News Feed Item

BLET Fighting to Protect Worker, Public Safety in Rulemaking

Statement by National President Dennis R. Pierce

CLEVELAND, April 11, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dennis Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, issued the following statement concerning the April 9 announcement by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) that the agency planned to issue a proposed rule regarding railroad industry crew size:

"Since the FRA's announcement on Wednesday of plans to issue a proposed regulation regarding crew size on America's freight and passenger trains, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen has received numerous requests for comments. While it is not our practice to publicly comment on a pending rulemaking — and although no substantive comment can be made on FRA's proposal, which has yet to be published — recent attempts by the industry's lobbying arm to change the debate compel me to respond.

"It is undeniable that last summer's catastrophic runaway, derailment and explosion that devastated the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic was facilitated, if not directly caused, by operational adjustments that had to be made by the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway's decision to operate the runaway train with a single-person crew. The outrage over that tragedy led to numerous regulatory changes in Canada and here in the United States to enhance railroad safety.

"The Congress has taken notice of this crisis, as well, and the Safe Freight Act (H.R. 3040), which would require a two-person crew on virtually all freight trains, is pending before the House of Representatives. We applaud the legislators who introduced that bill, and we are working toward its passage.

"FRA also has made its position clear.  We agree with Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo that 'safety is enhanced with the use of a multiple person crew' and with the agency's position that 'a second crew member provides safety redundancy and provides a method of checks and balances on train operations.' Safety is our goal, and FRA's goal, in supporting a minimum crew size of two employees. Each and every day when our members go to work, their goal is to perform their jobs in the safest and most professional manner possible. BLET members are honest and dedicated working class Americans, and working as part of a two-person train crew will give them a better chance of returning home to their families and loved ones at the end of the day.

"Unfortunately, however, the rail industry seems hell-bent on hijacking this issue and converting it into a process to further pad its already historic profit levels.  From the day FRA placed crew size before its Railroad Safety Advisory Committee, the railroads have attempted to hold the issue hostage to the implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology, a stance that was publicly confirmed by the Association of American Railroads earlier this week. PTC is a necessity as it will save lives, but it should never be the basis for a waiver of the two-person train crew requirement, which — sadly — is what rail management is hoping to achieve.

"To be clear, PTC is a significant upgrade and overlay on existing signal and train control technology. It will save lives and reduce accidents and property damage. For these reasons it can and must be installed by the December 31, 2015 deadline Congress has set, and we will continue to oppose the industry's request for a blanket 5-year extension of the deadline.

"However, at the end of the day — and while significant — PTC is only an upgrade and overlay on existing signal technology.  It is not designed or required to prevent every accident. As just one example, the April 17, 2011 collision near Red Oak, Iowa, that led to a derailment and fire, and which claimed the lives of two crew members, would not have been prevented had PTC been installed on the line where the accident occurred.

"Nor is PTC designed or intended to perform all of the varied duties currently performed by the second operating crew member. In addition to in-cab safety redundancy at numerous levels, the public safety aspect of these duties include, among others, monitoring the 'left' side of the train for defects, observing the 'left' side of highway-rail grade crossings for drivers who fail to stop for the approaching train, and separating stopped trains blocking crossings to facilitate the movement of motor vehicles operated by first responders and other emergency personnel who must cross the tracks.

"The industry's response is nothing more than a red herring, and it is unfortunate — if not reprehensible — that railroads are preying upon the legitimate safety concerns of railroad workers and the general public to further stuff their coffers. We also view the railroads' response as a thinly-veiled threat against collective bargaining agreement provisions that address crew size, which would be unaffected by the proposed regulation, and which we will vigorously defend. We will continue to put the safety of BLET members, of all railroad workers, and of the American public first and foremost, and we will work with all our energy to ensure FRA develops a regulation that does just that."

SOURCE Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen/Teamsters Rail Conference

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
How is DevOps going within your organization? If you need some help measuring just how well it is going, we have prepared a list of some key DevOps metrics to track. These metrics can help you understand how your team is doing over time. The word DevOps means different things to different people. Some say it a culture and every vendor in the industry claims that their tools help with DevOps. Depending on how you define DevOps, some of these metrics may matter more or less to you and your team.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
@DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Dez Blanchfield joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Dez is a strategic leader in business and digital transformation with 25 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications industries developing strategies and implementing business initiatives. He has a breadth of expertise spanning technologies such as cloud computing, big data and analytics, cognitive computing, m...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory? In her Day 2 Keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Aruna Ravichandran, VP, DevOps Solutions Marketing, CA Technologies, was jo...