2014 FOURTH QUARTER REPORT
ALL LOCAL UNIONS
SYSTEM COUNCIL NO. 2
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
I hope that everyone had a joyful holiday season. On behalf of
myself and the System Council staff, I would like to thank those local
union officers, committeepersons and members who contributed much of their time, effort and support throughout 2014 on behalf of the IBEW
membership. Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2015.
With the beginning of a new year, I would again like to remind the
local unions of their reporting requirements to the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS), Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and the Department of
Labor (DOL). Various information and forms regarding federal and state
reporting requirements with the IRS as well as the DOL and RRB can be
found at the following websites:
The Transportation Trades Department recently completed
redesign of a new website, which can be found at www.ttd.org. It is
designed to be more dynamic and user-friendly for affiliates, policy
makers, activists, and others. The goal of the redesigned website is to
direct more users to transportation labor’s agenda and to attract more
activists to follow and engage in the collective work.
By letter dated December 12, 2014, the IBEW served Notice
(Section 6) on those freight railroads involved in national handling,
advising of our desire to revise and supplement all existing agreements
governing rates of pay, rules, working conditions, and health and welfare
benefits. As with previous rounds of National Negotiations, the IBEW
has entered into a bargaining coalition with the TCU, BRC, IAM and
TWU. Two additional Rail Labor bargaining coalitions were formed
including the following Rail Labor Organizations:
- BMWE & SMART-Sheet Metal Workers
2. SMART-UTU, BRS, BLE, ATDA, B&B, and NCFO.
The first negotiating session with the freight Carrier’s was held on
January 13th. As reported in IBEW Railroad Director Bill Bohne’s
recent correspondence, the session began with a discussion regarding
the parties’ Section 6 proposals. The Carrier’s followed up with a brief
Health and Welfare presentation addressing the state of Health and
Welfare plans among major non-railroad U.S. corporations. The reason
for the Carrier’s presentation was to explain how much the Affordable
Care Act was costing them since its inception, what they projected
future plan costs to be, and how much more employees of other major
U.S. corporations contribute to overall H & W costs. Our coalition will
have the Carrier’s presentation reviewed by our Health & Welfare
consultant and respond at the next session. Future negotiating sessions
are currently scheduled for March 3rd and 4th, and March 24th and 25th.
On March 3rd the Carrier’s will present us with more detailed plan
regarding Health and Welfare issues. We will have our H & W consultant
with us at this time in order to review the Carrier’s presentation. I will
continue to keep you advised with any updates.
On the date of September 12, 2014, System Council No. 2
served notice with United Industries (formerly Progress Rail Services)
with the intent to modify the Collective Bargaining Agreement covering
the membership of Local 800 employed at the Rocklin, California
traction motor/wheel facility. On the date of September 29th, United
Industries served notice with the System Council advising of its intent to
terminate the Collective Bargaining Agreement upon its expiration on
December 31, 2014. On the date of October 21st we commenced
negotiations with United Industries. At this time the Company provided
an agreement proposal containing 2 % wage increases, major work rule
and job classification changes, and proposed to raise the employee’s
health/dental cost sharing to 50% of the monthly premium. During our
subsequent meetings and discussions, each party exchanged various
proposals and dialog in an effort to resolve our differences. On
December 11, 2104, we were finally able to reach a tentative agreement
with the Company. Thus, the tentative agreement included a 10% wage
increase over its four year term, minimal work rule changes and minimal
increases to employee Health/Dental cost sharing. On December 15th,
the System Council was notified by Local 800 that the tentative
agreement had overwhelmingly been ratified. Therefore, the agreement
was fully executed on December 17th, and covers the period of January
1, 2015 through December 31, 2018. I would like to thank Vice
Chairman Don Tortorice for all his help and assistance with securing this
agreement. I would also like to thank Local Union 800 and their
committee for all their input and support during this process.
I recently appointed Local 889 President/Local Chairman Rick
Reynoso to the position of Assistant General Chairman of System
Council No. 2, effective January 1, 2015. Brother Reynoso will serve as
AGC on a part-time basis assisting Vice Chairman Tortorice in the
Western region as well as any additional assignments. Rick has served
Los Angeles Local 889 for approximately nine years in several
capacities, such as Local Committeeman, Vice President, Vice Local
Chairman, President and Local Chairman. Rick has a great deal of
experience conducting and handling disciplinary investigations as well
as claim/grievance preparation and handling. We look forward to
working with Brother Reynoso.
In October, the System Council received final authorization and
funding by the National Mediation Board to present our cases for
arbitration on January 13, 2015. The cases include those previously
docketed with Public Law Board 7001 (Union Pacific Railroad) and
Public Law Board 7160 (Kansas City Southern Railway). At this point all
Claimants and local unions were notified accordingly of the Board date
and location. I will keep you updated as the Board’s decisions are
* System Council staff and I toured the UPRR Salt Lake City “Roper”
Mechanical and Telecom facility and met with members and
officers of Salt Lake City Local 650.
* System Council staff and I attended the annual UPRR Telecom
Business meeting and toured the Telecom Training Center.
* AGC Shell and I attended the annual IBEW Railroad Coordinating
Council and General Chairman’s meeting.
* AGC Shell, AGC Starkjohann and I attended the IBEW Railroad
* VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell and I attended a Shopcraft General
Chairmen’s Coalition meeting together with UPRR Labor Relations,
Mechanical and Health Services personnel.
* VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell and I attended initial meeting on
October 21st commencing negotiations with United Industries
Corp. (formerly Progress Rail Services). Throughout October,
VGC Tortorice and I continued discussions/negotiations with
* AGC Starkjohann attended the UPRR Non-Operating General
Chairmen’s meeting and the UPRR General Chairman’s Assoc-
* AGC Starkjohann attended meetings with UPRR Labor Relations to
discuss outstanding time claims.
* Through the month of November, VGc Tortorice and I continued
contract negotiations with United Industries.
* Attended the monthly meeting of Ft Worth Local 942.
* AGC Starkjohann attended the monthly meeting of Omaha Local
* VGC Tortorice assisted Houston Local 1814 with a disciplinary
* VGC Tortorice attended a meeting with UPRR management at Los
Angeles to discuss a disciplinary matter.
* AGC Shell assisted Little Rock Local 807 with a disciplinary
* During the month of November, AGC Starkjohann and I began
discussions with UPRR concerning the Engineering District Work
* VGC Tortorice and I continued to meet in negotiations with United
Industries. We concluded our discussions on December 15th with
a final ratification vote by the members of Local 800.
* VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell, AGC Starkjohann and I met for a staff
meeting to discuss ongoing issues and the agenda for 2015.
* The System Council staff and I attended a meeting with UPRR Labor
Relations and finalized extending the terms of the Engineering
District Work Force Agreement. (Agreement-Engineering Work Force 2014
* AGC Starkjohann assisted North Platte Local 1920 with a
* AGC Tortorice accojmpanied IBEW Rail Director Bill Bohne
throughout the Los Angeles and surrounding areas where they
visited various UPRR, Amtrak and BNSF facilities. They were able
to meet with various Carrier management personnel as well as
IBEW membership and Officers.
* During the month of December, the System Council staff finalized
preparation for cases scheduled for arbitration on January 13, 2015.
Through the fourth quarter, the System Council staff has been busy
filing and processing several new claims and discipline appeals, as
well as assisting the membership and local unions with routine
issues. As a reminder, any local union who has had a change in
officers or local chairmen, please notify this office with such changes
so we can adjust our records accordingly.
Please find the following attachments for your review and dissemi-
With best wishes, I remain
cc: IVP’s System Council 2
Bill Bohne, Dir of Railroads