SMART-TD Union Rejects Deal, Rail Strike Looming Closer

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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10 Responses

  1. Michael Cain
    Ignored
    says:

    BNSF seems to think it’s going to happen. They’ve pulled all their cars out of the rail yard down the road from us. Have no idea where they put them, or what it accomplishes.Report

  2. Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    What is the argument from management (or whomever) to justify their position on sick leave, etc.?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Probably some balance of “the workers never had a problem with it before!” and “we aren’t opposed to people taking time off when they’re *AUTHENTICALLY* sick, we are just opposed to malingering.”Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Management’s position is that moving around trains and the people that drive them is a well orchestrated ballet wherein a few people or a single person suddenly calling out sick causes a cascade of delays that disrupts the entire system. I.e. as if one needed to get a substitute teacher halfway across the country to your school or else the entire school would have to close.

      Of course the counterpoint is “ok hire more fishin people so you have some redundancy in your personnel system!” And management’s counterpoint to that is ‘we don’t want to carry that payroll load in non-salary benefit expenses’ but also the usual form of ‘well no one wants to work anymore’.

      Because as an industry they have the common problem where no one hired anyone for a decade or more because of a combo of (good) sector labor efficiency realignment and (bad) uncompetitive starting pay. So, the labor force is top heavy with people near or over retirement age, and retire is exactly what all those folks have been doing economy wide for two years.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Kolohe
        Ignored
        says:

        Of course the counterpoint is “ok hire more fishin people so you have some redundancy in your personnel system!” And management’s counterpoint to that is ‘we don’t want to carry that payroll load in non-salary benefit expenses’ but also the usual form of ‘well no one wants to work anymore’.

        Ugh. This is something that we had to deal with at a place where I worked a few years back. “You’re going on vacation? Who is our alternate you?” “You refused to pay for an alternate me.”Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Kolohe
        Ignored
        says:

        Not sure if it coincides directly but I ride NJTransit daily and lately there have been staffing issues. Folks complain when trains are cancelled or consolidated AND folks complain when fares increase.

        Then the engineers had a “sick out” on the Friday of Father’s Day weekend and through the whole system into chaos. Now everyone hates everyone.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          Freight railroads have intentionally reduced workforce 33% in the last decade while implementing “precision scheduled railroading” as described above. Railroad crews currently have PTO but get docked points for taking it. Their divorce rate is through the roof, as is their rate of heart attacks and other ailments related to stress.Report

  3. Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    As much as I believe that unions can, and have been a PITA, and have mainly outlived a lot of their usefulness, this strikes me as the perfect justification for their existence. Hell, even in salary jobs, mngt should cross train, and have staff depth. The fact they haven’t is their own damn fault. Reap what you sow boys.Report

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