RWU Celebrates Labor Day 2012

with a Bold New Campaign

Railroad Workers United announced our stepped- up" Campaign Against Single Employee Train Crews", which was officially unleashed on Labor Day 2012.  Read the Press Release...

"The advent of new technology together with a decline in union power, coupled with the rail carriers’ arrogant disregard for worker and public safety has seen the standard five-person train crew drop first to three, and then to two crew members. Now the big railroad companies have their sights set on implementation of the universal single employee train crew. The only thing that can stop them is YOU! Please join with Railroad Workers United in our effort to stop the implementation of single employee train crews!"

"The advent of new technology together with a decline in union power, coupled with the rail carriers’ arrogant disregard for worker and public safety has seen the standard five-person train crew drop first to three, and then to two crew members. Now the big railroad companies have their sights set on implementation of the universal single employee train crew. The only thing that can stop them is YOU! Please join with Railroad Workers United in our effort to stop the implementation of single employee train crews!"

A Brief History of the Attack on Two Employee Crews 

by Ron Kaminkow, RWU General Secretary, BLET #51 Amtrak, Reno, NV

After achieving the near universal two employee train crew in the 1990s, the carriers did not waste a whole lot of time before they set their sights on eliminating that second worker and achieving the single employee crew. And while they have yet to achieve their goal, make no mistake, this is indeed their objective.     Read more...


Single Employee Crews -- Hell No!

That’s right folks, Hell No! We’re fired up and we ain’t gonna take it no more!   Read more...


Where Are the Rail Unions in this Fight?

J.P. Wright, RWU Organizer, BLET#78, CSX, Louisville, KY

Is the job of the North American railroad conductor safe? Or do the railroads and government regulators have it in the crosshairs for elimination? This should be the number one question in the forefront of the minds of all railroad conductors' and engineers.    Read more....


Winning the Fight Against One-Person Train Crews

By Ed Michael, BLET#724 & UTU #979, UP, Salem, IL

We all know that rail carriers are looking down the road to using technology to reduce freight crew size to one person. Unfortunately many TE&Y people seem to be convinced that there is little we can do to stop this progression. But we believe it can be stopped with an organized campaign.   Read more....


And Then There Was One…

Rank-and-File Railroaders Resist Single-Employee Trains

by JP Wright and Ed Michael     [from the December 2012 issue of Labor Notes]

Back in the old days, in order to operate safely, a freight train used a five-person crew—an engineer, a fireman, two brakemen, and a conductor.

After two-way radios and electronic air brake monitoring allowed the railroads to eliminate the caboose in the 1980s, crew size went down to three.

Tough contract negotiations eliminated another crew member, so now almost every freight train rolling across the U.S. is operated by just an engineer and a conductor. 

Railroaders fear the conductor will be next to go. The railroads say they want single-employee trains, and union leaders have allowed language to seep into contracts that says if crew size is reduced to one, that last remaining crew member will be an engineer or a conductor—depending which union is negotiating the language.   READ MORE...


 
Transient


Heather Boehlke talks about the meaning of Labor Day and her husband Jared Boehlke ... Jared Boehlke was killed while working alone as a remote control locomotive operator on Mother's Day 2009


Support the Campaign to Ban One Person Locomotive Crews and Regulate Locomotive Remote Control...