Dear Brothers and Sisters:

On September 2, 2011, the National Mediation Board (NMB) proffered
arbitration under the provisions of the Railway Labor Act to the IBEW
and the other Labor Organizations involved in the National Fright
Railroad Negotiations. The IBEW along with the other Rail Labor Unions
rejected the proffer and, as such, the NMB released the parties from
mediation which initiated a 30 day cooling-off period that runs through
October 6, 2011. A Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) will be
appointed to hold hearings over the disputes and make
recommendations to the parties for settlement. Once the PEB
recommendations are released to the parties, another 30 day cooling-
off period will begin during which time the parties will attempt to reach
agreements based on the PEB recommendations. At the end of this 30
day period the parties would again be able to resort to self-help and
then ultimately, Congress could intervene and legislatively impose
agreements on the parties to the disputes.
(See attached – “National Freight Railroads Bargaining Update – Sept 6, 2011”)

The U.S. Department of Labor recently ordered Union Pacific
Railroad Company to pay $400,000 in punitive damages, $90,315 in
compensatory damages, $34,900 in attorney fees and more than
$90,000 in back wages to three employees. Investigations by the
department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
determined that the company violated the whistleblower protection
provisions of the Federal Rail Safety Act by terminating two employees
and suspending another in retaliation for reporting workplace safety
concerns and a work related injury.
(See attached – OSHA News Release – August 25, 2011)

During the third quarter, the System Council discovered that
numerous Union Pacific locomotives were being subcontracted to
Kansas City, Missouri based “Mid-America Car” for various repairs,
servicing and inspection work. With the assistance of Kansas City local
1832, this office was able to obtain essential information needed to
initiate a claim for the recognized electrical work. Subsequently, the
IBEW together with representatives of the IAM and NCFO filed formal
claims pursuant to Article II “Subcontracting” for the Carrier’s violation of
the various sections of Article II and its failure to provide the General
Chairmen with a proper notice of intent. After several discussions and
meetings with the Carrier concerning this matter, it is my understanding
that the locomotives have now been removed from the contractor. We
are currently scheduled to meet with the Carrier in order to discuss a
remedy to the claim. However, if the dispute cannot be resolved, the
Organizations are prepared to submit this matter for joint arbitration.

The Kansas City Southern Railway recently served this office with a
notice of intent to subcontract installation of locomotive onboard
components associated with the Positive Train Control mandate. We
immediately responded by advising that the IBEW has a contractual
right to such work and that the Carrier’s own electricians can perform
this work quicker and at less cost than by using an outside contractor.
We further advised that the Carrier’s notice was inadequate and failed
to provide any supporting data to justify subcontracting a project of this
magnitude. On the date of July 6, 2011, VC Shell and I discussed this
matter with KCS labor relations in detail without resolution. I followed up
with a letter confirming the conference setting forth the IBEW’s position,
of which the Carrier failed to respond. On the date of September 12,
2011, a formal claim was filed pursuant to Article II “Subcontracting” for
and on behalf of the affected claimant’s working at the Carrier’s Kansas
City, Missouri and Shreveport, Louisiana facilities. On the date of
September 19, 2011, the Carrier contacted this office and requested
another meeting to discuss the matter further. We are currently in the
process of securing a date to meet with the Carrier with the intent of
resolving this matter and securing the work associated with the
installation and subsequent maintenance of the PTC onboard

July 2011

  1. On the date of July 12th, AGC Tortorice and I met with Union Pacific
    labor relations in Omaha to discuss outstanding claims and other
    various issues concerning the Engineering Department force
    stabilization agreement.
  2. On the date of July 13th, AGC Tortorice, AGC Starkjohann, and I met
    with Union Pacific Labor Relations and Telecommunication’s
    Department to discuss concerns with how the Carrier is utilizing its
    current IT forces. We also discussed proposals for wayside radio
    installations associated with the Positive Train Control project. We are
    currently scheduling another meeting to follow up further with these
  3. 3.  On the date of July 14th, VC Shell and I met with the System Council’s
    CPA to finalize Form-990 and our 2011 annual audit.4.  On the date of July 15th, VC Shell met at Kansas City, MO with Union
    Pacific personnel to discuss outsourcing of locomotive work to Mid
    America Car.5.  During the week of July 25th, I docketed seven cases for arbitration
    before Public Law Board 7001 concerning outstanding disputes with
    Union Pacific Railroad.August 20111.  On the date of August 16th, myself, VC Shell, and representatives of
    the shopcraft coalition unions met in Omaha with Union Pacific labor
    relations Mechanical Department personnel to discuss the Carrier’s
    subcontracting of locomotive work at Kansas City, MO.

    2.  On August 16th, VC Shell and I toured the North Platte, Nebraska
    facility and met with the officers and committeemen of local 1920.

    3.  On August 18th, VC Shell and I attended the monthly meeting of
    Omaha local 618.

    4.  During the week of August 22nd, AGC Tortorice handled several
    issues and company proposals concerning Progress Rail’s Rocklin,
    California facility, local 800.

    5.  Throughout the month of August, the System Council staff and I
    finalized our case presentations and submissions for arbitration
    scheduled for September 8, 2011.

    September 2011

    1.  During the week of September 5th, the System Council staff and I
    attended arbitration before Public Law Board 7001 regarding disputes
    with Union Pacific Railroad. At this point, I have not received any of the
    decisions from this Board; however, I will advise the respective local
    unions and claimants as soon as the Awards are received.

    2.  On the date of September 13th, AGC Tortorice assisted Houston
    Local 1814 with a disciplinary investigation.

    3.  On the date of September 14th, VC Shell attended a disciplinary
    hearing in Morrill, Nebraska.

    4.  September 17th – 24th, the System Council staff and I attended the
    38th IBEW International Convention in Vancouver. I am pleased to
    announce that 15 locals under the jurisdiction of System Council 2 were
    in attendance at this years convention.
    Please find the following attachments for your review and

    1.    RRB Labor Member Speakman’s letter – July 2011
    publication; (see rrb.gov)

    2.    RRB Labor Member Speakman’s letter – August 2011
    publication; (see rrb.gov)

    3.    RRB Labor Member Speakman’s letter – September 2011
    publication;  (see rrb.gov)

    4.    RRB Scheduled Informational Conferences – August 30, 2011

    5.    RRB Job Vacancy list – August 30, 2011;

    6.    National Freight Railroads Bargaining Update” September 6, 2011;

    7.    OSHA News Release – August 25, 2011;

    8.    Federal Register – list of certified labs for Part 40 drug & alcohol testing.

    With best wishes, I remain

    Fraternally yours,

    Jim Wisniski

    General Chairman


    Cc:      IVP’s System Council 2
    Bill Bohne, Director of Railroads