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,
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.
Robert Martinez, Jr.
c/o Steve Wilhelm
IAM Veterans Services Steering Committee
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
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
I will always remain….
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
“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
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.
January 22, 2018
By an overwhelming vote TCU Carmen and
Clerks have ratified the National Agreement.
Carmen voting 78.85% in
Clerks voting 93.92% in
“ 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
January 4, 2018
Ratification packets have been mailed to all TCU members. This
package is also available at our
December 22, 2017
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
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.
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
“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.”
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
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.
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
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.
Release November 16, 2016
TO: All Members
Heartland Lodge 6760
TCU/IAM BRC Division
Dear Brothers and
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
President - Michael
Vice President - Shane Mills
Recording Secretary - Jameson McKnight
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
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
View a map of the meeting
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.
Heartland Lodge 6760
For Release March 31, 2016
Notice of Nomination & Election
To: All Members
of Local Lodge No. 6760
Dear Sisters and
will be conducting the nomination and election of delegate and
alternate delegate to the IAM Grand Lodge Convention in a
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
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.
President Lodge 6760
For Release March 3,
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.
Christopher K. Pierce
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.
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
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
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.
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.”
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
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.”
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.
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
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
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
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”.
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.
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.
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.
proposed transaction would be detrimental to Norfolk Southern’s customer
Pacific’s unilateral open access proposal would undercut the financial
performance of the combined entity as well as degrade service and dis-incentivize
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
Pacific’s synergy targets are overstated and imply significant reduction
in investment to maintain service
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
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
access has been widely documented to produce negative revenue synergies
from traffic loss and rate compression while also increasing operating
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
Less than 15% – or less than one train per day –
Canadian Pacific-Norfolk Southern connecting traffic can be efficiently
rerouted around Chicago.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Release January 21, 2015
Union Family mourns loss
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:
Release December 31, 2014
Mike Bleser Steps Down as President
Chris Pierce Becomes the 14th President of Lodge 6760
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.
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.
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.
President Pierce, the lodge stands behind you.
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
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
Kevin Hite becomes a father