the missing crewmen of the MV Stellar Daisy

*For further inquiries on this campaign, please contact us at stellardaisy2017(at)gmail.com

--
https://stellardaisy.weebly.com/

Progressive Korea
https://www.facebook.com/Progressive-Korea-1509062576069743/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZU3OoboXn...

Tags: MV Stellar Daisy Sinkinghealth and safetymissing crew of ship
Categories: Labor News

Other Countries Have High-Speed Trains. We Have Deadly Accidents and Crumbling Infrastructure

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 08:49

Other Countries Have High-Speed Trains. We Have Deadly Accidents and Crumbling Infrastructure

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/43143-other-countries-have-high-speed...

Mike Ludwig
Emegency crews work at the scene of a Amtrak train derailment on December 18, 2017 in DuPont, Washington. At least six people were killed when a passenger train car plunged from the bridge. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)Emegency crews work at the scene of a Amtrak train derailment on December 18, 2017, in DuPont, Washington. (Photo: Stephen Brashear / Getty Images)

Japan's high-speed bullet train system carries 1 million riders every day and has a remarkable safety record, at least compared to passenger trains in the United States. Passengers have taken billions of rides on Japanese bullet trains since the system was established 50 years ago, but not one passenger has died due to a derailment or collision.

In the US commuters and travelers use trains less than the Japanese, but US passenger train lines have suffered five major wrecks that killed or injured passengers over the past decade, including the recent derailment of an Amtrak passenger train that killed three people and injured more than 50 others in DuPont, Washington on December 18. Among the dead were two active members of the Rail Passengers Association, a group that pushes for greater access to passenger rail services.

A "constellation of factors" contributed to this spate of deadly train accidents, including train companies' habit of cutting corners to save money and a national failure to fund railroad and transportation infrastructure, according to Railroad Workers United, a national union representing railroad workers.

President Trump has used the DuPont crash to tout an infrastructure proposal due out later this month. However, critics say Trump's plan would leave struggling state and local government on the hook for repairing crumbling roads, bridges and railroads as Congress looks for ways to pay for the GOP tax cut package that Trump signed into law last month.

US Railroads -- Underfunded and Unsafe

Railroads around the world have made significant advances in safety, efficiency and infrastructure over the past century, and passengers in Japan, Europe and beyond enjoy affordable, high-speed transportation between many major cities. This is not the case in the US, where high-speed rail service is limited in most parts of the country. Most US railroads still operate on gradients laid in the 19th century that are "full of curvature, steep grades and other impediments to safe and efficient operation," according to Railroad Workers United.

"When upgrades are made, they are often inadequately funded, leading to unsafe conditions for employees, passengers and those living trackside," the union said in a collective statement released on Wednesday. "Unless and until this nation can make a commitment to advancing modern passenger train transportation through adequate and necessary funding, we will continue to lag behind the rest of the world, and continue to suffer tragedies like the one in Dupont, WA."

The deadly derailment of Amtrak Train 501 in DuPont occurred at a sharp curve in the track that state officials have hoped to restructure as part of an effort to expand high-speed rail to the Seattle region, according to The Seattle Times. However, adequate funding for rail infrastructure projects has not surfaced in Washington State, and the Times recently called the curve "a symbol of unsteady political support in the United States for rapid-rail infrastructure."

"The tragedy in Washington State highlights what everyone already knows, that so much of America's infrastructure is teetering on the edge of disaster," said Donald Cohen, director of the public services policy group In the Public Interest, in an email to Truthout.

The government's investigation of the accident is ongoing, but an initial review by the National Transportation and Safety Board found that the conductor of the Amtrak train hit the curve at a much higher speed than he was supposed to. The accident occurred during the first day of higher-speed service on the line, and Amtrak workers and their unions have expressed concern that operators were not properly trained during nighttime trial runs prior to the change.

John Risch, the legislative director for the SMART Transportation Division, a union of engineers and train technicians, said US railroad companies "do not require training like they should" due to cost-cutting measures.

"Time and time again we have urged the railroads to allow more training trips before they go out, and they will say one or two trips is enough," Risch said in a statement. "It's a cost issue.... That's something that has been a problem."

Railroad Workers United points out that all five major train wrecks in the past decade occurred with only one trained engineer controlling the main cab of the locomotive. (There were two engineers in the cab during the DuPont crash, but only one was trained on the route, and was in the process of training the other for future runs.) The union has long advocated that two qualified engineers be present on every train, as is the case for commercial airliners, which are required to have two pilots in the cockpit.

However, train companies have pushed back on these demands, citing the costs of hiring extra workers. They have also dragged their feet on installing automated braking technology mandated by Congress after a major crash in 2008. Congress extended the deadline for installing the technology from 2015 to the end of 2018 after train operators threatened to shut down the rail system in 2015.

Railroad Workers United said the automated braking technology, known as Positive Train Control, has been around for a century and could have prevented several deadly wrecks, including the crash in DuPont. In the past, Positive Train Control protected thousands of miles of mainline train tracks, but the union said railroad companies have largely dismantled this infrastructure to save money "while government regulators turned a blind eye."

"As rank and file railroad workers, we experience day-in-and-day-out the carriers' cynical view of safety, the push for profit, the demand for increased stock prices, the budget cutting, the recklessness and the total disregard for workers' lives," the union said. "This is why Train 501 wrecked."

All Eyes on Trump's Infrastructure Proposal

This most recent railroad accident has renewed calls for federal investment in transportation and other infrastructure, including from President Trump, who released this tweet shortly after the DuPont crash:

The train accident that just occurred in DuPont, WA shows more than ever why our soon to be submitted infrastructure plan must be approved quickly. Seven trillion dollars spent in the Middle East while our roads, bridges, tunnels, railways (and more) crumble! Not for long!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 10:41 AM - Dec 18, 2017
Of course, the Trump administration has done nothing to scale back US involvement in expensive and bloody military entanglements in the Middle East, and Trump recently authorized a massive $700 billion defense budget. In contrast, the White House's 2018 budget proposed cutting programs that fund transportation services and infrastructure by $1.7 billion, including $630 million in cuts to Amtrak alone.

Trump campaigned on promises to rebuild crumbling roads, bridges, railroads and other infrastructure in the US, but his administration's first attempt at rolling out an infrastructure proposal last year failed to generate any excitement in the media or Congress.

The Trump administration's $1 trillion infrastructure blueprint released last spring only includes $200 billion in actual government spending, with the rest coming from unnamed private investors incentivized by a "mixture of loans and grants" and Trump's deregulatory agenda. Other ideas proposed in the plan include allowing more tolls on interstate highways and opening roadside rest areas to private investment.

The White House has promised to release a more detailed infrastructure proposal by the end of January. However, it's still a $1 trillion plan -- about half of what the American Society of Civil Engineers says is needed to fix the nation's infrastructure -- and preliminary reports indicate it would still only allocate $200 billion in federal spending. The remaining $800 billion would be shifted to state and local governments, forcing them to make difficult deals with private companies.

"The hard truth is that we need nothing short of a Marshall Plan level of direct federal investment in our roads, bridges, broadband, and transit and water systems," Cohen said. "What we know of Trump's infrastructure plans is that he wants to do just the opposite and put more burden on city and state governments, essentially forcing them to sell off or lease our infrastructure to Wall Street and global corporations."

Cohen and other critics say Trump should have put "America first" and rolled out a robust infrastructure funding package before signing the GOP tax bill, which gives tax breaks to the rich and adds $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years. Republicans in Congress are already eyeing cuts to domestic safety net and health care programs to pay for the tax package, which largely benefits corporations and the wealthy.

Meanwhile, the deficit created by the tax package coupled with Congress's self-imposed spending limits could force deep cuts to the trust funds that support railroad workers who are laid off or miss work due to illness, according to the SMART Transportation Division. As the rash of recent rail accidents suggests, this is a workforce that is already stretched too thin.

Tags: high speed trainsinfrastructure
Categories: Labor News

Corrupt ANC Leads To Death On SA Rails

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 22:15

Train Crash Near Kroonstad, South Africa, Kills at Least 18
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/04/world/africa/south-africa-train-crash...

By KIMON de GREEF
JAN. 4, 2018

Continue reading the main storyShare This Page

CAPE TOWN — A passenger train burst into flames on Thursday after striking two vehicles at a crossing in a remote part of central South Africa, killing at least 18 people and injuring more than 260, the authorities said.
Mondli Mvambi, a spokesman for the provincial health department, said that a truck driver had miscalculated the train’s speed and tried to dash across the tracks at the crossing, just outside the town of Kroonstad, and that a passenger vehicle had also been involved.

“The death toll may rise,” Mr. Mvambi said. “Three burned carriages are yet to be lifted to check if anyone is trapped inside. It can take 36 hours. Rescuers are working as fast as they can.”

The national transport minister, Joe Maswanganyi, told news outlets that the truck driver had been taken to the hospital. “We are going to do a blood test to verify if he was sober or not,” Mr. Maswanganyi said.

Mr. Mvambi said the truck driver, though injured, had tried to run away after the accident but had been apprehended by the police and escorted to the hospital.

An injured passenger receiving attention at the scene of the crash near Kroonstad, South Africa.CreditAssociated Press
The train, operated by the state-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, or Prasa, was carrying passengers home to Gauteng, the northern province that contains the city of Johannesburg, from the east coast after the summer holidays, a time when migrant workers traditionally return to their family homesteads in rural parts of the country.

Wealthier travelers can book private sleeper cubicles, but most passengers ride in seated rows near the front of the train. That section violently derailed after this morning’s collision.

Tiaan Esterhuizen, 32, a telecommunications engineer with Afriforum, a group that advocates for the country’s white Afrikaner minority, was traveling with his extended family — 13 people in total, ranging from 5 months to 83 years old — when the crash occurred. He said he was making the journey by train for the first time, after a colleague was killed in a car accident during the holiday season last year. “We thought it would be the safer route,” he said.

Shortly after 9 a.m., while finishing breakfast in the dining car, Mr. Esterhuizen said, he “heard a big bang, followed by second big bang, then heard and felt the train derailing.” He said he sent out a plea for help on Twitter and joined a frantic rescue effort involving local farmers and, later, the authorities.

After evacuating his family, Mr. Esterhuizen said, he ran toward the front of the train, where he counted at least 12 derailed carriages. Several were already burning fiercely, spewing clouds of black smoke. Three women, trapped inside one of the cars, were crying for help, and Mr. Esterhuizen clambered over wreckage to reach them.

Rescue workers inspecting wrecked parts of the train on Thursday. CreditEr24Ems, via European Pressphoto Agency
Someone shattered the windows with a fire extinguisher, but the women, crushed by their seats, could not be freed, he said. One repeatedly screamed that her baby was stuck somewhere beneath her. Another woman lay quietly as the flames drew nearer.

Ten minutes later, the entire carriage was alight, chasing the rescuers back. “Those women must have died,” Mr. Esterhuizen said. “We didn’t find the baby, either. It’s been very traumatic.”

Another passenger, Seipati Moletsane, told ENCA, a television station: “There was a truck coming from the left. He didn’t stop at the cross line. The train was coming. It collided with the truck. In the first and second coach there were people injured.”

The Railway Safety Regulator of South Africa, a government agency, says that 495 people died in train accidents in South Africa last year, with 2,079 injured — almost six daily.

Last year, 87 accidents occurred at level crossings. Since 2010, South African railways have experienced, on average, a “railway incident” — including collisions, derailments, fires and electric shocks — every 16 minutes.

By The New York Times
Mthuthuzeli Swartz, the acting chief executive of Prasa, told local news outlets that 18 people died in the collision on Thursday, a figure that could not be confirmed by the provincial health authorities.

The crash appeared to be the deadliest since 2012, when the driver of a truck carrying farmworkers collided with a train at a crossing in Mpumalanga, a province in northeastern South Africa, killing 26 workers.

“The vexing question is why this frequency of railway occurrences remains so consistently high despite all the grand efforts of the R.S.R. and the licensed operators to reduce them,” according to the agency’s most recent State of Safety report, published last year.

A spokeswoman for the agency, Madelein Williams, said it had dispatched inspectors to Kroonstad and would release a report on the latest crash within 24 hours.

Russel Meiring, a spokesman for ER24 Emergency Medical Services, a private rescue provider, said that South Africa had seen some train collisions caused by incorrect markings at crossings, but that the problem was more often people taking a chance and thinking they could beat the train.

“These things move faster than they appear,” he said. “Some take more than a kilometer to slow down. Vehicles will always come off second best.”

Prasa has been embroiled in a series of corruption cases in the past decade, including a decision in 2013 to award a dubious contract, worth more than $300 million, for a new fleet of trains that exceeded the maximum height limit of South Africa’s railways. A high court judgment last year ruled the decision “criminal.”

Tags: train wreckSouth AfricaANC
Categories: Labor News

Hunter Harrison's Canadian Pacific Railway: "What a way to Run a railroad”

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 18:36

Hunter Harrison's Canadian Pacific Railway: "What a way to Run a railroad”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmPm6Fpd0ic

Tags: Rail safetyHunter Harrison's Canadian Pacific
Categories: Labor News

Canadian Rail Workers Harding & Labrie Are Not Guilty! Drop The Charges NOW!

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 18:42

Canadian Rail Workers Harding & Labrie Are Not Guilty! Drop The Charges NOW!
https://youtu.be/bFawXtH2C-k
A solidarity rally was held at the San Francisco Canadian Consulate to demand that charges be dropped against MMA USW union railroad workers Tom Harding and Richard Labrie for the deaths of 47 people in the Lac-Mégantic train wreck. The 47 car train was only manned by one worker and the evidence at the trial has shown that there were not proper safety measures in place. The company and the Canadian government according to speakers is now scapegoating the workers. The Canadian government liked the US government has pushed deregulation and 1 person crews being pushed by the rail owners and the speakers charged this was the real reason for this and other disasters.
There were also support actions on January 4, 2018 in Chicago, Seattle, DC and in Sao Paulo, Brazil at Canadian consulates and embassies.
The speakers also discussed the growing rail wrecks and dangerous transportation system in the United States and this was connected to similar efforts to downsize the staffing of the trains and deregulation. Speakers included trade unionists from SMART Local 1741 SF Bus Drivers, SEIU 1021 Social And Economic Justice Committee and members of Railroad Workers United RWU and Workers Solidarity Action Network WSAN. Environmental activists also attended and spoke.
Additional media:
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww12-26-17-campaign-for-railroad-w...
For further information on the case:
Harding Defense Committee
http://hardingdefense.org
Railroad Workers United
www.railroadworkersunited.org
Workers Solidarity Action Network
www.workerssolidarityactionnetwork.org
Production of Labor Video Project
www.laborvideo.org

Tags: Canadian railway workersHarding & Labrie Are Not Guilty!
Categories: Labor News

Canadian Rail Workers Harding & Labrie Are Not Guilty! Drop The Charges NOW!

Thu, 01/04/2018 - 18:42

Canadian Rail Workers Harding & Labrie Are Not Guilty! Drop The Charges NOW!
https://youtu.be/bFawXtH2C-k
A solidarity rally was held at the San Francisco Canadian Consulate to demand that charges be dropped against MMA USW union railroad workers Tom Harding and Richard Labrie for the deaths of 47 people in the Lac-Mégantic train wreck. The 47 car train was only manned by one worker and the evidence at the trial has shown that there were not proper safety measures in place. The company and the Canadian government according to speakers is now scapegoating the workers. The Canadian government liked the US government has pushed deregulation and 1 person crews being pushed by the rail owners and the speakers charged this was the real reason for this and other disasters.
There were also support actions on January 4, 2018 in Chicago, Seattle, DC and in Sao Paulo, Brazil at Canadian consulates and embassies.
The speakers also discussed the growing rail wrecks and dangerous transportation system in the United States and this was connected to similar efforts to downsize the staffing of the trains and deregulation. Speakers included trade unionists from SMART Local 1741 SF Bus Drivers, SEIU 1021 Social And Economic Justice Committee and members of Railroad Workers United RWU and Workers Solidarity Action Network WSAN. Environmental activists also attended and spoke.
Additional media:
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww12-26-17-campaign-for-railroad-w...
For further information on the case:
Harding Defense Committee
http://hardingdefense.org
Railroad Workers United
www.railroadworkersunited.org
Workers Solidarity Action Network
www.workerssolidarityactionnetwork.org
Production of Labor Video Project
www.laborvideo.org

Tags: Canadian railway workersHarding & Labrie Are Not Guilty!
Categories: Labor News

The Biggest PORT in the World 2016 - Shanghai port Yangshan Deep Water Port

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 20:13

The Biggest PORT in the World 2016 - Shanghai port Yangshan Deep Water Port
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1weiVgMzq0
The Biggest PORT in the World 2016 - Shanghai port Yangshan Deep Water Port
Yangshan Port (Chinese: 洋山港, p Yángshān Gǎng), formally the Yangshan Deep-Water Port (洋山深水港, p Yángshān Shēnshuǐ Gǎng), is a deep water port for container ships in Hangzhou Bay south of Shanghai. Connected to Shanghai's Pudong New Area by the Donghai Bridge and forming part of the Port of Shanghai, the islands of Greater and Lesser Yangshan are administered separately as part of Zhejiang's Shengsi County.
Built to allow the Port of Shanghai to grow despite shallow waters near the shore, it allows berths with depths of up to 15 metres (49 ft) to be built, and can handle today's largest container ships. The port is built on the islands of Greater and Lesser Yangshan, part of the Zhoushan archipelago, with fill from land reclamation.
It is connected to the mainland via the 32.5 km (20.2 mi) Donghai Bridge, opened on 1 December 2005 as the world's longest sea bridge. The six-lane highway bridge took 6,000 workers two and half years to construct.In mid-2011, port officials said the port was on track to move 12.3 million TEUs during the year, up from 10.1 million TEUs in 2010
The great world, The great world playlist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cliiZ...

Tags: Shanghai port Yangshan Deep Water Automated Port
Categories: Labor News

World’s Biggest Automated Box Terminal Starts Trial Operation In Port of Shanghai

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 19:41

World’s Biggest Automated Box Terminal Starts Trial Operation In Port of Shanghai
zoom
Image Courtesy: Youtube Screenshot

https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/237528/worlds-biggest-automated-b...

China’s Port of Shanghai has launched trial operations at its brand new automated container terminal, described as the world’s largest unmanned box terminal, Xinhua news agency reports.

The terminal at Shanghai Yangshan Deep Water Port, a deep water container port located in Hangzhou Bay south of Shanghai, kick started test operations on December 10.

The terminal is the fourth stage of the Yangshan port development project and occupies an area of 2,23 million square meters and a coastline area of 2,350 meters.

As informed, the core technology of the fully-automated terminal was developed in China.

The port is able to handle the biggest containerships of today and once fully operational will be able to handle 4 million TEU on annual basis.

The final objective for the port is to reach a total operational capacity of 6 million TEU per annum.

According to Chen Wuyuan, President of Shanghai International Port Group, cited by Xinhua, the automated terminal will increase the port’s handling efficiency and cut carbon emissions.

The investment in the terminal automation equipment is said to be worth approximately USD 2.1 billion.

The Yangshan Deepwater Port project is expected to be finalized by 2020.

World Maritime News Staff

Tags: Automated Port In Shanghai
Categories: Labor News

CSP-Conlutas expresses support for Canadian railways accused of accident negligence-Will Send Delegation To Canadian Consulate In São Paulo

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 16:06

CSP-Conlutas expresses support for Canadian railways accused of accident negligence-Will Send Delegation To Canadian Consulate In São Paulo
http://cspconlutas.org.br/2018/01/csp-conlutas-expressa-apoio-a-ferrovia...
1/3/2018

Tom Harding, left, on trial in 2017 - Photo TheStar.com

An International Day of Struggle takes place this Thursday (4) in defense of Canadian railways, who are accused of being responsible for an accident that occurred in July 2013.

Tom Harding, engineer and driver of the train, Jean Demaitre, operations manager and traffic controller Richard Labrie, have been charged with negligence in this accident and are facing trial starting on Wednesday and continuing until Friday, in the Superior Court of Quebec in Sherbrooke.

Mobilization - The local trade union report warns of the risks that the precariousness of services brings to users and workers in the sector, and say that the responsibility for the explosion lies with the company, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA), and the government, which made the regulation of the sector more flexible.

Understand - In 2013, a runaway train carrying crude from the United States derailed in the Canadian city of Lac-Mégantic, blowing up and killing 47 people, and destroying part of downtown.

The train contained 72 cars with more than 2 million gallons of crude oil, and according to company standard only featured a driver and engineer responsible, Harding.

Support - Here in Brazil, CSP-Conlutas will be tomorrow (4), at 3 pm, in front of the consulate of Canada, in São Paulo, to deliver a motion of support to the workers.

Apoio Apoio internacional
CSP-Conlutas expressa apoio a ferroviários do Canadá acusados de negligência em acidente
http://cspconlutas.org.br/2018/01/csp-conlutas-expressa-apoio-a-ferrovia...
03/01/2018

Tom Harding, à esquerda, em julgamento ocorrido em 2017 – Foto TheStar.com

Um dia Internacional de Luta acontece nesta quinta-feira (4) em defesa dos ferroviários do Canadá, que são acusados como responsáveis por um acidente ocorrido em julho de 2013.

Tom Harding, engenheiro e condutor do trem, Jean Demaitre, gerente de operações e Richard Labrie, controlador de tráfico, foram acusados de negligência por este acidente e enfrentam julgamento que tem início nesta quarta-feira (3) e segue até sexta-feira, no Tribunal Superior de Quebec, em Sherbrooke.

Mobilização – A denúncia dos sindicatos locais alerta para os riscos que a precarização dos serviços trazem aos usuários e trabalhadores do setor, e afirmam que a responsabilidade da explosão é da empresa, a Montreal, Maine and Atlantic (MMA), e do governo, que flexibilizou a regulamentação do setor.

Entenda – Em 2013, um trem desgovernado que transportava petróleo bruto vindo dos Estados Unidos descarrilou na cidade canadense de Lac-Mégantic, explodindo e matando 47 pessoas, além de destruir parte do centro da cidade.

O trem continha 72 carros com mais de 2 milhões de galões de petróleo cru, e de acordo com a norma da empresa só apresentava um condutor e engenheiro responsável, Harding.

Apoio – Aqui no Brasil, a CSP-Conlutas estará amanhã (4), às 15h, em frente ao consulado do Canadá, em São Paulo, para entregar moção de apoio aos trabalhadores.

*com informações da Fenametro

Tags: ConlutasBrazilian support for railway workers
Categories: Labor News

CWA: American Airlines Bonus No Substitute for Fair Wages

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 16:04

CWA: American Airlines Bonus No Substitute for Fair Wages
https://www.cwa-union.org/news/releases/american-airlines-bonus-no-subst...

For Immediate Release: January 3, 2018
Contact: Beth Allen or Candice Johnson, CWA Communications, 202-434-1168, ballen@cwa-union.org and cjohnson@cwa-union.org

American Airlines Bonus No Substitute for Fair Wages

In late November, CWA President Chris Shelton contacted the CEOs of some of the largest corporations where CWA members work, including American Airlines, to ask them to guarantee the $4,000 wage increase and new jobs promised by the Republican corporate tax cut.

While we are pleased that our request has prompted American to pay employees a one-time $1,000 bonus, it falls short of the permanent wage increase that working families were promised.

American continues to insist on paying poverty-level wages to passenger service agents at its Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries. Passenger service agents play a critical role in ensuring the safety of thousands of passengers each day, yet many agents at these airlines earn less than $11 an hour and qualify for food stamps and other public assistance.

These agents, represented by CWA, are currently in contract negotiations. Despite American's continued profitability and the massive windfall from the tax bill, Envoy and Piedmont are refusing to offer fair wages as part of these negotiations.

"Passenger service agents at Envoy and Piedmont serve passengers in communities across this country, from big airports like Dallas-Fort Worth to smaller locations like Knoxville, TN," said Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 3 Vice President and Chair of CWA's Passenger Service Airline Council. "It's time for American to invest in these communities by increasing wages so that working people at Envoy and Piedmont can have family-supporting and community-building careers, instead of living paycheck to paycheck."

# # # # #

CWA represents more than 25,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines, including its Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries. Overall, CWA represents 700,000 working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, public service and manufacturing.

Tags: American Airlinespoverty wages
Categories: Labor News

CWA: American Airlines Bonus No Substitute for Fair Wages

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 16:04

CWA: American Airlines Bonus No Substitute for Fair Wages
https://www.cwa-union.org/news/releases/american-airlines-bonus-no-subst...

For Immediate Release: January 3, 2018
Contact: Beth Allen or Candice Johnson, CWA Communications, 202-434-1168, ballen@cwa-union.org and cjohnson@cwa-union.org

American Airlines Bonus No Substitute for Fair Wages

In late November, CWA President Chris Shelton contacted the CEOs of some of the largest corporations where CWA members work, including American Airlines, to ask them to guarantee the $4,000 wage increase and new jobs promised by the Republican corporate tax cut.

While we are pleased that our request has prompted American to pay employees a one-time $1,000 bonus, it falls short of the permanent wage increase that working families were promised.

American continues to insist on paying poverty-level wages to passenger service agents at its Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries. Passenger service agents play a critical role in ensuring the safety of thousands of passengers each day, yet many agents at these airlines earn less than $11 an hour and qualify for food stamps and other public assistance.

These agents, represented by CWA, are currently in contract negotiations. Despite American's continued profitability and the massive windfall from the tax bill, Envoy and Piedmont are refusing to offer fair wages as part of these negotiations.

"Passenger service agents at Envoy and Piedmont serve passengers in communities across this country, from big airports like Dallas-Fort Worth to smaller locations like Knoxville, TN," said Richard Honeycutt, CWA District 3 Vice President and Chair of CWA's Passenger Service Airline Council. "It's time for American to invest in these communities by increasing wages so that working people at Envoy and Piedmont can have family-supporting and community-building careers, instead of living paycheck to paycheck."

# # # # #

CWA represents more than 25,000 passenger service agents at American Airlines, including its Envoy and Piedmont subsidiaries. Overall, CWA represents 700,000 working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, public service and manufacturing.

Tags: American Airlinespoverty wages
Categories: Labor News

Rallies Across The Nation Supporting The Scapegoated Lac-Mégantic Rail Workers

Wed, 01/03/2018 - 08:46

Rallies Across The Nation Supporting The Scapegoated Lac-Mégantic Rail Workers
Contact: Fritz Edler
Harding and Labrie Defense Ctte Phone 202 494-3848 justice@hardingdefense.org

Press Release

DropTheCharges!SafeRailsNow! NoMoreLac-Mégantics!

Rallies Across The Nation Supporting The Scapegoated Lac-Mégantic Rail Workers

Washington DC, January 2, 2018:

Protest events will take place across North America and around the world this week calling for real rail safety and accountability regarding rail disasters like the 2013 Lac-Mégantic oil train wreck. Railroad workers, rail safety and environmental activists will be calling upon the Canadian government to drop the charges against framed up rail workers as the prosecution case against them unravels. Canadian rail workers Tom Harding and Richard Labrie are currently on trial for the deaths in that disaster. The criminal trial has highlighted the connection between dangerous railroad policies and the need to hold the right people accountable for the danger created.

On January 4th and 5th, 2018, rail safety activists will be calling on the Canadian government to stop it's diversionary prosecution of rail workers who have no control over the majority of the causes identified by government reports and independent investigations. In many cases, the causes identified are also at issue in other railroad wrecks in the last years, yet no policy makers are held accountable.

The trial testimony has been clear. The actions of rail workers Harding and Labrie did not cause the Lac-Mégantic tragedy. But risky decisions and policies by railroad managers and their government regulatory enablers must be addressed and those responsible held accountable if we are to have rail safety across North America.

Safe Trains Now!
No More Lac-Mégantics!
Harding and Labrie Did Not Cause The Wreck, Drop the Charges!

San Francisco Rally-Press Conference

Thursday January 4, 2018 12:00 PM San Francisco Canadian Consulate 580 California St. San Francisco, CA

Harding and Labrie Defense Committee

For Release 10 AM, EST, January 2, 2018

Page 2

Safe Trains Now! Chicago Rally In Support of the Scapegoated Lac-Mégantic Rail Workers

Thursday January 4, 2018 1:00 PM Chicago Canadian Consulate
180 N. Stetson St.
Chicago, Il

Seattle Rally In Support of the Scapegoated Lac-Mégantic Rail Workers Thursday January 4, 2018 Noon
1501 4th Ave
Seattle WA

Washington DC Rally In Support of the Scapegoated Lac-Mégantic Rail Workers

Thursday January 4, 2018 12:30 PM to 1 PM Canadian Embassy
501 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC

Minneapolis Rally In Support of the Scapegoated Lac-Mégantic Rail Workers

Friday January 5, 2018 2:30 PM Minneapolis Canadian Consulate 701 S. 4th Ave.
Minneapolis MN

Actions in other cities are in the process of being organized.

Moreinformation: www.hardingdefense.org

Tags: Harding and Labrie Defense CommitteeLac-Mégantic Rail Workers
Categories: Labor News

Overwhelming support from UK passengers for RMT protests this morning over privatised rail fares rip off

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 11:20

Overwhelming support from UK passengers for RMT protests this morning over privatised rail fares rip off
https://www.rmt.org.uk/news/overwhelming-support-from-passengers-for-rmt...

FROM RMT PRESS OFFICE
Immediate.

Overwhelming support from passengers for RMT protests this morning over privatised rail fares rip off.

PRESS PHOTO HAND OUT ATTACHED

General Secretary Mick Cash said;

“While the British passenger is being bled dry, the same private companies who are coining it in are axing safety-critical staff and slashing security on our trains and stations in the name of even fatter profits. It’s a national scandal that private profit comes before public safety on our rail network.

“Even worse, with 75% of Britain’s railways in overseas hands, it is the British people, paying the highest fares in Europe, who are subsidising state-run rail operations in Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam while the Tory government refuse to even consider the public ownership option in their own back yard.

“The answer to this racket is a full return to public ownership of Britain’s railways and an end to this gross profiteering at the fare-payers expense.”

ENDS

Geoff Martin
07831 465 103

Picture attached: Protest at Kings Cross this morning‎. Credit RMT.

Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

[cid:BF8BBDDDEDE89140871C5C68A4906DE9@rmt.org.uk]

Tags: RMTprivatizationunion bustingrail passengers
Categories: Labor News

WW12-30-17 IBT VP Palmer John On Rome Aloice Removal and Scandal and Crisis of Labor Today

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 15:49

WW12-30-17 IBT VP Palmer John On Rome Aloice Removal and Scandal and Crisis of Labor Today
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww12-30-17palmer-john-on-rome-aloi...
WorkWeek radio interviews IBT Vice President John Palmer about the forced resignation of IBT Western Regional VP Rome Aloise who in a hearing was found to have taken money from employers, used his position to get a job for a relative, threatened and intimidated rank and file members from funning and also making concessions because of favors from employers. He was removed from all his positions and membership for two years.
John Palmer who is an International VP out of Dallas Houston talks about the general crisis in labor and the failure of the corporation union leadership in the US to confront Trump and the anti-labor offensive. He also talks about the lessons of the UPS strike for today.
Production of
WorkWeek Radio
workweek@kpfa.org
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio

Tags: IBTJohn Palmerbusiness unionismRome Aloisecorruptionconflicts of interest
Categories: Labor News

Respect Chicago Transit Workers! Lower the Transit Fares!

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 13:55

Respect Chicago Transit Workers! Lower the Transit Fares!

Below is link to sign a petition for transit workers and passengers. The petition was started in December 2017 at a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus garage after many of our coworkers were unjustly fired. Some of our allies helped to create this video of two transit workers who were assaulted at work – then fired by the transit agency!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCRQHbQjvJM&feature=share

We started with about 100 hand-written signatures from transit workers at this one garage and are using this online petition to ask workers from other workplaces and allies to sign with us. If you support the hard work transit workers do for society, please join us by singing this petition and forwarding the link to others to sign too.

https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/respect-transit-workers?source=c.em.cp...
Petition by Erek Slater

To be delivered to Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA), 888-YOUR-CTA, PACE Suburban, (847) 364-PACE (7223), option 3, The Illinois State House, The Illinois State Senate, and Governor Bruce Rauner

To: People of the Chicago Region
From: Transit Workers and our Allies
cc: Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), PACE Suburban

We the transit workers of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and PACE Suburban safely maintain and operate the vehicles that transport the most valuable thing known: Human Life. We find that the policies and practices of the transit agencies show a purposeful lack of respect for the complex and dangerous work we do. The transit agencies flagrantly ignore the importance of our work while treating us as replaceable cogs in the Chicago transit system. Work speed-ups created by the agencies continue to ramp up the grueling and dangerous nature of our work. This continual focus on “productivity” takes its toll on our bodies with repetitive injuries and extreme mental stress. Our sleeping and work schedules are dangerously intertwined, which is very unhealthy to us and very dangerous to our passengers. When we simply request unpaid time off work to heal our bodies or help our families in times of need or crisis we are treated as criminals. When we are inevitably verbally and physically assaulted, or involved in vehicle accidents, managers use their massive surveillance of our work alongside punitive and excessive discipline policies to unjustly blame us for anything that goes wrong – even when it is clearly not our fault.

Now the transit agencies are increasing the fares to our passengers. We, the front-line workers, face the legitimate anger of passengers towards these unjust polices and fare increases. These increases are happening when we have worked the last two years without a fair and equitable contract. Let us be clear: the front-line transit workers wont receive a cent from this fare increase. The unelected managers and lawyers who run the transit agencies waste transit funds by creating a massive, wasteful self-perpetuating bureaucratic monster. They would rather spend millions on private investigators, lawyers, fares collections and “labor relations” departments to attack us instead of simply treating us with dignity and respect.

So many of us have been unjustly fired from jobs that support our families. By design, it is nearly impossible now for new workers to stay employed to retirement - and our retirees are under attack as well. Our immediate managers who hold our livelihoods in their hands abuse us, harass us and make our difficult work much more so. It doesn’t have to be this way. Being a transit worker doesn’t have to be dangerous or unhealthy; it should be such a joy to help people to get to work, school, culture and all that the Chicago region has to offer.

The undersigned Chicago-region transit workers and our supporters call on the City and State governments to reverse course. Rather than attack us, publicly support us. Rather than raise fares, cut service, dangerously speed up operations, cut our necessary rest times and attack our real-wage and working conditions…Instead we call on a fundamental transformation of public transportation:

-Lower the fare. Expand public transportation, especially to the communities that need it most.
-Go on a massive hiring campaign to train front-line public transit workers and pay all of them at union-scale wages and benefits. Immediately return to work all of the unjustly fired transit workers. Hire transit retirees as advisers and trainers, etc.
-The work must be slowed down to safe speeds. More needed breaks and days-off from the stress of the work must be provided to workers.
-Transit workers and passengers are the experts who are directly effected by transit – we must directly make the decisions. We call for greater worker and community oversight and direct control of transit scheduling, work-flow, infrastructure and budgets.

To those who tell us that there isn’t enough money: We live in the richest country in history. It is inexcusable that the Chicago region cannot treat its transit workers with respect and have a world-class public transit system accessible to all. It’s a question of social priorities.

-Transit Workers and our Allies
There are currently 35 signatures. We need 50 signatures!
PETITION BACKGROUND
This petition was started in December 2017 at a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus garage after many of our coworkers were unjustly fired. Some of our allies helped to create this video of two transit workers who were assaulted at work – then fired by the transit agency!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCRQHbQjvJM&feature=share

We started with about 100 hand-written signatures from transit workers at this one garage and are using this online petition to ask workers from other workplaces and allies to sign with us. If you support the hard work transit workers do for society, please join us by singing this petition and forwarding the link to others to sign too.
CURRENT PETITION SIGNERS
35. Daniel Mays from Chicago, IL signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
34. Paul from Morden, United Kingdom signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
33. Daniel Fryar from Chicago, IL signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
Deliberate,union misrepresentation,discharged 2 weeks prior to last discharge hearing. Amendments 5,6,7,8,&14 violated. Exposts Factos; consistent changes/manipulation of rules that did not pertain to what rules were meant for.

32. Suzen X Riley from Oak Park, IL signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
31. Paul from Oakland, CA signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
30. Earl Silbar from Elgin, IL signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
29. Timotheus Gordon, Jr. from Harvey, IL signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
28. Mike Ervin from Chicago, IL signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
27. Dr. Stephen Oren from Chicago, NY signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.
26. John Helton from Louisville, KY signed this petition on Dec 31, 2017.

Tags: CTAtransit workersWorker FiringATU 241workplcace bullyinghealth nd safety
Categories: Labor News

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