The Officers and Staff of the AT&SF, F System Federation
would like to extend our deepest Respect and Honor all that have given their lives in the service of our country and to their families that have suffered the loss of their loved ones.
BMWED Responds to BNSF's Covid Benefits Changes
BMWED Proposal to BNSF (Weekend Travel Allowance)
Brothers and Sisters -
On May 5, 2021, the combined System Federations made a one sentence proposal to BNSF Engineering Leadership related to weekend travel allowance benefits. BNSF is currently researching the proposal for tax, administration, and etc. Here is a copy of the DRAFT we proposed. This is what it stated:
THIS IS DRAFTED LANGUAGE, THE AGREEMENT IS NOT IN EFFECT, IT HAS ONLY BEEN PROPOSED.
[[[ For the purpose of BNSF Employees safety this agreement allows the option to claim WTA benefits regardless of the means/mode of travel referred to BN Agreement Rule 38, Appendix LL, and South Agreement Appendix 22, the parties have agreed to allow for safer and great flexibility when traveling on the weekend for Maintenance of Way employees who are otherwise eligible for WTA benefits under BN Rule 38, Section II (A)(F)/South Agreement Appendix 22:
1. Employees entitled to WTA benefits can receive the WTA benefit paymentregardless of the means/mode of travel. ]]]
(If you have additional questions, please contact your System Officers.)
NTSB Final Recommendation/Report
(BNSF Kingman AZ fatality)
Brothers and Sisters,
The NTSB has released their final report on the Kingman AZ Accident involving a Herzog RUM truck. I would like to thank the AT&SFF officers for there help in this investigation. Recommendation R-21-01
NTSB put forward to FRA is a big victory in aiding to protect our members when working with trains. I will be working closely with FRA in the implementation of these recommendations. Although these regulations apply to all railroads to my knowledge BNSF is the only railroad that was operating in a way that allowed this tragedy to take place.
Require all railroads to establish working limits that prevent trains or other on-track machinery from entering zones where employees, including those who work on or from maintenance-of-way equipment or on trains engaged in maintenance-of-way tasks, are working. (R-21-01)
Information that addresses the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 1117(b), as applicable, can be found in section 2.2 Protection of Roadway Workers Who Foul a Track. Information supporting (b)(1) can be found in sections 1.4.3 Maintenance-of-Way Crew, 1.10.4 Sight Distance, and 1.11 Roadway Worker Protection; (b)(2) is not applicable; information supporting (b)(3) can be found on pages 34-35.
Require all railroads to revise training and increase oversight to ensure that operating crews properly use restricted speeds. (R-21-02)
Information that addresses the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 1117(b), as applicable, can be found in section 2.3 Restricted Speed Accidents. Information supporting (b)(1) can be found in section 1.4 Events Leading Up to the Accident; information supporting (b)(2) can be found on page 36; (b)(3) is not applicable.
Director of Safety
BMWED – IBT
“The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress.”~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
NTSB Adds Rail Worker Safety to Top-10 Most Wanted Safety Improvements
Published: May 20 2021 2:23PM
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) added rail worker safety to its Top-10 list of Most Wanted Safety Improvements this week, citing too many injuries and deaths of people working on or around railroad tracks.
“Train crews, maintenance-of-way employees, and mechanical workers, are getting killed or injured in preventable accidents involving train or equipment movement. Many of these workers were conducting routine maintenance or switching operations when they were struck. Although rail worker fatalities have declined overall in recent years, we continue to see some recurring safety issues in our accident investigations, highlighting the need for better worker protections,” the NTSB said in its press release.
NTSB member Jennifer Homendy led the charge in advocating for rail worker safety to be added to the Top-10 list, which highlights transportation safety improvements needed now to prevent accidents, reduce injuries, and save lives. The NTSB uses the list to focus advocacy efforts during the current Most Wanted List cycle, including urging lawmakers, industry leaders, advocacy and community organizations, and the public to push for stronger worker safety requirements.
The NTSB addition of rail worker safety comes on the heels on a recent statements given to the Associated Press this week from Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz and CSX spokesperson Cindy Schild that indicated those two Class-1 rail carriers do not think worker safety is currently a problem.
“Across the board, I do not see evidence of our workforce at Union Pacific being rushed, overworked or put in harm’s way. I just don’t see it statistically,” U.P. CEO Fritz told the AP.
CSX officials said most of the key safety measures they track like employee injuries and train accidents have improved since it started using the Precision Scheduled Railroading operating model.
“We do not move freight at the expense of the safety of our employees or the communities where we operate,” CSX spokeswoman Schild said.
The BMWED applauds the NTSB legitimate concern for rail worker safety and hopes its addition to the Top-10 Safety Improvement List spawns real and effective change in safety protocols for American railroads. Rail officials should understand that the regulatory arm of federal safety boards, whether they be the NTSB or the FRA or any other agency, will remain serious and diligent in enforcing safety rules and ensuring that the welfare of the railroad worker is prioritized. Our Union will monitor the situation closely and provide any guidance needed to help the NTSB strengthen work safety rules and remedy unnecessary worker injuries and death.Paused
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