Brotherhood Railway Carmen, TCU/IAM Newsbreak

 

 

For Release
October 1, 2023
TCU Grand Lodge Announces
the Promotion of Steven Wilhlem

Effective October 1, 2023, TCU/BRC Heartland Lodge 6760 member Steve Wilhelm has been promoted to the position of Chief of Staff of the Transportation Communications Union/IAM. Brother Wilhelm will work closely with TCU National President Arthur Maratea, officers, and staff at the National Headquarters. 
After serving his country in the United State Marine Corp, Steve Wilhelm began his rail career January 19, 1993, with Norfolk Southern at Fort Wayne, Indiana. Early in his career Steve became interested in union activities. He accepted his first union appointment as Secretary of the Local Protective Committee in June 1997. It did not take long for the Lodge to realize Steve's talents. Later that year he was elected as Recording Secretary of Lodge 6760. As Steve's union experience grew, he was given more responsibilities. In February 2002, after the lodge had eight lodges merge into 6760 making it the second largest lodge in the United States, Steve was promoted to Assistant Local Chairman of the Lodge to help with the huge influx of work at the local level. In June 2003, he was again promoted as Senior Assistant Local Chairman to assist with formal investigations. During his first investigation as lead chair, a hearing officer became so infuriated by Steve’s skills he accused the lodge of hiring him as a lawyer. The local chairman replied to the hearing officer ‘You better get ready for the future.’ In 2004, Steve spent the entire year mirroring the local chairman, both in the office and on the road, which led him to being elected as Lodge 6760’s tenth local chairman effective January 1, 2005. Just eleven months later Steve was elected as 3rd Vice General Chairman of Joint Protective Board 200. In January 2008 Steve Wilhelm was reelected to a second term as Local Chairman. With a near photographic memory, Steve Wilhelm has been described by his Local Chairman predecessor, Steven Pequignot as "a person you train one day, then learn from thereafter."
On November 1, 2009, Steve was appointed to the office of Assistant National Representative. He worked with National Representative Roger Cain, handling cases and negotiating contracts for members of TCU Unit 200.
On December 16, 2010, Steve Wilhelm received an award from Vice Local Chairman Kevin Hite, on behalf of the members of Lodge 6760 for the skills he demonstrates while representing lodge members and keeping the union a strong and united organization. Steve Wilhelm became the first member of Lodge 6760 to assume an International Office of the union. Since then, he has been successful with many claim award cases on behalf of the members.
Effective June 1, 2012, Steve was promoted by Past National President Robert A. Scardelletti to the office of Director Constitution & Laws. For that promotion Steve moved to TCU Headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, to work directly with past Senior Executive Director Constitution & Laws, Dennis O’Malley until his retirement, when Steve was then promoted to Executive Director Constitution & Laws. Steve held that office for eleven years until this promotion.
Steve Wilhelm has been a gift to Lodge 6760. He has represented our members above and beyond the call of duty. We are pleased to share him and his experience with the Grand Lodge.
The officers and members of BRC/TCU/IAM Heartland Lodge 6760 wish Steve Wilhelm continued success in his journey representing our members. 

 

 

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For Release
July 31, 2023
The Proposed REEF Act

Sisters and Brothers:

 

The following link is an article published by the Grand Lodge regarding the REEF act being proposed in congress currently.  The REEF act, if passed would eliminate the sequestration of the RRB which cuts 5-6% to RRB benefits that we've been subjected to for the last 10 years or so.  These cuts affect us all whether on sickness benefits or unemployment benefits.  Please click the link in the middle of the page that says "click here to take action" to send pre-written letters to your senators and representatives to push them to vote in favor of this bill.  

 

 

Additionally, the link below is a direct link to the action network outlining major budget cuts to Amtrak, Commuter Rails, and a 30% cut to the Railroad retirement board budget itself.  Imagine how difficult it would be filing for unemployment, sickness benefits, and retirement benefits with a 30% cut in their budget which goes directly to administrating those benefits.  Please click the link below and send pre-written letters to your representatives and tell them to oppose these cuts.   

 

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-your-reps-no-cuts-to-the-railroads/

 

Thanks,

 

James M. Ramey

Local Chairman/Lodge 6760

Unit 410 BRC Division-TCU/IAM

 

For Release
July 10, 2023
Honoring Our Veterans

TCU/BRC are HONORING ALL VETERANS. Since our forefathers founded this country, America’s military has battled to keep us safe. To honor our veteran members, starting in September, TCU will begin shining the spotlight on a “Veteran of the Month.” Click here to read how it works.

 

For Release
June 30, 2023
Keeping Dues Current While on Sick Leave or Furlough

Sisters and Brothers:

 

Click here to read information for keeping dues current while off on sickness or furlough.  Given all the recent issues with delinquent dues, I decided to create this document so we can provide to all members that go off work for any reason and inform them properly of how to handle this issue going forward.  Please provide to the members at your prospective locations and let me know if you have any questions.   

 

Thanks,

 

James M Ramey

Local Chairman/Lodge 6760

Unit 410 BRC Division-TCU/IAM

Email: jamesramey2008@hotmail.com

Phone: (740) 285-5933

www.tcu6760.com

 

For Release
June 18, 2023
East Palestine Derailment and Railroad Safety


The link below is to a short documentary released earlier this past week regarding the East Palestine derailment and PSR. Several former NS employees including former Carmen interviewed for this documentary along with BRC President Grissom.  I know some of you have already watched this video.  But for those who haven't, watch it when you get a chance and all of you, please share it with your coworkers if you can.  
In solidarity,
 
James M. Ramey
Local Chairman/Lodge 6760
Unit 410 BRC Division-TCU/IAM

 

For Release
May 18, 2023
Railway Safety Act of 2023

Sisters and Brothers,

 

Received the message from the national reps with the following statement:

 

“Complete and share link below to as many Members as possible…quickly. It’s fast and easy and necessary. Just click the link below.  Also, please suggest that all members call their congressman and senators in support of this bill.  We have fought for years against the dangerous profiteering policies of PSR.  This Legislation will go a long way to rectify some of the issues in this industry and help bring forth some of the changes we’ve all thought were necessary for quite some time.”

 

 

Attached is a senate contact lists.  You can also use the U.S. Capitol Switchboard operator which can connect you directly with the Senate office. (202) 224-3121

 

The following link contains contact information to all Representatives in the house:

 

https://www.house.gov/representatives

 

The following link is an action network letter sponsored by our Unions Rail Division.  This link will take you to a form letter where you can either write your own letter,  add your own words to the existing letter, or submit the form letter as is to your local Senators and Representatives. 

 

https://www.tcunion.org/tcu-union/railway-safety-act-passes-committee-heads-to-senate-floor/

 

Message from TCU National President Artie Maratea:

 

The IAM Rail Division applauds the bipartisan vote to approve the Railway Safety Act of 2023 as amended by Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH). The legislation will now head to the Senate floor for a full vote.

 

This bill would provide major work-life improvements for our Carmen and Machinists crafts by prohibiting the railroads from imposing time constraints on rail car and locomotive inspections. In addition, the bill ensures that our highly-skilled and qualified members are the ones conducting these inspections, rather than relying on operating crews or other untrained crafts.

 

“I applaud the bipartisan efforts of Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) as well as Ohio Senators J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and all the other Senators that have agreed to cosponsor this important legislation. Without their sense of urgency after the tragedy in East Palestine, we wouldn’t have such a timely and strong legislative response. However, we cannot and should not delay with this legislation, therefore I urge Leader Schumer to put this bill on the Senate floor as soon as possible,” said TCU National President Artie Maratea.

 

Thanks,

 

James M Ramey

Local Chairman/Lodge 6760

Unit 410 BRC Division-TCU/IAM

Email: jamesramey2008@hotmail.com

www.tcu6760.com

 

For Release
March 30, 2023
Railroads Are a Lot More Efficient. Are They Also Less Safe?

 

Railroads Are a Lot More Efficient. Are They Also Less Safe?
Norfolk Southern cut railcar inspection time to a minute. A ‘hurry up and get it done’ mentality.
By Esther Fung

March 30, 2023 11:16 am ET

In the world of railroading, keeping the trains moving is paramount, and Norfolk Southern Corp. has little tolerance for late departures.  Supervisors can be penalized for trains that are ready to leave but instead sit in rail yards, according to current and former employees of the Atlanta-based railroad. Train inspection time frames are tight. Employees who seek more-stringent reviews of rail equipment or slow down transport can face discipline.

Scott Wilcox, a sixth-generation railroader who is retired from Norfolk Southern, said its railcar inspectors used to have five to eight minutes to check a car’s wheels and brakes for problems like leaky bearings or damaged components. Now they often have between 30 seconds and a minute, he said.

“So basically all they’re doing is connecting air hoses between the cars for the brake system and that’s it,” Mr. Wilcox said. “They don’t have time to do anything else. At least not without getting in trouble.” Norfolk Southern’s practices are a prime focus of federal regulators after a spate of major accidents since December 2021, three of which resulted in fatalities. Its derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3, which released toxic chemicals has spurred lawsuits from residents, business owners and the state alleging negligence.

The National Transportation Safety Board, which typically investigates major transportation and hazardous-materials accidents, opened a special probe into Norfolk Southern’s safety culture  a move it hadn’t taken in years. The NTSB said it took the step “given the number and significance” of accidents and called for the company to immediately review and assess its safety practices. The Federal Railroad Administration separately has opened a safety probe into Norfolk Southern.

Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Alan Shaw defended the railroad’s record, citing data including employee injury rates that have declined each year since 2019. At the same time, he said the company is committed to improving its safety culture and has sought input from the two largest railroad unions to do so.  “This is going to take the contribution of all 20,000 of our employees,” he said. “We’re not putting unsafe trains out there.”

At the center of Norfolk Southern’s practices—and those of most other big railroads today—is a management system called precision-scheduled railroading, or PSR, designed to improve service, make operations more efficient and cut costs. In it, railroads, rather than wait for cargo to arrive, stick to preset schedules.

Equipment spends less time in rail yards. Fewer trains run on routes, but cars tend to be heavier because they are packed with more cargo. That change reduces the need for locomotives, and some can be taken out of service, reducing costs.

One result is smaller workforces. Total employment at the seven largest North American freight railroads fell to just below 115,000 in 2021 from nearly 159,000 in 2011, a 28% drop in a period during which the amount of freight carried fell by a smaller 11%. Crews are responsible for longer trains, some as long as three miles.

The industry impact since large U.S. freight railroads started adopting PSR about six years ago has been similar to that of lean manufacturing on factories decades earlier. The changes helped Norfolk Southern squeeze more revenue out of each ton of freight it moved. Investors benefited as railroads plowed more money into stock buybacks and dividends.

Unions threatened a national strike last fall in part because of changes under PSR, before the Biden administration brokered a labor deal and Congress passed legislation compelling them to accept it.

Whether PSR was a factor in the Ohio derailment hasn’t been determined Current and former employees say that the changes haven’t improved safety and in some cases have been harmful. Broadly, industry executives and employees are divided on whether PSR contributes to accidents.

In the latest rail accident, a BNSF train with cargo including ethanol derailed in Raymond, Minn., early Thursday, igniting a fire and forcing an evacuation. No injuries were reported.

The Federal Railroad Administration’s safety chief, Karl Alexy, said that statistics don’t show a clear link between implementation of PSR and changes in accident rates, but he added that the system introduced “new hazards and additional risks.” Mr. Alexy added there is fatigue among rail workforces as a result of the pandemic and the industry’s having fewer workers than years earlier.

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw prepared to testify before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee a week ago.

Derailments, the most common kind of accident, have fallen by more than half at major freight railroads since 2000, federal data show. Norfolk Southern, which adopted the PSR system in 2019, reported fewer derailments in 2022 than in any other year in the past decade.

Norfolk Southern’s overall accident rate—counting collisions and other types of mishaps in addition to derailments—climbed 25% from 2019 to 2022 but did so at declining annual rates. From 2021 to 2022, it rose 0.5%.

Norfolk Southern isn’t an outlier in the safety issues it is facing. Other large freight railroads have also dealt with service disruptions after overhauling operations to adopt precision scheduling.  Some problems stem from rail-yard congestion as employees handle longer trains and workers sometimes must do work they have little training for, all under tighter time pressure.  Crews worked on clearing the Norfolk Southern crash site in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 14.   “There’s a ‘hurry up and get it done,’ or if it’s not done, ‘hurry up and get it out of the door’ mentality," said James Orwan, general chairman of IAM Lodge 19, a labor union that represents workers who inspect, repair and maintain locomotives.

While PSR shook up Norfolk Southern’s operations, the arrival of Covid-19 dealt further disruptions. The railroad struggled with service issues and delayed shipments that regulators blamed on the operational changes. The company said it faced labor shortages.

“Our numbers need to improve right now,” said an August 2020 email sent by a Norfolk Southern senior general foreman to team members, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The email emphasized the importance of handling trains faster. “Instructions have been issued on how we are to accomplish this and it doesn’t seem like we are all acting on it. These numbers show that we are slacking off in the trainyard and have no need for more help!”

The company began unwinding some of its PSR efforts after Mr. Shaw took over as CEO in May 2022, following nearly three decades at the railroad. Last summer, Norfolk Southern reopened idled hump yards in Georgia and Ohio—where trains are broken down, reassembled and sent to their next destination—to help ease congestion in other places. The company has also beefed up hiring, employing 1,500 more people now than a year ago.

Although investors often look at railroads’ “operating ratio”—figured by dividing operating expenses by operating revenue—“reducing the OR is not our singular focus,” Mr. Shaw said at an investor event in December.

The company pledged not to furlough workers during a downturn, which it has traditionally done, and said it plans to invest in additional training during such a period instead.

Mr. Shaw has said he supports a number of provisions in a rail-safety bill  pushed by a bipartisan group in Congress, such as better notification, training and equipment for first responders, and tougher requirements for tank cars that hold hazardous materials. He has supported more funding for research in wayside detectors, which are devices along tracks that help signal potential equipment problems.

Many unionized workers say the voluminous safety data reported to regulators doesn’t reflect the elevated risks they face. Mr. Wilcox, 66, said he decided to retire as a locomotive engineer at Norfolk Southern last July in part because he felt the job had become less safe.

He said he made the trip between the company’s rail yard in Conway, Pa., and Toledo, Ohio, several times a week, passing through East Palestine each time and always carrying hazardous materials. Because of pressure to depart without delays, Mr. Wilcox said, sometimes his trains would be sent out with problems that required him to pull onto a siding and wait for repairs.

Norfolk Southern declined to comment on the accounts by Mr. Wilcox or other current and former employees. “We’ve got to be data-driven. There’s always going to be anecdotes,” Mr. Shaw said.

On average, train crews across Norfolk Southern’s network take two minutes to complete the inspection of each car, according to the company. It said a study found that experienced crews took one minute to complete the inspection, so a one-minute guideline to inspect each car—or 30 seconds per side—was “set as a guideline and documented for their awareness.”

The company said that if an employee identifies anything that needs repairs, that would be outside the standard inspection, and the employee wouldn’t be punished for it.

The FRA’s Mr. Alexy said his agency is aware of allegations of a steep reduction in car-inspection times. He said railroads may be implementing such policies informally instead of through written guidelines.

One accident the NTSB is investigating occurred near midnight on Dec. 13 in Bessemer, Ala., when a piece of steel hanging off the side of a railcar on a parked Norfolk Southern train struck one of the company’s locomotives approaching at 55 miles an hour. The steel piece pierced the cab of the oncoming locomotive and struck two conductors, killing one and seriously injuring the second, the NTSB said. The agency said Norfolk Southern freight-car inspection practices will be part of its investigation.

Some concerns about the industry’s safety culture predate precision-scheduled railroading. Workers have long complained of their perspectives on safety incidents being ignored, said former rail-safety investigators.

At Norfolk Southern, according to some current and former employees, workers fear reprisals for reporting safety issues to management. Mr. Alexy of the FRA said, “We have heard over and over again that people are afraid to come forward.”

Workers can report issues to labor unions or the company directly. They also can file complaints with Occupational Safety and Health Administration offices or with rail regulators such as the FRA.

More complaints have been made to the FRA in recent years, citing safety incidents or practices such as working too many hours, according to a Government Accountability Office report in December. The agency received slightly fewer than 200 complaints about railroad operating practices in 2020, 500 in 2021 and nearly 400 from January to July last year.

One problem the agency runs into is that even if it says it will protect a complainant’s identity, the location or timing of a violation can give clues to who complained, Mr. Alexy said. He said the agency will go after railroads if they retaliate.

Norfolk Southern’s Mr. Shaw said: “Transparency and candor are the foundation of our culture. If people see issues which they’re concerned about, they need to raise their hand.”

Norfolk Southern employee Michelle Belt said she consistently pointed out safety issues to train masters and the superintendent at a Wayne County, Mich., railyard, but her concerns were dismissed.

According to a report Ms. Belt made to Michigan OSHA, after she raised concerns in 2020 about what she saw as a lack of Covid-19 precautions, a trainmaster yelled at her and accused her of not wanting to work and lying about the local health directive, and two hours later she was suspended from work pending an investigation by the same official.

“This display of intimidation has sent a clear message to my fellow employees,” her report said.

Ms. Belt, 49, said in an interview that she was investigated by Norfolk Southern twice more that year on charges such as “inattention to duty” and “improper use of radio” that were ultimately dropped.

She said that since staff cutbacks and the closure of a mechanical shop several years ago, there is too much debris in the yard and too few workers inspecting switches, mechanisms that help guide trains from one track to another.

Norfolk Southern has brought up another investigation against her, and this time it may go to arbitration, Ms. Belt said.

While declining to comment on her account, Norfolk Southern said that it takes training seriously and that its injury rate has been improving.

Last summer, former Norfolk Southern manager Cabell Brockman said, he tried and failed to stop dispatchers from sending a train 150 miles from Atlanta to Birmingham, Ala., with 28 railcars of steel pipe that he believed had been improperly loaded.

Two other cars with the pipe had derailed earlier after some pipe fell from one of them, he said, and he feared that these were a risk. “If any pipe were to roll off the rail cars, they could have easily killed one of my employees,” Mr. Brockman said in an interview.

Mr. Brockman, who worked at Norfolk Southern for two decades, rising to division superintendent, said that dispatchers insisted on sending the train because stopping it and removing the cars would have caused congestion.

He filed a complaint to OSHA in December, alleging he had been fired in September for repeatedly raising safety issues that placed rail workers and the public at risk.

Norfolk Southern declined to comment on Mr. Brockman’s complaint. In its written response to OSHA submitted in February, the railroad said Mr. Brockman was dismissed because he had failed to follow Norfolk Southern’s operations plan and to treat colleagues respectfully. Mr. Brockman denied those allegations.

For years, Norfolk Southern and its competitors declined to participate in a voluntary program allowing railroads and their employees to report minor incidents and close calls, a system that had success in the aviation industry.

Weeks after the East Palestine derailment, and under pressure from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the rail industry’s largest trade group said that Norfolk Southern and the other biggest freight lines would join the system. They are ironing out the details of participation with the regulator and other stakeholders, the FRA said.

Mr. Shaw, referring to the FRA, the Transportation Department and the NTSB, said: “Anything that they’re doing, where they’re taking a look at us and offering insights as to how we can improve safety, I’m all-in.”

Ted Mann contributed to this article.

Write to Esther Fung at esther.fung@wsj.com<mailto:esther.fung@wsj.com>, Kris Maher at kris.maher@wsj.com<mailto:kris.maher@wsj.com> and Paul Berger at Paul.Berger@wsj.com<mailto:Paul.Berger@wsj.com>
 

For Release
March 14, 2023
BRC Carmen Reach Agreement with Norfolk Southern on Paid Sick Days

Gentleman,

 
The 2023 sick day agreement for Carmen on NS and the 2023 Shop Team Leader agreement are now available in our Online Library.  As part of this, they also agreed to amend that portion of the Controlling Agreement that pertains to Working Gang Leaders.  I know there will be plenty of questions regarding all of this.  I will probably have many questions myself.  Please email me with any questions you may have, and I will get answers from the national reps as soon as possible.  

 
Thanks,

 
James M. Ramey
Local Chairman/Lodge 6760
Unit 410 BRC Division-TCU/IAM

 

For Release
February 11, 2023
BRC Carmen Reach Agreement with CSXT on Paid Sick Days

 

Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC) Reached Agreement for Paid Sick Leave on CSXT

Today the BRC reached a voluntary agreement with CSXT to provide paid sick leave for our members.  BRC is among the very first union to reach an agreement with any carrier to provide paid sick leave.

This agreement provides four (4) days of paid sick leave to be paid at 100% of the employees rate of pay.  In addition it also provides members with the opportunity to designate the use of their personal leave days for sick leave.  

“We are extremely proud that BRC is one of the very first unions to reach this type of an agreement.  This agreement is a significant accomplishment and provides a very important benefit for our members working at CSXT.   The other Carrier’s should take note and come to the bargaining table in a similar manner.”   Said  BRC General President Don Grissom.

“The leadership of our union committed to continue the efforts to secure paid sick leave for our members.   Today’s agreement is a huge win for our members at CSXT.  And we will continue the fight to secure paid sick leave for our members working on other Railroads.   I am proud of BRC General President Don Grissom and National Representative Jason Cox for their hard work on making this possible.”  TCU National President Artie Maratea.

 

For Release
September 14, 2022
TCU/BRC Carmen and Clerks Ratify National Agreement

 

The deadline to vote on the National Agreement ratification was 3pm EST, today. The National Agreement has been ratified by the Clerical and the Carmen membership.

The new, independent electronic voting process allowed for more membership engagement than ever before seen for a National ratification. 58% of the Carmen covered by National Handling voted in this ratification, compared to just 28% who voted in the 2018 ratification. 49% of clerical employees covered by National handling voted in this ratification, compared to 34% in 2018. The majorities of each craft voted for the Tentative Agreement to be ratified.

“After three long years of difficult bargaining, PEB 250 provided recommendations that led to a tentative agreement for our members to consider. TCU & BRC members have now voted on the agreement and have elected to ratify this agreement. Among other improvements, this agreement ensures that every penny of the recommendations of PEB 250 goes directly to our members and protects our great healthcare benefits which our members need now more than ever. This has been a difficult time with a lot of misinformation and I appreciate the hard work of all our local and national representatives who worked tirelessly to ensure that every question was answered and that members had the accurate information needed to consider their vote for themselves and their families.” National President Maratea

The National Carriers Conference Committee and the National Mediation Board have been notified of the ratification of the agreement and those terms will now be implemented. This will result in all Clerical and Carmen members (including TWU Carmen) receiving thousands of dollars in back pay and an immediate 14% pay increase. In accordance with the agreement retroactive payments or “backpay” must be paid within sixty (60) days.

 

For Release
August 29, 2022
TCU/BRC Carmen and Clerks Reach Tentative Agreement with National Carriers

TO ALL CARMEN MEMBERS ON PROPERTIES IN NATIONAL HANDLING


Dear Sisters and Brothers:


Presidential Emergency Board 250 issued its report to the President on August 16,
2022. Immediately following the issuance of the PEB Report, your Negotiating Committee,
together with our labor partners -- the International Association of Machinists (IAM) and
Transportation Communications Union (TCU), negotiated with the National Carriers’
Conference Committee (NCCC) to try and reach an agreement based upon the Presidential
Emergency Board’s recommendations. (A complete copy of that report is among the
materials uploaded with this letter and the full Tentative Agreement).

On August 29, 2022, we reached a tentative Agreement with the national freight
railroads that followed the recommendations of the PEB. This is a summary of that
Agreement which is now before you for ratification.


WAGES:


The tentative agreement provides for a historic 22% in general wage increases (24%
compounded over the five-year contract period – January 1, 2020, through December 31,
2024). This is the highest wage increase ever achieved in the history of National Bargaining.
In addition to the GWIs the agreement provides an additional $1,000 lump sum
payment to be paid annually - for each year of the contract period for a total of $5,000.

Read the complete Agreement here for Carman

Read the complete Agreement here for Clerks
 

For Release
August 25, 2022
FRA's Two Person Crew Proposal


Sisters and Brothers,

The link provided below is for the notice of proposed rulemaking from the FRA for their recently proposed two-person crew rule.  Right now, they're in the public comments phase of which anyone can leave comments outlining why it is or isn't a worthy rule to impose.  So far most of the comments pertain to why this rule is necessary and the dangers of why allowing one person to operate a train will create an unsafe situation for the employees and the public.  In solidarity with our brothers and sisters in transportation and given our knowledge of the importance of having two-person crews instead of one, I feel as a union we should endeavor to leave a comment as well in support of this rule.  Please pass this along to the members at your respective locations.  

 
James M. Ramey
Local Chairman/Lodge 6760
Unit 410 BRC Division-TCU/IAM

 

For Release
August 16, 2022
Presidential Emergency Board 250 Releases its Report and Recommendations

Read the complete report and recommendations...Here

For Release
July 29, 2022
2022 National Convention

Review the highlights of the 36th National Convention of TCU and BRC...Available Here

 

For Release
June 1, 2022
Union Dues Can Pay for Itself

Union dues help ensure your pay-scale, healthcare, vacation and seniority benefits. Learn about additional benefits union members are eligible for...Details at Membership Pays

 

For Release
March 4, 2022
NS Updated Drug Testing Requirements

Sisters and Brothers,

 
Attached is a new operations bulletin from NS.  This bulletin pertains to the updated drug testing requirements issued by the FRA in regard to mechanical employees.  Not only will we now be subjected to random drug testing as required by the FRA, we will also be subjected to reasonable cause testing when charged with the violation of certain FRA rules and regulations specific to our craft.  Pass this along and educate everyone at your respective locations. Read Attachment
 

 
James M. Ramey
 
Local Chairman/Lodge 6760
Unit 410-Division TCU/IAM

 

For Release
January 24, 2022
National Negotiations Update

Rail Labor’s largest coalition reaches dead end on path to voluntary agreement The Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC) released the following statement on January 24, 2022: After more than two years of bargaining with the major U.S. Class 1 railroads, discussions completely stalled last week. Accordingly, pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Railway Labor Act, top leaders of 10 rail unions applied to the National Mediation Board (NMB) for the assignment of a federal mediator to assist in our negotiations. The Carriers represented by the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC) simply are not bargaining in good faith. This development is very frustrating, as the Unions in the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition have been at the negotiating table since November 2019. Throughout that time, despite our best efforts, the carriers have not made a comprehensive settlement proposal that we believe our members would even remotely entertain. In fact, the Carriers’ latest proposal is worse than bad faith; it is insulting. After carrying our nation through the Pandemic, and as the carriers have posted record breaking profit margins due to their implementation of so-called “Precision Scheduled Railroading” practices, our members have earned, and rightfully expect a substantial contract settlement that recognizes the sacrifices they and their families make each day. Instead, the Carriers continue to push proposals that fail to even catch up to the cost of living. From the beginning of this round of negotiations, the CBC has adamantly refused to accept any type of concessionary agreement. Instead, the railroads continue to demand extreme changes to our members’ current benefits and attempt to unilaterally impose work rule changes that would further erode our members’ already taxed standard of living. We anticipate that the involvement of the NMB will cause the industry to refocus on addressing the legitimate needs of the men and women whose labor generates their positive financial returns. In an effort to bring all affected members up to speed, the CBC’s latest proposal can be found at: https://tcunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/CBC-Proposal.pdf Additional information will be provided as developments warrant. We appreciate your continuing support, and we look forward to working with the NMB to reach a settlement that we can be proud of. The unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition are: the American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA); the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen / Teamsters Rail Conference (BLET); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); the International Association of Machinists (IAM); the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB); the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers/SEIU (NCFO); the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU); the Transportation Communications Union / IAM (TCU), including TCU’s Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division (BRC); and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART–TD). Collectively, the CBC unions represent more than 105,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 80% of the workforce who will be impacted by this round of negotiations

For Release
December 2, 2021

 

Covid Update - COVID-19 FAQs and payment update information... Details

For Release
March 23, 2021

A Carman job is open at Manassas, VA, along with three positions at Chattanooga, TN. If interested in taking one of these positions contact Korey Jones or James Ramey.

For Release
February 15, 2021

IAM Election for General Secretary Treasurer, April 2021

Dear Fellow TCU/BRC Members of IAM active and retired:

As you may know the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) will conduct an election for the office General Secretary Treasurer (GST). Two members are running for the GST office: The incumbent, Dora Cervantes and Ian Scott Anderman. 

Based upon an earlier endorsement of Ian Scott Anderman by TCU National President Artie Maratea, along with Ian’s qualifications, which are listed at: www.ian4iamgst.com, Lodge 6760 members’ unanimously chose to endorse Ian Scott Anderman for the office of General Secretary Treasurer of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) during its February 15, 2021 meeting.  To better preserve the continued autonomy of TCU/BRC we encourage you to request an absentee ballot for the upcoming election and vote for Ian Scott Anderman. 

As information, retired TCU/BRC members are eligible to vote in this IAM election. I have attached a copy of the official Absentee Ballot Request Form. Please complete the form and mail it to the address noted on the form as soon as possible. The actual election ballot you will receive must be postmarked by April 22, 2021 and received April 29, 2021 to be counted.

You will be asked to enter your Membership Card Number on the form. If you have not received a new Membership Card since 2012 your membership card number has changed. If you need your current membership card number send me your name, current address and lodge number. I will obtain your card number and send it to you. All TCU/BRC retired members’ card numbers begin with CE. If retired and you have not maintained your IAM/TCU/BRC membership all you need to do is send $18 for 2021 membership dues to Kristin Blakley, 3 Research Place, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Once your dues are received you will be eligible to vote. You do not have to pay any past years’ dues, just 2021.

This is a very important election to help preserve the autonomy and heritage of TCU/BRC. Please make this a priority for the sake of your union sisters and brothers on the job today by requesting a ballot and vote to help preserve our union.
 

Fraternally yours, 

Steven Pequignot

Retired
IAM/TCU/BRC member 53 years

Learn more about Ian Scott Anderman HERE. Request an absentee ballot HERE.


For Release
December 18, 2020

All Members: Read the Notice of Nominations and Elections for IAM International Officers. . .Complete Details

For Release
August 10, 2020

10AUG2020

Brothers,

Today I regret to inform you I have accepted the resignation of brother Chris Pierce from his Local Chairman position. Brother Pierce has been instrumental in unifying and protecting each one of us from unscrupulous accusations. The diligence and time he put into this lodge is unprecedented. The Local Chairman job is often a thankless job with many responsibilities. Brother Pierce served this Lodge for many years in this position honorably. On behalf of Lodge 6760 I want to thank him for his tireless efforts and diligence to serve the members of this lodge.  

I have decided to appoint brother James Ramey to interim Local Chairman. Brother Ramey has 12 years on the railroad and many of those years he has served under Brother Pierce as Portsmouth Ohio VLC. Brother Ramey will be resigning his current job as Vice President to our Lodge and will be training and working with our National Rep, Dennis Wilson. Thank you all for your service to protect and educate other members of their rights and Labor Laws.
 

Fraternally yours,

Korey Jones
President
Lodge 6760

 

For Release
July 31, 2020

Bob Scardelletti Retires with 29 Years as President of TCU and 53 Years of Membership


July 31, 2020, marks the retirement of TCU/IAM National President and Labor Legend Robert A. Scardelletti. President Scardelletti has fought for America’s working families and the members of TCU for 29 years as National President, with more than 53 years of membership in the TCU/IAM. Read more...

For Release
May 22, 2020

The IAM released a notice advising that the 40th IAM Grand Lodge Convention has been rescheduled for September 12-17, 2021, in San Diego, at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. The notice also outlines certain procedures for the election of delegates and alternate delegates.

Most importantly, the letter outlines procedures for the election of delegates and alternate delegates. Specifically:

Lodges that have not yet chosen their delegates may choose to postpone delegate selection until the spring of 2021. Alternately, lodges may choose to proceed with the delegate selection as outlined in Official Circular 874 (also attached hereto). Whichever approach local lodges take, the IAM Constitutional rules about members’ eligibility to serve as delegates at the time of the Convention continue to apply. Note that if a lodge decides to elect its delegates this year, those delegates must continue to serve as delegates to the 2021 Convention, so long as they choose to do so and remain eligible to serve.

“Clearly, this was a difficult decision to make and was not made lightly. However, the health and safety of our members and delegates are paramount,” said TCU President Bob Scardelletti

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact Executive Director Steve Wilhelm at wilhelms@tcunion.org.

Click here to read the notice from the IAM.

 

For Release
May 9, 2020

TCU/BRC Heartland Lodge 6760 will hold a lodge meeting Friday, May 22, 2020, at 4:00 PM, EDT. In addition to normal business the lodge will be conducting the nomination of delegate and alternate delegate to the IAM Grand Lodge convention. 

Due to national and state emergency orders and with approval of the Grand Lodge the nomination session and the May regular meeting will be conducted in a secure video conference setting using the Zoom platform. Lodge members wishing to take part in either, or both of the video conference meetings should contact Lodge President Korey Jones for instructions to join the meeting(s).

Fraternally yours,

Korey Jones
President
Lodge 6760

 

For Release
March 16, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers: 

The safety of our lodge members has always been Lodge 6760's utmost concern. The health and welfare of not only our members but of their families is driving our decision to postpone all Union meetings and gatherings until the COVID-19 virus is no longer an imminent threat to our members. We urge members not to panic; but to assist one another whenever safely possible...Read More

Thank you for your understanding. Please check the website periodically for updated information as to when our next meeting will be held.  

Fraternally yours,

Korey Jones
President
Lodge 6760

 

For Release
March 4, 2020

Rockville, Maryland

TCU/IAM National President Robert A. Scardelletti announces his retirement on July 31, 2020 after serving 29 years as TCU’s President with over 53 years of membership in the TCU/IAM.

Scardelletti began his rail career as a Yard Clerk with the New York Central Railroad in Cleveland, OH in 1967. He was voted Local Chairman of Local Lodge 725 in 1971 and elected Division Chairman in 1973. In 1975 he gained the attention of the late International President Fred Kroll who named him Grand Lodge Special Assistant. In 1977 he was elected Vice General Chairman of System Board No 86. In 1982 he became Executive Vice General Chairman, then was elected General Chairman in 1984. He was elected International Vice-President at the TCU National Convention in 1987.

Bob Scardelletti was first elected International President of TCU at the 1991 Convention to head the 165,000 member Union. He was the first leader in more than 75 years to successfully challenge an incumbent. Since then he has been returned to office by acclamation vote of delegates to the 1995, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2018 Conventions. He is TCU’s longest serving President.

Scardelletti will leave behind a legacy of achievements. Most notably is his participation in the passage of the Railroad Retirement and Survivors Improvement Act of 2001, which liberalized early retirement benefits for 30 year employees and their spouses so that they could retire at age 60 with full benefits. This eliminated a cap on monthly retirement and disability benefits, lowered the minimum service requirement from 10 years to 5 years and revised the financing provisions of the railroad retirement system. Thus stabilizing its financial status for generations to come. It affected a million railroaders, retired and active. Scardelletti describes these improvements to our pension as the greatest accomplishment of our lifetime.

Other notable accomplishments in President Scardelletti’s career include:

  • Continually restructuring the union to keep it viable and effective as the Union faces the challenges of the railroad industry.
  • Lead the way for TCU to merge with the IAM. This crucial move preserved TCU’s ability to represent its members for many years to come.
  • During his tenure, the Union consistently received ratification votes of its contracts by the membership in the high 80 and 90 percentiles.

The TCU/IAM Executive Council has proudly bestowed the honorary title of President Emeritus upon Scardelletti.

President Scardelletti has also held other prominent positions in the labor movement:

  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Executive Council Member
  • AFL/CIO Executive Council Member
  • International Transportation Federation (ITF) Executive Board Member
  • Cooperating Railway Labor Organizations (CRLO) Chairman

National Vice President Arthur Maratea, TCU’s National President-elect, stated “Bob Scardelletti is a legend in rail labor. He was a man for our times. His accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary. While he will be missed, the TCU and its membership wishes him and his wife Diana many years and happiness and health in their retirement years.”

National President Scardelletti: “It has been my honor to have devoted my entire working career to this Union and the members thereof. The Union-the only institution dedicated exclusively to protect and enhance the wages, working conditions, health and welfare, and pension of its members from the first day on the job to the last day of their life. It has been my honor, indeed.”

Artie Maratea Elected TCU/IAM National President

Arthur Maratea has been elected TCU/IAM National President effective August 1, 2020 by its Executive Council to fill the interim vacancy created by the retirement of its current President.

President-elect Maratea began his railroad career as a Carman on the Long Island Railroad in 1988 and was promoted to a Telegraphers position in 1989. He then joined Local 1444 and was elected President of the Local in 1991. In 1994, he was elected Local Chairman until 2002 where upon he was elected General Chairman of Long Island System Board No 167.

In 2011 President-elect Maratea was elected by the TCU/IAM Executive Council as National Vice President. He was re-elected at the 2014 and 2018 TCU/IAM National Conventions.

On January 1, 2017 TCU/IAM National President Robert A. Scardelletti appointed him as Special Assistant to the President and assigned him to head TCU’s Industry Relations and Social Services Departments.

President-elect Maratea has extensive experience in contract negotiations throughout the Union and has been a prominent figure in coordinated bargaining with various other rail labor unions.

President-elect Maratea “I am deeply honored to have been elected TCU’s National President. I will give all that I have, fighting every day to improve the working conditions and better the lives of every member. While the challenges of today are immense, our members are diligent, our Union is strong and we will continue to deliver rock solid contracts for our membership. I look forward to serving our Union and its membership in the years to come.”

Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM) represents approximately 46,000 members who work in every state in the U.S., mostly employed in the railroad industry. In 2012, TCU merged with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), who represent 600,000 active and retired members in North America.

 

Updated
March 10, 2020

The IAM, utilizing an unprecedented democratic process that included a general membership vote open to all U.S. members in good standing, has endorsed Joe Biden for president of the United States.
 
The IAM’s endorsement is the majority will of the IAM’s membership and its state councils, who voted online through an independent third party in early March. More about the IAM’s endorsement process is available at iam2020.org<https://iamaw.cmail19.com/t/d-l-mwiyll-jkhtegdy-j/>.
 
Cumulative General Membership Vote (March 4-6, 2020)
 
Democrats (66%)
1. Joe Biden – 36%
2. Bernie Sanders – 26%
3. Elizabeth Warren – 2%
4. Michael Bloomberg – 1%
5. Tulsi Gabbard – 1%
 
Republicans (34%)
1. Donald Trump – 34%
2. William Weld – Less than 1%
 
Out of the IAM’s State Council Presidents that voted in a March 8 vote between the top vote-getting candidates as chosen by the membership from each party, Joe Biden and Donald Trump, 100 percent cast their ballots for Biden.
 
A statement from IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr.:
 
“Our union made it a priority in the 2020 election cycle to give IAM members a real say in who we endorse for president of the United States. Since we announced this process in May 2019, we have encouraged members from coast to coast to register and make their voices heard in this important decision. We also urged presidential candidates to listen to our membership and speak about the issues that IAM members believe are most critical.
 
“Today the IAM is proud to announce our endorsement for Joe Biden, a proven leader who we believe can take back the White House and restore power back to working people and unions. Joe understands that unions built the middle class and that working people deserve their fair share of the prosperity we create. At this time more than ever, we need a leader who can deliver for workers and communities across this nation on retirement security, affordable health care and stronger protections for workers and unions. Our members have indicated that strong support for these issues is critical for our endorsement. Joe Biden has been fighting for these issues throughout his career.
 
“Make no mistake, workers’ rights, including safety and health and the right to unionize and bargain collectively, is on the ballot this November. We have endured four years of attacks on working people in the form of anti-union judges and NLRB decisions, attacks on our retirement and health care, and more. The GOP tax plan gave enormous tax breaks to multinational corporations while resulting in more than 50 plant closures for IAM members since the president took office. We cannot afford another four years of anti-worker policies being dictated to us by corporate-bought politicians in Washington.
 
“Joe Biden strongly supports the PRO Act, which would hold corporations accountable for violating labor laws and repeal anti-union right-to-work laws. Joe has also pledged to protect the pensions of workers and strengthen our ability to bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. Joe would end the senseless attacks on federal workers and fight for multi-employer pensions by passing the Butch Lewis Act.
 
“I encourage our members whose preferred candidate did not receive our endorsement to remain committed to our core principles. In a union as diverse as the IAM, it is OK to have different views with one common cause. We are strongest when we are united.
 
“Our membership has spoken and chosen a bold, progressive vision for our country that places the interests of working people first. From this point on, we will mobilize our membership to win the Democratic nomination for Joe Biden. No matter what happens in the months ahead, it is clear that working people demand a different direction and their fair share of power in Washington and across the country.”
 
IAM members have made it clear that they want a candidate who shares our priorities. In two independent surveys conducted over the past six months, IAM members listed these priorities:
 
  1.  Affordable healthcare: Members believe that everyone should have quality healthcare at an affordable cost.
  2.  Retirement security: Members believe that everyone should have retirement security. They strongly believe that pension benefit promises made in collective bargaining negotiations must be kept.
  3.  Outsourcing: Members strongly believe that corporate incentives to outsource work to Mexico and countries outside North America must be eliminated.
  4.  Strengthening our industrial base: Members believe that our country should support good quality jobs in the commercial and defense sectors. They voice serious concerns over continuing plant closings and layoffs.
  5.  Stronger laws protecting workers and union rights: Members are seriously concerned over the continued weakening of workers’ rights and believe that strong unions remain the key to our future.
  6.  Trade policy that puts working people first: Members believe that trade policy should make workers a priority, not corporations that use trade policy to ship jobs overseas.
 
Other important issues to our members included higher taxes and cost of living, poverty and income inequality, cost of education, and racial and gender inequality.
 
Our two surveys also found:
 
  *  IAM members are politically diverse. A significant number of our members are Democrats, Republicans, Independents and affiliated with other political identifications.
  *  IAM members have a positive perception of labor unions overall, especially the IAM.
  *  A large majority of Republicans in the surveys believe that the country is better off under President Trump and a large majority of Democrats believe the country is worse off under President Trump.
  *  Comments about the Democratic candidates and President Trump referenced “promises,” “the “economy,” “jobs” and “trade.”

 
 

 

For Release
January 1, 2020

Heartland Lodge 6760
TCU/IAM BRC Division

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Election of Officers' Ballets have been tabulated. The following Lodge officers will be installed at the next lodge meeting. Officers assume their respective positions January 1, 2020 for three year terms.

President - Korey Jones
Vice President - James Ramey
Recording Secretary - Jameson McKnight
Financial Secretary-Treasurer - Jameson McKnight
Chairman of the Board of Trustees - Matt Sosby
Board of Trustees Members (2) - Josh Pistole and Timothy Martin
Chairman of the Local Protective Committee-Delegate - Christopher Pierce
Alternate Delegate - Jameson McKnight

More details

Fraternally yours,

Shane Mills
President, Lodge 6760
TCU/IAM  BRC Divsion

 

For Release
June 29, 2019

For Release
November 14, 2018

Attention IAM Veterans:

The Veterans Services Department is convening its 2019 Veteran's Services Program at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center. Orientation will be held on Sunday, March 31, 2019, at 6:00 PM. The program will conclude on Friday, April 5, 2019.

This is a special invitation for you to attend the program. If you will be traveling on a commercial airline, you should be prepared to travel and arrive on Saturday, March 30, 2019. All participants must be at the Winpisinger Center no later than 4:00 PM. on Sunday, March 31, 2019. Please do not make your own flight reservations; the Winpisinger Center will send you further instructions on travel.

Please complete the Participant Registration Form and forward to the IAM Veterans Services Department, 9000 Machinists Place, Room 303, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772, no later than Monday, January 28, 2019.

In solidarity,

Robert Martinez, Jr.

c/o Steve Wilhelm
Chairman
IAM Veterans Services Steering Committee

For Release
June 20, 2018

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

The article below is from the SMART website this office received from James Ramey, Vice Local Chairman, Portsmouth, Ohio Train Yard(s) and B Yard operations.  This was a tremendous win for our craft. Norfolk Southern along with all of the Class 1 Carriers provided data and swayed the AAR to petition the FRA for a waiver to increase the already four (4) hour time frame to twenty-four (24) hours that a car(s) could be off of an air source before requiring another Class 1 (A6) air brake inspection.

This waiver was defeated by Brotherhood of Railway Carman President Rich Johnson along with four (4) other Rail Unions who in their fervent letters of dissent, convinced the FRA to not allow such a waiver to pass. I would urge all of you to click on the following link to read all of the joint comments submitted by the unions. https://www.goiam.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Union-Joint-Comment.pdf 

In closing, please urge all of our members to perform all air brake related inspections correctly.  In my opinion, The Class 1 Carriers are trying to undermine our respective craft any way they can.

Take pride and follow all FRA mandated instruction.

I will always remain….

Fraternally yours,

Christopher K. Pierce
Local Chairman/Lodge 6760
Unit 200 BRC Division-TCU/IAM

 

 

FRA SAFETY BOARD DENIES AAR REQUEST ON AIR TESTS

PUBLISHED: JUNE 20, 2018

A victory for safety was achieved in June when the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Railroad Safety Board denied a request by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to lengthen the “off-air” restriction from four to 24 hours for required brake tests and inspections.

AAR had written to FRA in December 2017 seeking a petition for waiver, arguing that safety would not be affected and that lengthening the off-air restriction would bring U.S. requirements in line with Canada’s 24-hour off-air restriction.

However, SMART Transportation Division President John Previsich and union leaders from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS), American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA) and Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division (TCU/IAM)’s letter in February urged FRA officials to deny the request.

The waiver would be unenforceable and too far-reaching, the unions argued.

“Despite the carriers’ safety assurances, the labor organizations have concerns with this far sweeping request for waiver given the fact that it will cover AAR’s entire membership,” the unions said. “To allow such a sweeping waiver request to go forward, each railroad would have to demonstrate that the cars on their railroad had state of the art brake valves, dryers and automatic moisture drainage. It is hard to imagine FRA granting such a ‘one size fits all’ waiver to each of AAR’s member railroads.”

The FRA board agreed with SMART TD and the other rail unions, with Robert Lauby, FRA Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety, saying in the agency’s June 19 denial letter that the petition was better considered as part of the rulemaking process.

The board also said that AAR failed to prove that the changes would not have an adverse effect on safety.

“Based on its review and analysis, the board concluded that granting the requested relief would not be in the public interest or consistent with rail safety,” Lauby wrote.

Lauby also said in the letter that the data provided by AAR to support its petition did not cover the variety of real-world conditions encountered while running trains.

“Absent more detailed data demonstrating that safety would not be compromised, the Board concluded that the waiver request was not justified,” Lauby said.

 

For Release
January 22, 2018

By an overwhelming vote TCU Carmen and Clerks have ratified the National Agreement.

Carmen voting 78.85% in favor.

Clerks voting 93.92% in favor.

“ A solid vote of confidence by the membership in this overwhelming vote to approve the Agreement. The Carriers will now begin implementing the wage increases and processing the back pay.” Said National President Robert Scardelletti. “It’s finally over. A new Agreement is now in place. I thank everyone for their patience and support during this very long and difficult process.”

For Release
January 4, 2018

Ratification packets have been mailed to all TCU members. This package is also available at our Online Library.

For Release
December 22, 2017

All TCU Members Under the National Agreement:

A comprehensive ratification packet will be in the mail on December 27 to each TCU member under the National Agreement. Several days thereafter it will be published on the TCU website. For all members a special email address TCUTA@tcunion.org has been established to answer questions.

Sisters and Brothers, after three years we have an agreement. An agreement that National President Robert Scardelletti, Carmen Division General President Richard Johnson together with our entire Negotiating Committee, believe is worthy of your ratification. Ballots must be returned to TCU by January 22, 2018.

 

For Release
December 11, 2017

After three years of difficult and contentious bargaining with the National Carriers Conference Committee (NCCC), TCU Carmen and Clerks together with our coalition partners (IAM, TWU and IBEW) have reached a Tentative National Agreement (TA) subject to membership ratification. The TA follows the terms of the CBG TA, which has now been ratified by an overwhelmingly majority of CBG members. (6 rail unions) Those details have been widely published. A comprehensive ratification package is being prepared to be mailed to each TCU member. Working with our Printer we anticipate a membership mailing date of December 27 with a ballot count date of January 22, 2018. Once the ratification package is in the hands of the membership full details of the TA will be posted on the TCU website.

“After reviewing the ratification package and for all the reasons stated therein, I urge the membership to vote in favor of ratification,” said TCU President Bob Scardelletti

“I appreciate and thank the thousands of TCU members for their patience and support during this very difficult period.  It’s time to bring this round of bargaining to an end and begin to prepare for the next round just two years away. The TA is now in the hands of the TCU membership.”

 

For Release
November 11, 2017

As previously announced on October 6, 2017, the six Rail Unions comprising the Coordinated Bargaining Group (CBG) have reached a Tentative National Agreement with the Nation’s Freight Rail Carriers. As this Update goes to press, members of all CBG Unions have either received their ballots, or soon will. All members are encouraged to review the Tentative Agreement and compare those terms and conditions to the other options before us and participate in your future by casting your vote. As additional information to help your review, on November 2, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed two Republican nominees to serve as members of the National Mediation Board. This three-person Board is now controlled by a Republican majority, and it is the Government Agency that manages the mediation process that all Rail Labor Unions are currently involved in, pursuant to the Railway Labor Act. The National Mediation Board, in concert with the White House, will determine when the parties have officially reached an impasse, and will manage any potential Presidential Emergency Board activities for those Unions and Rail Carriers that do not reach a voluntary settlement. In addition, the Rail Unions of the CBG must again condemn the interference by the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE) in our ratification processes. These unprecedented attacks have escalated to a series of false accusations against the CBG Unions, and are clearly intended to harm our ratification of the Tentative Agreement. These slanderous accusations are without merit and in direct response to the CBG’s refusal to embrace BMWE’s proposals to change the Health and Welfare plan. BMWE, having failed to reach a voluntary agreement and in fact having given up on further negotiations, is now seeking to place your work rules and health care on the table as leverage for their benefit at a Presidential Emergency Board and ultimately in front of the United States Congress. Your negotiating team and the affected General Chairmen of the CBG Organizations have considered all options and determined, unanimously, that the health care scheme proposed by BMWE is not in the best interest of our members even if the railroads were agreeable to such a plan (and there is no indication that the railroads are acceptable to the scheme). The BMWE proposal is just a proposal, one that no Rail Union outside of the BMWE coalition has publicly agreed to endorse. On the other hand, the agreement proposed by the CBG negotiators is real — it includes terms and conditions that protect our work rules, provides for minimal increases in health care that are more than offset by wage increases that are over twice the rate of inflation, with reasonable out-of-pocket maximums that protect our members from the impact of catastrophic medical events.

These are the facts; don’t be misled by any misrepresentations. We respect the right of any Organization to negotiate in the best interests of its members, and BMWE is certainly free to pursue any avenue it believes best, including denying their members the opportunity to vote on their future. But we also reject any Organization’s attempt to interfere in the sacred democratic process of those who have reached a voluntary agreement, especially when our elected representatives have unanimously endorsed the proposed agreement and have chosen to allow our members to cast a vote on their own future.

Refraining from attacking another Union in the performance of its negotiating obligations is a core principle of Trade Unionism. The Union interfering in your ratification process does not have the same exposure to significant work rules changes that you do and has publicly stated that it does not care if your work rules are eliminated. The leaders of that Union at the highest level have been repeatedly asked to stay out of our ratification process, and they have refused.

This is the opposite of true Brotherhood; don’t be conned by their anti-union activities. Take the time to understand all your options and the risks associated with each, and then be sure to participate by voting in your ratification process, a process that the interfering Union does not think you are entitled to.

The Coordinated Bargaining Group is comprised of six unions: the American Train Dispatchers Association; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters); the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers; the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers / SEIU; and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers.

Collectively, the CBG unions represent more than 85,000 railroad workers covered by the various organizations’ national agreements, and comprise over 58% of the workforce that will be impacted by the outcome of the current bargaining round.

 

For Release November 16, 2016
Officers Nominated

TO:  All Members
Heartland Lodge 6760
TCU/IAM  BRC Division

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

At the November 2016 meeting the following members were nominated for the offices indicated before their names. Election will be held in December 2016. Those elected will assume their respective offices January 1, 2017 for three year terms.

President - Michael Bleser
Vice President - Shane Mills
Recording Secretary - Jameson McKnight
Financial Secretary-Treasurer - Kevin Hite
Chairman of the Board of Trustees - Shawn Fensler
Board of Trustees Member - Ben Melton & Michael R. Fisher
Chairman of the Local Protective Committee-Delegate - Christopher Pierce
Alternate Delegate - Kevin Mitchell

Michael A. Bleser
President, Lodge 6760
TCU/IAM  BRC Divsion

 

For Release September 30, 2016
Nominations of Lodge Officers

Fort Wayne will host the next meeting November 16, 2016, at Rack and Helen's conference room, 525 Broadway Street, New Haven, Indiana 46774. The meeting will be call to order at 3:30 PM. Nomination of officers will take place at this meeting.

View a map of the meeting location

 

For Release June 1, 2016

 
 

Detroit, Michigan, June 1, 2016 - After a one and one-half year period, Mike Bleser has become the first member of the lodge to become president in two separate tenures. Mike first became president April 1, 2010 and held the office until December 31, 2014. Due to the office being vacated, Mike was elected as president during the May 2016 meeting. Needless to say Mike brings a ton of experience with him to the office. He is a proven leader who is dedicated to preserving quality within the craft and ensuring members work in a safe environment.

The lodge is thankful for Mike's leadership and appreciative to his wife lovely Linda for supporting Mike's decision to seek a second tenure as lodge president.

Thank you Mike for your dedication and stewardship.

 

For Release April 14, 2016
Election for Delegate and Alternate Delegate

TCU Heartland Lodge 6760 elected Christopher K. Pierce as its Delegate, and Jameson McKnight as the Alternate Delegate to the 2016 IAM Grand Lodge Convention. The quadrennial event will commence on September 4, 2016 at the Chicago Hilton Hotel and is expected to conclude on September 9, 2016.

Shawn Fensler
President
Heartland Lodge 6760

 

For Release March 31, 2016
Notice of Nomination & Election

To: All Members of Local Lodge No. 6760

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

            We will be conducting the nomination and election of delegate and alternate delegate to the IAM Grand Lodge Convention in a special meeting.

Nominations will be held at our special meeting scheduled for 4/14/2016, 4:00PM.  To be held a Rack and Helen's Conference Room, 525 Broadway Street, New Haven Indiana 46774.

The following positions are to be filled:

Delegate to the IAM Grand Lodge Convention

Alternate Delegate

 

In the event there is more than one qualified person nominated for a position, an election will be held at the May meeting.

In the event that only one candidate for each office is nominated, the unopposed nominees are elected by acclimation and the recording secretary should immediately file the furnished form with the IAM GST’S office.

Fraternally Yours,

Shawn Fensler
          President Lodge 6760

 

For Release March 3, 2016
Lodge 6760 Member Toby Smith

It is with the deepest sorrow and a heavy heart I must inform you of an incident involving a Brother from Lodge 6760. At approximately 05:30, today, Toby Smith, a 42-year old husband and father of three, while involved in switching operations at Union Tank Car, Marion, Ohio, Plant 1, was in an accident resulting in the amputation of both legs. Brother Smith was life-flown to Grant Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, where he under went surgery and is being sedated in stable condition in the center's IC Unit.

While in Columbus, Ohio, National Representatives Carl Lakin, Dennis Wilson and myself talked with Brother Smith's loved ones and expressed our deepest sorrow. It was quite evident to me, Brother Smith has a tremendous support awaiting and praying for his recovery.

At this time, I am asking for your thoughts and prayers for Brother Smith, his family and the other Brothers who were involved in this tragic accident.

In solidarity,

Christopher K. Pierce
Local Chairman
Lodge 6760
TCU/IAM

 

For Release December 14, 2015
Lodge 6760 Morns the Passing of
One of its Longtime Officers

  It is with sadness to report the passing of a great railroader and union officer, Lowell D. (Hawkeye) Wheeler passed away Friday, December 11, at his home in Lakeland, Florida. Brother Lowell held Lodge 6760 together financially for many years serving as Financial-Secretary/Treasurer. Each of his 20 plus annual audits were presented to the Board of Trustees and accurate to the penny. He knew where every dime of union funds were spent and held each officer accountable for every dollar spent. Lowell began is railroad career in 1967 in Montpelier, Ohio. He transferred to Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1984 where he retired August 31, 2008.

As a railway Carmen Lowell was known by all as Hawkeye, because of his great interest in public safety by ensuring that no freight car departed his train yard with a defect. He could spot a thin flange freight train wheel before he knelt down to gauge it. Lowell was well respected and considered one of the best train yard inspectors on the system during his 41-year career. He was a champion and will be missed.

Lowell
D. Wheeler,
67, passed away Friday, December 11, 2015 at his home in Florida. Born in Hudson, Michigan and living in New Haven, Indiana the past 30 years, Lowell worked as a Railway Carman with Norfolk Southern Railway for over 40 years. He served as an officer with Brotherhood of Railway Carmen and Transportation Communication Union for over 20 years. Surviving are his wife, Betty Jo(Berberick)Wheeler of Lakeland, FL; sons: Larry A.(Heather) of West Unity, OH, Ronald L.(Barbara) of Montpelier, OH, Eric J.(Elizabeth)of Stryker, OH, Jeremy K.(Erica) of New Haven, IN, and James L.(Kym) of Lakeland, FL; grandchildren: Connor, Brooke, Sydney, Christopher, Kaidan, Matthew, Maggie, Brandin, and Luke; and sister, Troybelle Luce. Lowell was preceded in death by his parents, William "Donald" and Esther M. Wheeler; brothers, Harley Wheeler and Leslie G. Wheeler; and grandson, Brandon C. Wheeler. Memorial Service will be held at D.O. McComb Funeral Home in June 2016. Memorials may be made to Fort Wayne Seventh Day Adventist Church or Good Shepherd Hospice. To sign the online guest book, go to www.mccombandsons.com.

For Release December 4, 2015

 

NORFOLK SOUTHERN BOARD OF DIRECTORS UNANIMOUSLY REJECTS UNSOLICITED INDICATION OF INTEREST FROM CANADIAN PACIFIC

 

Canadian Pacific’s Indication of Interest is Grossly Inadequate and
Not in the Best Interests of Norfolk Southern and Its Shareholders 

Transaction Would Face Substantial Regulatory Risks and Uncertainties Highly Unlikely to Be Overcome

Norfolk Southern Confident That Its Strategic
Plan Will Deliver Compelling Shareholder Value

Company to Host Conference Call at 8:30 am ET Today

 

Norfolk, Va., December 4, 2015 – Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) (“Norfolk Southern” or the “Company”) today announced that its board of directors has unanimously rejected Canadian Pacific’s (TSX:CP)(NYSE:CP) previously announced unsolicited, low-premium, non-binding, highly conditional indication of interest to acquire the Company for $46.72 in cash and a fixed exchange ratio of 0.348 shares in a new company that would own Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern. After a comprehensive review, conducted in consultation with its financial and legal advisors, the Norfolk Southern board concluded that the indication of interest is grossly inadequate, creates substantial regulatory risks and uncertainties that are highly unlikely to be overcome, and is not in the best interest of the Company and its shareholders.

“We believe in our ability to generate greater shareholder value through execution of our strategy – delivering efficient and superior service to build a more profitable franchise based on price and volume growth, implementing efficiency measures, and increasing returns on capital to strengthen our financial performance, all while maintaining our disciplined capital return strategy,” said Chairman, President and CEO James A. Squires. “Norfolk Southern has made growth investments and we expect to realize the benefits of these investments in the years ahead, especially as our intermodal volumes continue to build. Specifically, we expect to achieve an operating ratio below 70 in 2016 with additional improvements over the next five years resulting in increasing ROE and an operating ratio below 65 by 2020. By maximizing our asset utilization, we believe we can achieve double-digit compounded EPS growth over this period. In short, Norfolk Southern is well positioned to deliver compelling value to our shareholders.”

Mr. Squires continued, “There is a high probability that, after years of disruption and expense, the proposed combination would be rejected by the Surface Transportation Board (“STB”). We also believe the STB would reject Canadian Pacific’s proposed voting trust structure, and that there is no certainty that any other voting trust structure would be approved. Even if the proposed combination were ultimately to be cleared, it would be subject to a wide range of onerous conditions that would reduce the value of the stock consideration that has been proposed.”

Mr. Squires concluded, “We believe that Canadian Pacific’s short-term, cut-to-the-bone strategy could cause Norfolk Southern to lose substantial revenues from our service-sensitive customer base. We also believe the proposed transaction risks harm to vital transportation infrastructure and the communities we serve. Any strategy that hurts our customers and the broader community is highly unlikely to receive regulatory approval and is inconsistent with the delivery of shareholder value over the long-term.”

The Norfolk Southern board, composed of 13 directors, 11 of whom are independent, undertook a comprehensive review of the Canadian Pacific proposal. The Norfolk Southern board, in making its determination, considered among other factors:

The Canadian Pacific indication of interest substantially undervalues Norfolk Southern

·      Norfolk Southern, under the direction of its board of directors and a recently appointed Chief Executive Officer, is successfully executing a strategic plan to drive operational improvements. The board is confident that the continued execution of this strategic plan is superior to Canadian Pacific’s grossly inadequate and high-risk proposal

 

·      The board believes that Canadian Pacific’s indication of interest is opportunistically timed to take advantage of a Norfolk Southern market valuation that has been adversely affected by a challenging commodity price environment, does not fully reflect infrastructure investments Norfolk Southern has made, and does not incorporate the upside from further improvements anticipated to result from the initiatives that the Company is implementing.

Norfolk Southern is successfully executing on its strategy 

·      Norfolk Southern’s management team is successfully executing a number of revenue growth initiatives focused on pricing discipline and growth in merchandise and intermodal market opportunities.

·      Norfolk Southern’s strategic plan is focused on providing superior customer service, continuing the recent improvement in network performance, and implementing efficiency measures, including managing headcount, increasing locomotive productivity, and integrating technological innovations.

·      Norfolk Southern’s strategic plan provides for double-digit compounded EPS growth over the next five years, increasing ROE, and, by 2020, an operating ratio below 65.

·      Norfolk Southern is committed to pursuing a disciplined capital allocation strategy while investing appropriately in its network. Over the past 10 years, since the inception of its share repurchase program, the Company has distributed nearly $15 billion to shareholders, consisting of an average of approximately $1 billion in share repurchases per year and a steadily increasing dividend with a 10-year annual compound growth rate of 14%. 

 

Transaction would face substantial regulatory risks and uncertainties that are highly unlikely to be overcome 

The board believes that the proposed transaction is unlikely to be completed given the substantial regulatory risks. Notably, any transaction must be determined by the STB to both “enhance competition” and be in the “public interest”.

Given the extended review process of two years or more and the uncertainty of approval, there would be significant disruption to Norfolk Southern’s business and operations. 

The Norfolk Southern board also believes that in the event the transaction did close, it would be only after the imposition of substantial regulatory conditions compromising the potential benefits of a combination and reducing the value of the proposed stock consideration.

 

There is no certainty that the STB would approve a voting trust - the voting trust structure proposed by Canadian Pacific is unprecedented and likely would not be approved

·      Contrary to Canadian Pacific’s claims, a voting trust under which a transaction would close prior to final STB approval of the merger would not protect Norfolk Southern shareholders from regulatory uncertainty. Under STB rules established in 2001, any voting trust would require both a public comment period and approval by the STB based on a finding that the voting trust itself is in the public interest. There is no certainty that the STB would approve use of a voting trust.

 

·      The voting trust structure proposed by Canadian Pacific is unprecedented, and it is highly likely it would be rejected by the STB because the Canadian Pacific management team would control or be substantially involved in the operations of Norfolk Southern prior to receiving regulatory approval of the proposed merger transaction.

The proposed transaction would be detrimental to Norfolk Southern’s customer baseand communities

Canadian Pacific’s unilateral open access proposal would undercut the financial performance of the combined entity as well as degrade service and dis-incentivize investment. 

Any strategy that adversely impacts Norfolk Southern’s service-sensitive customer base and communities is unlikely to receive regulatory approval and is inconsistent with the delivery of shareholder value over the long-term.

 

Canadian Pacific’s synergy targets are overstated and imply significant reduction in investment to maintain service

Canadian Pacific’s overstated synergy targets imply significant reduction to investment and employment levels, which the board believes would harm service levels and would be unacceptable to the STB.

Operating synergies are limited because the Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern networks serve entirely separate regions and only connect at five points. 

Any near-term cost savings that might result from applying Canadian Pacific’s short-term focused operating model on Norfolk Southern would be offset by traffic diversions, service deterioration and loss of service-sensitive customers. 

Open access has been widely documented to produce negative revenue synergies from traffic loss and rate compression while also increasing operating costs.

The transaction would not help Chicago congestion issues

·      As the smallest Class 1 railroad in Chicago, accounting for less than 5% of all Chicago rail traffic, Canadian Pacific’s volumes are too small to impact Chicago rail traffic.

 

·      The proposed transaction would likely increase Chicago congestion.


 

o                                   Less than 15% – or less than one train per day – of current
Canadian Pacific-Norfolk Southern connecting traffic can be efficiently rerouted around Chicago.
 

o                                   Further, Norfolk Southern believes that the proposed transaction would cause more, not less, traffic congestion in Chicago. We expect Canadian Pacific would increase revenues by converting interline traffic between Norfolk Southern and both BNSF Railway (“BNSF”) and Union Pacific (“UP”) to single-line traffic in the proposed Canadian Pacific-Norfolk Southern system. Much of this Norfolk Southern traffic with BNSF and UP avoids Chicago today. Unlike BNSF and UP, Canadian Pacific does not have efficient Chicago bypass routes, so Canadian Pacific would have to route most of this traffic through Chicago.
 

Not only do the lines of Canadian Pacific and Norfolk Southern not physically connect in Chicago, but neither company’s traffic can be moved to other Canadian Pacific-Norfolk Southern connecting points without all constituencies incurring substantial extra miles, cost and time.

 

For Release June 20, 2015
200 New Jobs Coming to Marion, Ohio UTLX

From Left to right; Local Chairman Chris Pierce, TCU National representative Carl Lakin, Local Representative Troy Meadows and Carmen Division General Vice President Don Grissom

Marion, Ohio – June 20, 2015, Union Tank Car Co. has announced it will add a second facility in Marion, creating 200 new jobs over the next three years, a company news release issued through Columbus 2020 announces.

The Chicago-based company, which services and repairs railroad tank cars used primarily by the chemical, petrochemical and food industries, noted that its commitment will double the size of the workforce it currently employs at its Holland Road facility near Marion.

On Monday, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved a 55 percent, five-year tax credit to Union Tank Car for the creation of $8,272,000 in new annual payroll as a result of the company's expansion project in the city of Marion. As part of the tax credit agreement, the authority requires the company to maintain operations at the project location for at least 11 years.

Greg Cieslak, Union Tank Car group president, states in a news release from the company: "We have a quick need to expand into a second facility due to the industry's changing landscape, and found the Columbus Region to be a strategic location to grow. The area offers access to the right workforce and real estate to fit our needs, and the Midwest location and rail infrastructure are convenient to our customers."

New federal guidelines regarding the service of ethanol and crude oil tank cars prompted the company's expansion, the release states. A second facility will be used to upgrade the tanks and safety measures on Union Tank's existing fleet of tank cars to meet the new regulations. Union Tank Car's new facility will be at 1207 Cheney Ave. The company's investment will include machinery and equipment and infrastructure costs at the new location. Union Tank Car will maintain its existing facility, at 939 Holland Road.

The project involves expanding operational capacity, according to the Ohio Tax Credit Authority. The company's fixed asset investment would be toward leasehold improvements, expanding an existing building, on-site infrastructure improvements, and new machinery and equipment. Ronald Meade, administrator for Ohio Means Jobs-Marion County, said the pay range for the new jobs will be $15 to $21 per hour, with a "great benefits package," including medical, dental and life insurance.

Those interested in applying for work at Union Tank Car are asked to do so through Ohio Means Jobs-Marion County. The jobs available are welders and fabricators, tank car repairers, rail car switchmen, material handlers, and general labor and helpers, who must have a general welding knowledge. Bruce Winslow, Union Tank Car spokesman, said the performance of the company's Holland Road site added to the attractiveness of Marion as the location for a second facility.

"We do have a track record in Marion," Winslow said. "We do have a very successful shop there." Matthew Dietrich, executive director of the Ohio Rail Development Commission, states in the release: "We're happy to partner with Union Tank Car Company on its expansion and help secure some of the funding to take this project from dream to reality."

The ORDC is offering a $75,000 grant to defray rail improvement costs on-site, helping to enable the company to reactivate the rail line at the Cheney Avenue site and to establish rail service, said Julie Kaercher, ORDC spokeswoman. As part of its investment, Union Tank Car Co. has committed to adding 200 jobs to its existing roster of employees in Marion. The new jobs will include welders and technicians.

Union Tank Car is partnering with Tri-Rivers Career Center on a workforce development program to train applicants to fill the new positions. The training effort, led by Tri-Rivers Career Center, will be specific to the skills Union Tank Car requires for this project. Tri-Rivers Career Center is investing significant funds for new equipment related to the project, and Ohio MeansJobs-Marion County will provide funds specific to the training aspect, the release states.

Chuck Speelman, Tri-Rivers Career Center superintendent, said he and a Tri-Rivers welding instructor, along with an Ohio Means Jobs-Marion Countyofficial, met Ted Graham, who owns the Cheney Avenue property being leased to Union Tank Car, at a Union Tank Car facility in Sheldon, Texas, about three weeks ago.

He said they made the trip to see the process in which workers at the new facility would need to be trained. "They were impressed with our facility and the fact we're training both adults and high school students beyond the specifications that they need," Speelman said. "We had some discussions about exactly what it was they needed, then we took a trip down to their facility just outside of Houston, Texas. ... Our high school students and adults are well-equipped to do that process."

Tri-Rivers purchased 10 pulsating welders to train its students on the equipment the company will use, he said, adding that the $90,000 investment will be paid out of equipment money the school receives from the state. "We'll be looking at adding space or renovating space to be able to do this, because right now we have limited space during the day," he said. He said the new space would accommodate night and weekend training.

Meade said Ohio Means Jobs-Marion County will reimburse each eligible hire at Union Tank Car up to 50 percent of their on-the-job training wages up to a maximum of $8,000.

Initial screening will take place at three locations — Ohio Means Jobs-Marion County, Tri-Rivers Career Center and Union Tank Car — all applicants meeting eligibility requirements and successfully completing training guaranteed an interview with the company. That process is expected to begin in July. For more information regarding applying for jobs, call Ohio Means Jobs-Marion County at 740-382-0076.

Gus Comstock, Marion CAN DO! director, said Marion "was an ideal location for Union Tank," in part because of its access to rail. "Rail is a part of the community's heritage, and Marion is just genetically programmed for workers to make big things," Comstock said. He said the availability of welding training at Tri-Rivers is the "other thing that sets Marion apart." Comstock praised the cooperation of many entities in helping to convince Union Tank Car to add its new facility in Marion, adding that the new facility will use a rail spur that also connects to Nucor Steel Marion.

"What I'm most impressed about is how everybody seems to be coming together; let's just keep the community moving forward," he said.

At the new facility, Union Tank Car has set a goal of "rewrapping" 60 tank cars each week "when it's at full capacity, but that won't happen right away," Speelman said. "There will be a transition period to get to that point." He said in the rewrapping process the tank cars will be wrapped in heat-resistant fiberglass, with heavy steel plate also installed as reinforcement. The measures are intended to reduce the consequences of derailments. "Once again, I think this is an example that when you invest in people and training in a community good things happen," he said.

Ken Stiverson, president, Marion County Board of Commissioners, said: "Our centuries-old rail road history and modern infrastructure make this an ideal project for the Marion community."

For more than 120 years, Union Tank Car has been a leader within the community of builders, lessors and shippers of railroad tank cars, working with customers to provide practical solutions to industry needs. In addition to its two manufacturing facilities in Louisiana and Texas, the Chicago-based company operates a major network of repair shops and lining shops, including a location in Marion. Its repair and inspection resources also include more than 60 dedicated On-Site mini shops and mobile repair locations.

Union Tank Car is a Marmon Group/Berkshire Hathaway company. For more information about Union Tank Car, visit UTLX.com. UTLX employees are represented by The Brotherhood Railway Carmen Divsion of TCU/IAM and are members of TCU Heartland Lodge 6760, www.tcu6760.com.

How to apply:

Anyone wishing to apply for the new jobs being created with the addition of a second Union Tank Car Co. facility in Marion is asked to send a resume to Ohio Means Jobs-Marion County, 622 Leader St., or to attend an open job recruitment fair, which will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 10 at Ohio Means Jobs Marion County. For more information call Ohio Means Jobs-Marion County at 740-382-0076.

 

 

For Release April 30, 2015
Heartland Lodge 6760 Local Chairman
Christopher Pierce Delivers His Representational Goals to the Membership


Read Local Chairman Pierce's message Here
 

For Release March 12, 2015
The House Passes Amtrak Funding

 

The House recently passed Amtrak reauthorization legislation, The Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act H.R.749, authorizing nearly $8 billion in funding for Amtrak that would expire in 2019.  The 316-101 vote badly divided Republicans, as all of the no votes came from firebrand conservatives. The Bill wouldn't have passed except for the support of all House Democrats.

 

The conservative group Heritage Action for America pressured Republicans to oppose the Bill.

TCU lobbied hard to convince our friends on both sides of the isle to reject an amendment that would have zeroed out all Amtrak funding and destroyed thousands of good middle-class Amtrak jobs. By voting against the McClintock amendment, members of Congress rejected the notion that the United States should not have a national passenger railroad.

The White House issued a statement supporting the Bill but called for increased spending for Passenger Rail. The Senate must now approve the measure in order to reach President Obama's desk.

The House Bill authorizes about $982 million per year for Amtrak’s long distance service and another $470 million annually for the Northeast Corridor. The bill sets another $300 million per year for capital improvements on Amtrak routes in the rest of country and about $24 million per year for the company's inspector general.

Amtrak’s subsidies have been hotly contested in Congress in recent years. Congressman Mica of Florida pushed to privatize service on the Northeast, arguing that nongovernment entities could operate trains more efficiently then Amtrak. TCU was able to help beat back the Mica amendment in Committee.

“This nation has significant transportation challenges ahead, and Amtrak looks forward to working with leadership to ensure intercity passenger rail will keep people and the economy moving,” said Amtrak in a statement.

Amtrak employees can take comfort in the fact House Republicans did not drastically cut Amtrak’s funding in light of budget constraints imposed by the majority.

 

For Release January 21, 2015
Union Family mourns loss

Detroit, Michigan, January 21, 2015 - It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of Blake Bowman. Blake is the son of Carman Brian Bowman. Blake, a 14-year old champion lost his fight with cystic fibrosis today. Blake enjoyed many sports. At the top of his list was fishing with his dad. Lodge 6760's officers and members offer our prayers and deepest sympathies to the Bowman family. A fund has been created to help the family offset medical costs. To learn more about Blake and the fund created for him please view his page at: www.gofundme.com/kkgmeo.

 

For Release December 31, 2014
Mike Bleser Steps Down as President
Chris Pierce Becomes the 14th President of Lodge 6760

Detroit, Michigan, December 31, 2014 - Over the past four years Mike Bleser has served as the 13th President of Heartland Lodge 6760. During his tenure in office the lodge has increased its membership over 100%. With over 500 members the lodge is now the second largest lodge in the United States. Mike has spent many hours and driven thousands of miles to ensure that members at all ten of the major points in the lodge, spreading over a 510-mile diameter, have an equal opportunity to attend lodge meetings by taking the meetings to the members. Lodge 6760 is the only lodge in the country to rotate its monthly meetings from one point to another. In 2012 Mike was instrumental in changing the name of the lodge so it better reflects its current jurisdiction. Mike has put his heart and soul into the lodge over the past four years.

Today, Mike is stepping down as Lodge President. His skills and knowledge will be missed; however, he will still be active as he has accepted an appointment to the office of Board of Trustees.

Thank you Mike for your dedication and stewardship.

 

Fort Wayne, Indiana – Heartland Lodge 6760 is pleased to announce that Christopher Pierce has become the 14th president of the lodge. President Pierce began his rail career in the late 1980s employed by Triple Crown. On March 12, 1990, Chris transferred to Norfolk Southern as a Student Carman at Fort Wayne. After earning his journeyman status, Brother Pierce became skilled in the craft and dedicated himself to learning every facet of the trade. He did it all with vigor and pride. When transferred to train yard inspection duties, Chris took the rule books home with him to study. In a short time he knew every rule and inspected every train by the book.

As time passed and senior carmen retired, Chris realized that the lodge needed some younger members to step forward to lead. Chris took on that challenge as well. In 2013 he became Vice President of the lodge. Under the direction of President Mike Bleser, Chris traveled to various points of the lodge to meet the members and listen to their concerns.

Brother Pierce is a dedicated husband, father, employee and officer. When on the job he is all business. As president of the lodge members can expect the same dedication and respect that Chris has displayed during his 25-year rail career.

Congratulations President Pierce, the lodge stands behind you.

 

 

For Release December 17, 2014
Railroad Retirement COLA & Taxes for 2015

Chicago, Illinois - Effective January 1, 2015 railroad retirees will receive cost of living adjustments of 1.7% on Tier I benefits and .6% on Tier II benefits. For details on all creditable and taxable compensation under Railroad Retirement view the complete list.

For Release November 15, 2014
Lodge 6760 Welcomes New Member

Fort Wayne, Indiana - Lodge 6760 is pleased to welcome Dan Welty into the lodge. Brother Welty recently transferred from Elkhart Indiana. He is now working at the Car Shop at East Wayne Yard in Fort Wayne. Vice President Chris Pierce describes Dan as a member who exhibits traits of a true leader and one interested in furthering his craft.

Lodge Financial Secretary Treasurer
Kevin Hite becomes a father

 
 
 
 
 
Lodge 6760 FST Kevin Hite becomes a father. Congratulations to Kevin and Shelly, on October 9, 2014, at 7:52 AM., they received their 8 lb. 9 oz. gift of life with the birth of their daughter Lilian Joyce Hite. We understand Shelly and Lilian are doing fine and Kevin is excited about his new roll in life.

Lodge 6760 officers and members wish Kevin and Shelly well with their new bundle of joy.

For Release July 29, 2014
TCU/IAM Grand Lodge Convention

Las Vegas, Nevada - July 2014. Hundreds of TCU/IAM members came together this week for the 34th Regular TCU/IAM Convention, marking the 115th anniversary of TCU.

In a stirring and passionate address to delegates, TCU President Bob Scardelletti inspired the room with his view of not only the current state of this great union, but the future as well.

His topics included the Carmen Convention’s unity, the strong quality of TCU/IAM representatives and the importance of education to the future of TCU/IAM...Read full article

For Release July 7, 2014
No meetings in July

TCU Heartland Lodge 6760 does not hold regular meetings in July as provided in the Lodge Bylaws.

For Release June 14, 2014
Two Meeting in June

TCU Heartland Lodge 6760 will hold two meetings Tuesday June 24. Columbus Ohio will host a meeting at 11:00 AM., at Bob Evans Restaurant, 5067 Post Road, Dublin, Ohio 43017.

Marion Ohio will host a meeting June 24, at 4:30 PM., at the United Steelworkers Hall, 675 Uncapher Avenue, Marion, Ohio 43302.

To View maps showing the meeting locations see the Lodge Home page.

No lodge meetings will be held in June as directed by the Lodge bylaws.

For Release March 29, 2014
Railroad Retirement
Informational Conference

The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board will hold it's annual Informational Conference June 6, 2014, at the LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 5120 Victory Drive, (I-465 & South Emerson Drive), Indianapolis, Indiana 46203, from 8:30 AM to 12:15 PM. This conference is for union officers, members and their spouses. To register complete the Registration Form and sent it to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, 50 South Meridian Street, Suite 303, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 by May 6, 2014.

For Release March 15, 2014
TCU National Representative
Roger Cain

Update - March 19, 2014: Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for Roger's wellbeing. Roger has multiple fractures, however he is making a remarkable recovery. He is expected to be released from the hospital today or tomorrow.

TCU has learned that Unit 200 National Representative Roger Cain was recently involved in a serious traffic accident. Brother Roger is currently in intensive care. As more details become available we will update this post. At this time we ask for your prayers to help Roger make a full recovery.

For Release January 1, 2014
Heartland Lodge 6760
Election Results

I am pleased to report the results of our Lodge election. Also, I would like to thank our new officers for their commitment to our organization and service to our brothers and sisters. All offices were unopposed, thus a motion was adopted at our December meeting and our Secretary cast a unanimous ballot and nominees were elected by acclamation.

The results of the election are as follows.

PRESIDENT, Michael A. Bleser; VICE PRESIDENT, Chris Pierce; RECORDING SECRETARY, Jameson McKnight; FINANCIAL SECRETARY-TREASURER, Kevin J. Hite; BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Chairman, Shawn M. Fensler; Members: Benjamin J. Melton and Michael R. Fisher; CHAIRMAN of the LOCAL PROTECTIVE COMMITTEE-DELEGATE (Local Chairman), Ben Whitt; ALTERNATE DELEGATE, Kevin D. Mitchell; SERGEANT AT ARMS, Phil Bunch; INNER GUARD, Steve Sutton; OUTER GUARD, Eric Kratzer; CHAPLAIN, Cory Jones; Vice Local Chairman, Detroit, MI, Norfolk Southern, Kevin D. Mitchell; Vice Local Chairman, Columbus, OH, Norfolk Southern, Jerry Kinser; Vice Local Chairman, Huntingburg, IN, Norfolk Southern, Scott Kern; Vice Local Chairman, Fort Wayne, IN, Norfolk Southern, Kevin J. Hite; Vice Local Chairman, Louisville, KY, Norfolk Southern, Dustin McQillen; Vice Local Chairman, Danville, KY, Norfolk Southern, Mathew Arnet; Vice Local Chairman, Cincinnati, OH, Norfolk Southern, Rob Sheid; Vice Local Chairman, Linton, IN, Indiana Railroad, Ryan Sluder; Vice Local Chairman, Roanoke, IN, Road and Rail Services, Chris Garrison; Vice Local Chairmen, Marion, OH, Union Tank Car Company: Jay Fleming, Troy Meadows and Joshua Calbert; Labor Counsel Delegate, AFL-CIO Delegate, Cincinnati, OH, Phillip W. Amadon (Past President); Lodge Website Webmaster, Steve Pequignot.

In addition to the election of lodge officers, our members reaffirmed President Scardaletti's appointment of past president Phil Amadon as Labor Counsel Delegate for Lodge 6760.

Lodge Vice President Chris Pierce and myself appointed a committee for our members in Marion Ohio to prepare for the upcoming contract negotiations.

Brother Pierce and Brother Mitchell have agreed to serve on an Arbitration Committee for our members in Marion to review grievances filed for recommendation of arbitrary appeal. I am currently seeking another member in Marion to serve as the on sight member for this committee.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brothers Rob Reisenger and Kevin Mitchell for their selfless and dedicated service to this lodge and its members. Your commitment to your brothers and sisters in Lodge 6760 is greatly appreciated by all.

To all the returning and new officers, I too thank you for carrying on our fight for fairness, respect, equality, and solidarity.

Fraternally,

Mike Bleser
President
Heartland Lodge 6760

 

 

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by TCU Heartland Lodge 6760
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