ALL LOCAL UNIONS SYSTEM COUNCIL NO. 2
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
By his letter dated April 13, 2016, Cooperating Railway Labor Organizations (CRLO) Chairman Robert Scardelletti advised that on July 1, 2016, there will be an increase in the Employee Monthly Cost Share for those employees covered under the National Health and
Welfare Plan. In accordance with the 2011 National Agreement covering freight railroads, the employee monthly cost share will increase from $198 per month to $228.89 per month. This rate will remain in effect until a new agreement is reached. CRLO letter 2016
Please find the attached copy of the brochure from the John Edgar Thomas Foundation who has a long history of assisting families of deceased railroad workers. This program which is nation-wide, provides assistance to the surviving families by awarding grants to the
daughters of deceased railroad employees so that they may further their education. The employee must have been considered actively employed by the railroad even if disabled or on sick leave at the time of death. The cause of death need not be work related. John Edgar Thomson foundation 2016
Mediation sessions resumed on the date of February 9, 2016, regarding the national freight bargaining negotiations. The first part of the meeting once again centered on Health and Welfare issues, with very little progress being made in this area. Additional time was spent reviewing the Coalitions common proposals for changes to certain rules and benefits, such as vacations, personal leave days, bereavement leave, sick leave and trade/swap days. The railroads noted that they will be reviewing and costing out our proposals for further discussion at a later date. They also noted that if we want rules changes, then they will subsequently be providing us with their proposals. Additional mediation sessions were scheduled to be held on March 7th and 8th. However, due to the pending strike on the New Jersey Transit Railroad, and the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) involvement with those ongoing talks, the NMB canceled the national freight mediation sessions for March. On
the date April 5th, mediation discussions resumed. I was advised that the majority of the discussions were held with the lead mediator and again centered on Health and Welfare issues, with little or no progress. It appears that Health and Welfare is the most difficult issue for both the railroads and for the rail unions. Accordingly, Rail Labor scheduled a
meeting on May 4th with just the three Rail Labor Bargaining coalitions that are currently in national negotiations to discuss additional ideas on how to proceed with these challenging issues. Due to this meeting, the NMB cancelled our mediation sessions for May. Nonetheless, I will continue to keep you updated with this ongoing process.
In my last report, I advised of Union Pacific’s decline in coal traffic carloadings which initiated the closure of the Denver Burnham locomotive shop and transfer of work to the North Platte, South Morrill and North Little Rock facilities. I also advised of IBEW member force reductions and furloughs at Roseville, California, Kansas City, Missouri and Pine Bluff, Arkansas due to an increase of stored locomotives which ultimately affected the PTC installation positions. During the week of April 4, 2016, additional furloughs were announced that included twenty-nine (29) IBEW members at North Platte, and ten (10) IBEW members at South Morrill, Nebraska. It was indicated that these force reductions were necessary to compensate for the additional decline in coal traffic carloadings. Also, on February 1, 2016, six (6) IBEW members were furloughed at the United Industries (formerly Progress Rail) Traction Motor facility in Rocklin, California (IBEW Local 800). Our
continued thoughts and support are always with these furloughed members. The System Council will continue to explore allrecall opportunities.
There continues to be ongoing challenges with the Union Pacific’s administration with their new attendance and discipline policies. The Shopcraft Coalition consisting of the IBEW, IAM, BRC, NCFO, SMWIA, IBBB, and ARASA have continued to address these issues with the Carrier at our regular Coalition meetings. This is to advise that the IBEW
together with the other Shopcraft Coalition Union’s continue to oppose these unilateral policies and will continue to challenge them for all unreasonable and unfair application.
* The System Council staff and I attended the scheduled staff meeting.
* VGC Tortorice, AGC Shell and AGC Reynoso attended the Shopcraft Coalition meeting with UPRR.
* I attended the scheduled Mediation session pursuant to the ongoing national freight railroad negotiations.
* AGC Reynoso attended a “claims” conference with UPRR Labor Relations.
* AGC Starkjohann attended the monthly meeting of Omaha Local 618.
* VGC Tortorice assisted Roseville Local 1682 with a disciplinary investigastion
* AGC Starkjohann continued to meet with UPRR personnel to address ongoing BICSI certfication issues in the UPRR Telecom Department.
* I attended the annual CRLO and IBEW General Chairman’s meeting with IBEW Railroad Department Director Bill Bohne.
* AGC Shell assisted Fort Worth Local 942 with a disciplinary investigation.
* AGC Shell attended the monthly meeting of Little Rock Local 807.
* AGC Reynoso, VGC Tortorice and I met with the officers and members of Local 799 and toured the UPRR Hermistion,Oregon Hinkle facility.
* AGC Shell, AGC Starkjohann and I attended a meeting with UPRR Labor Relations and Telecom Department personnel.
* VGC Tortorice, AGC Reynoso and I met with the members and toured the Portland, Oregon, UPRR Albina facility.
* AGC Shell and I met with members and officers of Fort Worth Local 942 and toured the UPRR Fort Worth locomotive facility.
* AGC Starkjohann assisted several locations with force reductions and job abolishments in the UPRR Telecom Department.
* The System Council staff and I attended a Shopcraft Coalition meeting with UPRR Labor Relations and Mechanical Department personnel.
* AGC Shell and I met with the members and officers of Little Rock Local 807 and toured the UPRR North Little Rock facilities.
* The System Council staff and I attended the UPRR Non-Operating General Chairmen’s meeting.
* AGC Shell and I met with the members and local chairman from the Livonia, Louisiana, facility.
* AGC Reynoso, AGc Shell and I attended the UPRR General Chairman’s Association meeting.
* I attended a meeting together with the Fort Worth facility local chairmen to address inconsistencies with the UPRR’s new attendance policy.
During the first quarter, the System Council staff and I have been busy assisting the local unions with everyday issues as well as uncertainties with business decline in the railroad industry. We remain hopeful and optimistic that business levels will return and
that our furloughed members will be recalled to work.
Please find the following attachments for your review and dissemination:
With best wishes, I remain
cc: IVP’s System Council No. 2
Bill Bohne, Dir of Railroads