MISSOURI STATE LEGISLATIVE BOARD

DIRECTOR: KENNETH R. MENGES    Assistant Director: JASON R. HAYDEN                                            Chairman: Gerald Wohlgemuth    V. Chairman: Curt Jones    Secretary: Chris Skaggs                                                        


Right to Work to be brought up Tomorrow - 4/1/2014

Just yesterday, Jefferson City extremists ignored voter demands and passed Paycheck Deception through the Missouri House. Tomorrow they’re planning to bring a so-called “right to work” bill up for a vote. Will you make a quick phone call now to help stop these unfair bills?

There is overwhelming evidence that Paycheck Deception and Right to Work harm working families and the economy. But state lawmakers are now just one vote away from turning this dangerous bill into law.

Call your legislators right now and tell them to VOTE NO on HB1617 and HB1770 – “Right to Work” and paycheck deception.

Paycheck Deception and “Right to Work” would be a major step backward for working families. Not only would these laws attack free speech, but they would stifle job creation and make it easier for CEOs to ship Missouri jobs overseas, move more of our work into part-time positions and erode our health and safety laws.  


Don’t wait. Call now – there’s no time to lose.

In unity,

Mike Louis, Secretary Treasurer

>>>
Call your State Reps - 4/1/2014


Friends,

We just received word that "Right to Work" will be voted on TOMORROW (Wednesday, April 2) in the Missouri House of Representatives.

We need your help. Please, contact your state representative - today - and tell them to vote NO on "Right to Work."

Tell your Representative that these laws being pushed by out-of-state corporate CEOs are bad for Missouri's working families: they'll lower wages and benefits at a time when the middle class is already struggling. 

Working together, we prevent Missouri from becoming a so-called "Right to Work" state. Take just a few minutes to help us stand up for Missouri's working families.

Thanks,

Protect MO Families Coalition 


>>>
AMTRAK has record year despite challenges - 3/31/2014

The Birmingham (Ala.) News, March 30, 2014

 

 

 

Amtrak CEO to meet with local mayors, discuss train service's fiscal needs

By Mike D. Smith

 

 

 

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman will visit with local mayors Monday as the passenger rail operator seeks a funding boost it says is necessary to maintain and improve its service.

Boardman will participate in two meetings Monday afternoon to discuss funding topics, one in Birmingham and another in Tuscaloosa.

Amtrak is asking Congress to fully fund operating and capital needs for its 15 long-distance routes such as the Amtrak Crescent, which links central Alabama with Atlanta, Washington, D.C., New York and New Orleans.

Amtrak calls its long-distance routes "the backbone" of its national rail network, connecting cities and helping economic development.

"They are vital to the communities and people they serve, and increasingly important as airlines and bus companies abandon significant regions of America," Amtrak officials said in a statement.

 

 Investment changes sought

Amtrak has been a federally funded passenger rail service since 1971.

The rail operator recently submitted its fiscal year 2015 budget request to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

The proposed budget asks for $1.62 billion -- a 16 percent increase compared with the current budget. The figure includes $618 million, which would cover the projected difference between revenues and expenses for operating long-distance service, according to the proposal.

Ridership along long-distance routes has increased 20 percent since 1998, reaching its highest point in 20 years in fiscal year 2013, according to Amtrak figures. At the same time, no new services have been introduced.

The overall funding increase is needed to maintain and improve Amtrak's rail system, which now is more vulnerable to problems from declining rail infrastructure, Boardman wrote in Amtrak's budget request.

Boardman also requests changing how Amtrak is funded.

The proposed multi-year funding structure would allow Amtrak to continue updating its fleet and to address infrastructure needs.

The arrangement would be more flexible than the year-to-year money Amtrak now receives and would establish dedicated funding for long-range projects and future purchases, Boardman wrote.

During the past decade, Amtrak has used revenue from its heavily traveled Northeast Corridor -- which serves large cities such as Boston, New York City and Philadelphia among others -- to subsidize long-distance service including its Crescent line and 14 other routes.

 

 Record year

Fiscal year 2013 was a banner year for Amtrak nationwide, according to figures.

In that year, Amtrak set a ticket revenue record of $2.1 billion and a ridership record of 31.6 million, according to budget information.

Also in that year, Amtrak estimates service disruptions caused by weather and other problems cost more than 440,000 riders and $42 million in ticket revenue.

"That we did this in spite of serious obstacles says a lot about the demand -- but the losses we did see are just the first of the challenges we can expect to face if we do not act now to stop the decay of the Amtrak system," Boardman wrote.

 

>>>
Officials not keeping track of oil trains - 3/31/2014

Officials not keeping track of oil trains

 

By James Pilcher

 

Domestic oil production, including that in Ohio, keeps growing. And with oil being produced in new areas that don't have pipelines, more crude is heading to refineries in rail cars. Yet neither federal nor state regulators track the shipments that are increasingly crisscrossing the country - potentially cutting through neighborhoods and business districts nationwide and in Greater Cincinnati.

 

Much of the oil apparently is more volatile than traditional crude, with some experts saying it is as explosive "as gasoline." A number of oil tanker accidents and explosions made headlines last year, including last July's derailment and explosion in Québec that killed 47 people and all but leveled a small town. The train was pulling at least a dozen tank cars carrying crude pulled from Bakken shale deposits.

 

Similar types of oil are being pulled from shale fields all over the U.S. including eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and North Dakota.

 

"Regulators across North America simply have not kept up with the boom in moving oil by train," said Keith Stewart, a Canadian-based researcher for the environmental group Greenpeace. "You would be shocked how little governments know how much and where and when this oil is moving by rail."

 

Federal regulators don't know what is on the tracks at any given time. Nor do first responders and community officials, apart from getting a list of the top 25 hazardous materials that move through their communities. But due to security concerns, local officials can't make the top 25 lists public. Railroads must keep a list internally, but those records also are not public.

 

The lack of disclosure could pose a problem for a city such as Cincinnati, which has one of the Midwest's largest railyards in CSX-owned Queensgate, which sits near Downtown. Several other heavily traveled lines owned by CSX and Norfolk Southern cut through other area cities and towns such as Covington, Erlanger, Blue Ash and Fairfield. An Enquirer review of federal hazardous material incident data since 1971 shows no local reports of crude oil shipments problems by either rail or truck - although the data include several mishaps involving gasoline.

 

"All kinds of hazardous materials go through (Queensgate) and no, we're not notified of what is going through when," said Cincinnati Fire Department District Chief Tom Lakamp, who oversees special operations and hazardous materials response teams for the city. "It's impossible to plan for. So we just try to have enough materials and manpower on hand. ... I mean who knows where something might happen in the city or the area?"

 

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration oversees the shipments of all hazardous materials, including crude oil, superseding state regulators for rail shipments. The agency did not make anyone available for interviews, but said in a statement that it was starting to look at changing its rules and was taking a closer look at oil shipments. That includes inspection of trains leaving North Dakota wells, along with possibly requiring safer tank cars.

 

 

 

All that's called 'crude' is not necessarily the same

 

The United States is poised to become the world's largest combined producer of natural gas and crude oil in the coming year, according to federal data, which indicate the country produced 7.5 million barrels of oil a day last year. Oil industry officials saying national production has been above 8 million barrels per day since November.

 

Ohio is a part of that growth, due to the wells in the eastern part of the state pulling up oil and natural gas from Utica shale reserves. The state produced 16,000 barrels of oil a day last year, up more than 23 percent from 2012.

 

But even as oil production has grown, pipeline infrastructure hasn't kept pace. That's forced oil producers and refiners to turn to rail shipments, especially in remote areas such as North Dakota, but also in Ohio. The railroad industry reports that crude oil shipments nearly doubled in 2013 as compared with 2012, with the American Association of Railroads estimating that more than 400,000 tank loads of crude arrived by rail last year.

 

A single tank car holds about 714 barrels of oil, and each barrel contains 42 gallons, meaning every tank car contains 30,000 gallons of oil. But an Ohio oil industry official says the majority of what's called oil produced and shipped in the state is " very volatile" and "basically liquefied natural gas," even as he points out that Ohio oil has been pumped and shipped safely for decades.

 

"It is still classified as crude oil, even though it is a lot closer to gasoline," said Tom Stewart, executive vice president of the Ohio Oil and Natural Gas Association. "The bottom line is that it should be treated differently than other crude oil."

 

Stewart says most of Ohio's oil is shipped out of state - although refineries in Ohio and Kentucky are starting to take on this volatile oil.

 

Finally, the oil is being shipped in outdated tanker cars. The National Transportation Safety Board started recommending in 1991 that oil companies stop using the older model of tanker because they have proven not to prevent spillage and explosions in case of derailments. It renewed its call this January.

 

"You've got one of the most profitable industries in the world looking to save a few dollars at the cost of safety," said Fred Millar, a Virginia-based rail/hazmat safety consultant who has worked with major cities on safety planning.

 

Locally, CSX officials say the company is taking "a top to bottom review" of how it ships oil. However, CSX declined to say if crude oil was included on the top 25 hazardous materials list for Cincinnati or Queensgate. Nor would company officials say how many trains come through daily. Previous reports, however, indicate that the 160-acre rail yard handles at least 100 trains a day.

 

"CSX is resolved to put into place equipment, standards, regulations, practices, and training to ensure that all commodities handled by railroads are handled in the safest manner possible," the company said in a statement.

 

 

 

Issue creates tensions; changes on the way?

 

Tension abounds between the oil and rail industries over the shipments, even as railroads court oil producers as customers.

Many carriers - including CSX and the Genesee & Wyoming railroad - actively market their capacity to oil producers. But on the other hand, national railroad officials openly acknowledge differences with the oil industry over safety standards.

 

"The shippers own the cars and the materials and are responsible for safe packaging and labeling, but we're the ones liable in case of an accident," said Holly Arthur, spokeswoman for the American Association of Railroads.

The rail industry last month agreed with the U.S. Transportation Department to voluntarily impose tighter procedures, including:

 

Installing better brakes on trains with 20 or more oil cars.

 

Limiting speeds to 40 miles per hour on trains with 20 or more rail cars in highly populated areas.

 

Increase track inspections on lines that carry trains with heavy oil traffic.

Oil industry officials say they are also trying to improve safety, but have not yet agreed to any specifics. "Our mitigation efforts are looking at topics like tank car design and crude oil testing and classification," said Jack Gerard, president and chief executive officer for the American Petroleum Institute.

 

As for the regulators, PHMSA is studying new variations of the domestically produced oil and its potential volatility. It's also double-checking that domestic oil is property categorized and shipped.

 

Critics say that isn't enough, saying that government and industry need to catch up and start keeping better track of oil shipments.

 

"This is clearly dangerous stuff ... and that should be of concern to citizens everywhere, especially in areas where there is a lot of train activity," Greenpeace's Stewart said.

 

The Cincinnati Enquirer, March 30, 2014

 

 

>>>
Missouri House passes HB1617 (paycheck deception) - 3/31/2014

Today your Missouri House of Representatives "Perfected and Passed" HB1617. It will now go over to the Senate. As HB1617 reads right now it only effects Public employees. But don't let the limited group that they are attacking fool you. This is just the start of an overall and outright attack by some members of the Missouri Legislature against all of labor and labor organizations.

 

 

Below is a brief summary of the bill:

 

1. No sum shall be withheld from the earnings of any public employee for

2 the purpose of paying any portion of dues, agency shop fees, or any other fees paid by

3 public employee members of a public labor organization, public employees who are not

4 members except upon the annual written authorization of the public employee member,

5 or the public employees who are not members.

6 2. No public labor organization shall use or obtain any portion of dues, agency shop

7 fees, or any other fees paid by public employee members of the labor organization, or

8 public employees who are not members to make contributions or expenditures as defined

9 in section 130.011, except on the written authorization of such member or non member

10 received within the previous twelve months.

Click here to read the whole bill; http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills141/hlrbillspdf/5565H.03I.PDF

 

>>>
Labor Rally in Jeff. City - 3/24/2014


Yes, I'll Be There!

Wednesday, March 26
12:00 Noon

Missouri State Capitol

Jefferson City

RSVP on Facebook

Dear Jason,

With the long list of anti-worker attacks in the Missouri legislature, our unity is more important than ever.

I hope to see you in Jefferson City on Wednesday, March 26 when union members from across the state rally at the State Capitol. The rally, organized by the Missouri State Building and Construction Trades, kicks off at noon on 3/26.

Our wages and rights at work are at risk from an extremist agenda that would reward CEOs and special interests at the expense of the middle class.

So-called “right to work” and paycheck deception bills and anti-prevailing wage legislation would make it even more difficult for hardworking Missourians to make ends meet. Instead of more pointless and unfair attacks, it is time for our elected officials to work together for jobs.

Be there on Wednesday, March 26 and rally for Missouri’s middle class.
Click here to sign up on Facebook.

In Unity,

Mike

__

Mike Louis, Secretary Treasurer
Missouri AFL-CIO

Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
Call your State Legislators - 3/24/2014

Everyone,

Our elected officials are done with spring break and back in Jefferson City. They need to hear from you today about priorities. Can you give your state rep a quick call at 888-825-1418?

Speaker Jones and other extremists are
renewing their push for unfair paycheck deception and "right to work" bills that will hurt Missourians and won't create a single job.

If you called before spring break, please give them a call again - thanks to your phone calls, emails and one-on-one conversations, our elected officials are hearing from us about these important issues. But they are also getting an earful from extremist leaders, so hearing from you today is very important.

Call 888-825-1418 and let your state rep know that you expect them to vote NO on Paycheck Deception and "Right to Work" bills.

The second half of the legislative session should be spent on creating jobs and strengthening our public schools, not unfair and unnecessary "right to work" and paycheck deception bills. Even if you’ve called or emailed before, please take a moment and give your state rep a call today
. Call 1-888-825-1418. Make sure your elected leaders know that paycheck deception and "right to work" are the wrong priorities for Missouri. 

In unity,

Mike,
___

Mike Louis, Secretary Treasurer
Missouri AFL-CIO

PS - After you call your state rep take a moment and
comment on Facebook that you made the call today!

Click here to unsubscribe.

>>>
Legislative Update from Director Menges - 3/3/2014
mo smart\
      
Missouri State Legislative Board

FEBRUARY 2014

 

 
               
 

 

HELP PROTECT MISSOURI WORKERS
JOIN LABOR RALLY
MARCH 26, 2012
JEFFERSON CITY
 

All union  members are invited to join 

The Missouri State Building & Construction Trades for lobby day & rally at Noon.

 

Plan to arrive between 9:00-10:00 am  to have time to talk with your local legislators between 10-11:45 am.

 

Gather on Capitol lawn at 12 pm for Rally.

 

MISSOURI STATE LEGISLATIVE BOARD'S
 #1 RAIL FAN
 
JACK

Trains are his absolute favorite thing in the world. He's very serious about them and having official union gear made him feel very special! =)

 

Jack is autistic. Over the years, his teachers and therapists have utilized his love of trains to help him accomplish huge goals in speech and occupational therapy and overcoming anxiety in social settings. 

 

Jack is seven years old and a first grader at Marvin Elementary in Saint Louis. Besides trains, his hobbies include reading, Legos, riding his bike and music. His all time favorite train is the Union Pacific Big Boy.

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY RAILROAD ITEMS FOR JACK PLEASE CONTACT KEN MENGES MOUTU@EMBARQMAIL.COM
TAKE ACTION  

 

Download UTU PAC application 

 

utupac

 

 Give like your job depends on it...because it does! 

 

 
MISSOURI 
ON THE
MOVE
 
CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW TO SEE MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION'S VISION FOR MISSOURI'S TRANSPORTATION FUTURE
 

WORK FOR LESS?

 

Right to work laws are designed to reduce and keep wages lower while increasing the profits of CEO and company executives.  Cutting workers' wages does not create jobs. It suppresses economic activity. Eliminating collective bargaining does not solve our economic problems but it does silence the voices of the front line workers who are best equipped to offer solutions for improved services and efficiency.

 

Eliminating collective bargaining does not make our economy more competitive---it widens the gap between the rich and poor and it undermines the foundation of the American middle class-the engine of the greatest economy in the world. 

Gary King retired member local 607 is presented a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives acknowledging Brother Gary for his years of service to the UTU and the Thayer Community
 
Picture are 
Mike King(son and VP Local 607), Gary King and Ken Menges

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter                                                               

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 

 

>>>
Unfair Language in SB493 Removed - 2/26/2014

Dear Members,
 
Good news! Last night the unfair language in SB493 that would have taken away due process rights and ended collective bargaining agreements for hardworking teachers was removed from the legislation.

A majority of State Senators did the right thing and rejected this unfair attack on teachers after hearing from many of you – thank you.  If we keep speaking up we can make sure our elected officials hear from us about what’s really important.  

There are still far too many unnecessary bills that would limit collective bargaining and make it more difficult for hardworking teachers and Missourians to do their jobs and provide for their families.  Please take a moment to
like the Missouri AFL-CIO on Facebook to stay up to date on what’s happening in the statehouse. We will keep you posted on issues that matter in Jefferson City and across the state.

In solidarity,


Mike Louis, Secretary Treasurer
Missouri AFL-CIO

>>>
BNSF to Boost Safety Efforts - 2/21/2014

The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 20, 2014

 

BNSF Railway Boosts Safety Efforts;

Company to Buy Up to 5,000 Tank Cars as Industry Weighs New Measures Following Train Derailments

 

By Laura Stevens

 

Major freight railroaders were expected to ship 400,000 carloads of crude oil last year. Shown, a BNSF train carried crude in Montana in November. Associated Press

 

BNSF Railway said it plans to buy as many as 5,000 new tank cars to transport crude oil, an unusual move that marks the latest effort by the rail industry to improve safety after a spate of accidents.

 

Railroads typically own engines and track but not the tank cars that run on their networks, 99% of which are owned by leasing companies, shippers and railcar manufacturers. BNSF, a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said it has requested bids from major railcar manufacturers for 5,000 "next generation" tank cars that are more accident-resistant in order to help improve industry safety.

 

The rail industry has experienced several accidents recently involving tank cars containing crude oil—including a fiery derailment in Quebec that killed 47 people in July and a December derailment of two BNSF trains in North Dakota that triggered explosions and prompted the evacuation of a nearby town.

 

Oil shipments by rail have ballooned with the development of new oil fields in North America: Major freight railroaders were projected to ship 400,000 carloads of crude oil last year, compared with 4,700 carloads in 2006, according to the American Association of Railroads, which represents freight railroads.

 

Federal regulators are pressing the industry to improve safety practices, and railroads and energy companies, after meeting with officials last month, pledged steps to enhance tank cars, better avoid derailments and reroute trains around high-risk areas. Petroleum industry representatives agreed to share information on the composition of the oil coming from the Bakken oil fields in the Northern Plains and southern Canada, which the U.S. government has warned may be more flammable than other crude oils.

 

The main type of tank car used on U.S. railways is known as DOT-111, used to carry goods ranging from fertilizer to corn syrup. There are about 272,100 of these DOT-111 cars in service in North America, according to the Railway Supply Institute, a trade association. About 39,000 DOT-111 cars are used for crude oil, but less than one-third of those are new or retrofitted to meet voluntary safety guidelines agreed to by the industry in 2011 to make them better withstand accidents.

 

Next-generation cars like those BNSF is seeking are expected to exceed the voluntary 2011 standards, with measures including thicker shields, a thermal protection system and a device to relieve pressure. BNSF said its purchase "may help accelerate the transition" to next-generation cars and help manufacturers move ahead with design and production while industry officials and the Transportation Department "continue to engage in the formal rule-making process."

 

BNSF didn't give an estimate for the likely cost of the cars, and the industry doesn't typically disclose prices. Current-generation tank cars typically cost between about $120,000 and $175,000, according to industry experts, and the new cars BNSF is seeking would likely cost more, meaning a possible outlay of nearly $1 billion for the Fort Worth, Texas, company.

 

American and Canadian railroads have urged that all existing tank cars be modified or upgraded or aggressively phased out of service. Two major Canadian railways recently said they would start charging more to carry tank cars that don't meet the 2011 guidelines.

 

E. Hunter Harrison, chief executive of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. , in a speech this week called for an immediate halt to shipments of oil on older model DOT-111 tank cars, but acknowledged that was unlikely to happen soon and said railroads are obligated to carry all manner of hazardous cargo.

 

"Don't wait to study. We know the facts," he said.

 

Some energy companies also are responding to safety pressure. On Monday, Canada's Irving Oil Corp. said it would phase out older DOT-111 cars from its own fleet by April. Refiner PBF Energy Inc. said last week that its Delaware City, Del., refinery will accept only the newer cars for delivery of Bakken crude oil starting in April. And refiner Tesoro Corp. this month said it had begun replacing its older cars and aimed to fully update its fleet by midyear.

 

>>>
NTSB wants higher standards on trains hauling crude - 1/24/2014

 

NTSB wants higher standards on trains hauling crude

NTSB_logoThe National Transportation Safety Board Jan. 23 issued a series of recommendations (see Safety Recommendation Letters R-14-001-003 and R-14-004-006) to the Department of Transportation to address the safety risk of transporting crude oil by rail. In an unprecedented move, the NTSB is issuing these recommendations in coordination with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Crude oil shipments by rail have increased by over 400 percent since 2005, according to the Association of American Railroad’s Annual Report of Hazardous Materials. The NTSB is concerned that major loss of life, property damage and environmental consequences can occur when large volumes of crude oil or other flammable liquids are transported on a single train involved in an accident, as seen in the Lac Megantic, Quebec, accident, as well as several accidents the NTSB has investigated in the U.S.

“The large-scale shipment of crude oil by rail simply didn’t exist ten years ago, and our safety regulations need to catch up with this new reality,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “While this energy boom is good for business, the people and the environment along rail corridors must be protected from harm.”

The NTSB issued three recommendations to the Federal Railroad Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the first would require expanded hazardous materials route planning for railroads to avoid populated and other sensitive areas.

The second recommendation to FRA and PHMSA is to develop an audit program to ensure rail carriers that carry petroleum products have adequate response capabilities to address worst-case discharges of the entire quantity of product carried on a train.

The third recommendation is to audit shippers and rail carriers to ensure that they are properly classifying hazardous materials in transportation and that they have adequate safety and security plans in place.

The NTSB has investigated accidents involving flammable liquids being transported in DOT-111 tank cars, including the Dec. 30, 2013, derailment in Casselton, ND, and the June 19, 2009, derailment in Cherry Valley, IL. After the Cherry Valley accident, the NTSB issued several safety recommendations to PHMSA regarding the inadequate design and poor performance of the DOT-111 tank cars. The recommendations include making the tank head and shell more puncture resistant and requiring that bottom outlet valves remain closed during accidents. Although PHMSA initiated rulemaking to address the safety issue; it has not issued any new rules.

“If unit trains of flammable liquids are going to be part of our nation’s energy future, we need to make sure the hazardous materials classification is accurate, the route is well planned, and the tank cars are as robust as possible,” Hersman said.

The NTSB and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada issued these important safety recommendations jointly because railroad companies routinely operate crude oil unit trains in both countries and across the U.S-Canada border.

Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger responded to the NTSB’s recommendations around the safe movement of energy products by rail saying, “AAR is in full agreement with the safety boards’ recommendations today, as they align with our previous calls for increased federal tank car safety standards as well as the work the industry is undertaking with our customers and the Administration in an environment of shared responsibility for the safe movement of America’s energy products. Through these efforts and more, railroads are doing all they can to make a safe rail network even safer.”

>>>
Natural Gas Locomotives may prove cheaper, cleaner - 1/23/2014

Natural gas locomotives may prove cheaper, cleaner

natural_gas_locomotiveOMAHA, Neb. – The diesel-burning locomotive, the workhorse of American railroads since World War II, will soon begin burning natural gas – a potentially historic shift that could cut fuel costs, reduce pollution and strengthen the advantage railroads hold over trucks in long-haul shipping.

Rail companies want to take advantage of booming natural gas production that has cut the price of the fuel by as much as 50 percent. So they are preparing to experiment with redesigned engines capable of burning both diesel and liquefied natural gas.

Read the complete story at the Associated Press.

>>>
Labor Unions Protect Rights of Workers - 1/23/2014

Your Opinion: Labor unions protect rights of workers

Dear Editor:

Right to work — freedom to work — right to work for less — workers’ rights — fancy names that do not really reflect what they mean but sound good to the press and on the ballot.

Unions were born out the disregard for workers’ rights. Unions corrected the wrongs of a greedy industrialized society. Not every business needs a union but unions provide a great check and balance in our capitalist economic system.

It has been said that states that have passed right to work laws have seen an increase in businesses moving to their states. We all know that big businesses such as Toyota and Boeing have moved to the states that have offered the best tax deals and incentives not because of any legislation such as right to work.

Right to work is not about protecting workers’ rights; it is about destroying the middle class which provides our state with a skilled workforce that is unparalleled in the world.

Think about the economic impact if wages decline because of this legislation. Some CEOs may make more money but the income of the worker will drop, and so will our tax revenues. Take a look at the economy of the states around us that have passed similar legislation—their standard of living is lower, their education rating is lower, their wage scale is lower and their workplace injury rate is higher — it is called skilled labor for a reason.

Do we want to take a step backwards? Do we really want workers’ rights or do we want to take them away? This battle is not just about a living wage but about protecting workers, the minimum wage and taking care of others. Is right to work about taking care of others here in Missouri or about taking care of multinational corporations?

 

Letter sent to the News Tribune (Missouri's Capital City News) http://t.co/gOCplhjjqW

 

 

>>>
Recall 32" Coby Flat Screen TV - 1/23/2014

Eleven Retailers Recall 32" Coby Flat Screen Televisions Due to Fire and Burn Hazards

Name of product

Coby 32-inch flat screen televisions

Hazard

An electronic component can fail, catch fire and ignite nearby items, posing fire and burn hazards.

Units

About 8,900

Description

This recall involves black Coby 32-inch flat screen televisions with model number TFTV3229 and serial numbers beginning with LG and that have M07 or M10 in the 9th, 10th and 11th position of the serial number. The model and serial numbers are printed on a label on the back of the televisions and Coby is printed on the front. Coby USA is out of business.

Incidents/Injuries

CPSC has received reports of six incidents involving the televisions overheating, smoking or catching fire. One incident involved a television catching on fire and scorching a wall. Another involved a fire that was limited to the television. No injuries have been reported.

Remedy

Consumers should immediately turn off and unplug the recalled televisions and contact the participating retailer where their television was purchased for instructions on the remedy available from that retailer, which could be a refund, store credit, gift card or replacement TV. Because the importer/distributor Coby USA is out of business, the retailers are providing the remedy. The remedy and terms vary between the retailers.

Sold at

Sold at these eleven nationwide retailers, from August 2011 through November 2013 for between $170 and $260.

Importer

Coby USA is out of business

Distributor

Coby USA is out of business

Manufacturer

Coby Electronics Co. Ltd., of Hong Kong

Manufactured in

China

Consumer Contact

The U.S. company is out of business so eight retailers have stepped up to voluntarily recall the televisions.

Click here for the full recall.

>>>
Right to Work (for less) push is on in Missouri - 1/21/2014

Missouri lawmakers are playing a dangerous game right now. Instead of working to improve our schools or create jobs in our state, some lawmakers are pushing an anti-worker bill funded by outside money and multinational corporations.

This so-called “right to work” law is deceptive. Lawmakers trying to pass the bill argue it makes our state more “competitive,” but Rep. Tim Jones (who is pro-right to work) couldn’t even name a single Missouri business that would benefit from this attack on workers’ rights. They’ll argue it’s about “individual choice,” but laws like this actually take away Missouri workers’ voice on the job—making it harder for workers like firefighters and nurses to negotiate for proper equipment or safe staffing levels.

Click here to sign our petition telling Missouri lawmakers to vote NO on the “right to work” bill.

The truth is, corporations and CEOs would profit from this bill, not Missouri’s working families. Out-of-state money is being poured into this fight and the Missouri lawmakers who are pushing the bill are part of a national agenda to eliminate the voice of middle-class workers. Because if workers can’t fight back, CEOs and corporations can keep driving up their own profits while selling out the little guy.

Not in my state. Join me and fight for Missouri’s working families by signing our petition to oppose “right to work”:

go.aflcio.org/MO-RtW


In solidarity,

Hugh McVey
President, Missouri AFL-CIO

>>>
Google and HP have recalled HP Chromebook 11 power supplies and chargers - 1/3/2014

Computer Chargers Recalled For Fire Risk

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled nearly 150,000 HP chargers due to fire and burn hazards. Is yours one of them? Google and HP have recalled HP Chromebook 11 power supplies and chargers because they can overheat and melt, posing a fire and burn hazard. The CPSC recommends users stop using the product.

Hazard

The computer's charger can overheat and melt, posing fire and burn hazards.

Units Sold

About 145,000 units

Description

This recall involves chargers that were sold with the HP Chromebook 11. The charger is black with outlet pins, measures 1¾ inches by ¾ inches, and has a 6-foot long cord with a micro-USB connector on the end. The model number of the charger is MU15-N1052-A00S, which is stamped on the face of the battery charger that has the outlet pins.

Incidents/Injuries

Google has received nine reports of chargers overheating and melting during use. There is one report of a small burn to a consumer and one report of minor property damage to a pillow from an overheating charger.

Remedy

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled charger for the HP Chromebook 11 and contact Google for a free replacement charger.

Sold at

Best Buy stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com, bestbuy.com, Google Play at play.google.com, and HP Shopping at shopping.hp.com from October 2013 through November 2013 and included with the Chromebook 11 which sold for about $280.

Importer

Google Inc., of Mountain View, Calif.

Distributor

Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), of Palo Alto, Calif.

Manufactured in

China

Consumer Contact

Google toll-free at (866) 628-1371 between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. PT seven days a week, or online at http://chromebook.com and click on the Chromebook link at the top of the page and then click on Support for more information.

Click here for full recall information.

>>>
Prepare for the Storm - 1/3/2014

Prepare For The Storm

Winter is underway, but are you ready for the next big storm? Make sure you are prepared.

The majority of winter weather injuries happen on the roadways, but once you are off the roads it is important to stay safe at home. Ready.gov provides detailed information to prepare, including directions on creating home and auto emergency kits for winter storms.

Make sure you are ready for the next winter storm by completing this checklist:

Winter Storm Preparation Checklist

  • Around The House
    • Chimney cleaned and inspected
    • Fuel-burning equipment vented to the outside
    • Fire extinguishers accessible
    • Gutters clear
    • Tree branches that could fall on the home are trimmed back
    • Pipes are insulated
    • NOAA Weather Radio available and working
    • Reviewed additional safety reminders at Ready.gov
  • Car Emergency Kit
    • Car emergency kit includes
      • A shovel
      • Windshield scraper and small broom
      • Flashlight
      • Battery powered radio
      • Extra batteries
      • Water
      • Snack food
      • Matches
      • Extra hats, socks and mittens
      • First aid kit with pocket knife
      • Necessary medications
      • Blanket(s)
      • Tow chain or rope
      • Road salt and sand
      • Booster cables
      • Emergency flares
      • Fluorescent distress flag

Information gathered from Ready.gov 

Additional Resources:

National Weather Service: Winter Storms The Deceptive Killers 

Click here to learn the difference between advisories, watches and warnings from the National Weather Service. 

>>>
Support H.R. 3040 Click here NOW!!! - 12/12/2013

Support H.R. 3040 The Safe Freight Act

On July 6, 2013 a runaway train carrying 72 tank cars of crude oil derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, just 10 miles from the Maine border. Subsequent explosions and fires killed nearly fifty people, destroyed more than forty buildings, and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in environmental damage. Prior to the derailment, the nearly mile long train carrying hazardous material had been operated by a single-person before it was left unattended for the night with the locomotive running. Since the accident, lacking sufficient liability insurance, the railroad has filed for bankruptcy . Layoffs and subsequent service disruptions have caused economic ripple effects for hard working families and businesses throughout Maine.

The tragedy in Lac-Megantic highlighted the significant dangers of single-person train crews. Freight railroads are present in nearly every district and they play an integral role in the American economy. Industries throughout the country depend on rail for the daily shipment of raw goods and hazardous materials. But as the hazardous shipments they carry traverse our cities, towns, and communities, we must make safety the highest priority.

The Safe Freight Act will improve railway safety by eliminating the risky practice of single person train crews. It would ensure each train is operated by a crew of at least two people, including a certified engineer and a certified conductor.

Please contact your Representative to urge them to support the Safe Freight Act.

Click on this link now to transfer to the AFL-CIO page and look up your Legislator and send the letter.

http://act.aflcio.org/c/246/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=7241

 

>>>
Whistleblowers can now file complaints online with OSHA - 12/10/2013

Whistleblowers can now file complaints online with OSHA
Agency launches online form to provide workers a new way to file retaliation complaints

WASHINGTON – Whistleblowers covered by one of 22 statutes administered by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration will now be able to file complaints online. The online form will provide workers who have been retaliated against an additional way to reach out for OSHA assistance online.

"The ability of workers to speak out and exercise their rights without fear of retaliation provides the backbone for some of American workers' most essential protections," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Whistleblower laws protect not only workers, but also the public at large and now workers will have an additional avenue available to file a complaint with OSHA."

Currently, workers can make complaints to OSHA by filing a written complaint or by calling the agency's 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) number or an OSHA regional or area office. Workers will now be able to electronically submit a whistleblower complaint to OSHA by visiting www.osha.gov/whistleblower/WBComplaint.html.

The new online form prompts the worker to include basic whistleblower complaint information so they can be easily contacted for follow-up. Complaints are automatically routed to the appropriate regional whistleblower investigators. In addition, the complaint form can also be downloaded and submitted to the agency in hard-copy format by fax, mail or hand-delivery. The paper version is identical to the electronic version and requests the same information necessary to initiate a whistleblower investigation.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of 22 statutes protecting employees who report violations of various securities laws, trucking, airline, nuclear power, pipeline, environmental, rail, public transportation, workplace safety and health, and consumer protection laws. Detailed information on employee whistleblower rights, including fact sheets and instructions on how to submit the form in hard-copy format, is available online at www.whistleblowers.gov.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

>>>
FULL STEAM AHEAD - 11/26/2013

Full Steam Ahead!!

 Crews complete rail-bridge across Osage River, eliminating bottleneck 

By Kris Hilgedick kris@newstribune.com

The last bottleneck on the line between Jefferson City and St. Louis was removed this month when workers finished the 1,200-foot long Osage River rail bridge.

On Monday, dozens of construction workers, governmental officials, rail company executives and a few political dignitaries stood in the cold in Osage City to celebrate the bridge's completion. The project was a public-private partnership between government and Union Pacific; the bridge cost $28 million to build - about $7 million under original budget estimates.

Comprised of 2,200 tons of steel, the bridge was built by OCCI, Inc., a contracting company based in Fulton. OCCI Project Manager Tim Schmidt said his "proudest moment" came on Nov. 14 when two trains heading in opposite directions met on the spans and safely passed one another without incident. "We took a picture," he said.

He noted Mother Nature which sent deluges last May, causing significant flooding on the Osage was one of the job's biggest foes. "Anytime you have a railroad project of this nature, you have to be prepared to deal with that," he said with a shrug.

The new bridge is expected to boost the efficiency of train operations and improve the on-time performance for both freight trains and the Amtrak Missouri River Runner that travels between Kansas City and St. Louis. The stretch handles about 60 freight trains and four passenger trains daily.

Located east of Jefferson City, the bridge removes a bottleneck created as two tracks would funnel into one single track to cross the Osage River before reconnecting again to a double main-line track. With the completion of this new bridge, the corridor between St. Louis and Jefferson City now consists entirely of "double tracks."

Ken Menges, director of the union that rep-resents rail workers, was delighted on Monday. "Now they can run trains constantly," he explained. "It increases productivity tremendously."Menges said freight trains no longer will have to wait in Jefferson City for Amtrak passenger trains to move on by. "The less time we're out here, the more time we get to spend with our families," Menges said, noting that Union Pacific workers are paid a per-trip not a per-hour rate.

 

Bryce Preston, 5, was given the ceremonial golden spike following the opening ceremony for a new railroad bridge in Osage City. Preston's grandfather Ken Menges serves as director for the United Transportation Union Missouri State Legislative Board.

"This is great for us." According to Michelle Teel, multi-modal director for the Missouri Department of Transportation, 90 percent of the Missouri River Runner trains arrived on time or ahead of schedule in fiscal year 2013, compared with 64 percent in 2008, largely due to rail improvements made west of Jefferson City. She added Amtrak ridership has increased for six consecutive years to nearly 200,000 passengers.

The bridge was funded mostly by stimulus grants from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Union Pacific provided the remainder of the project cost - about $6 million to the partnership. 

Workers not only constructed the new 1,200-foot span across the river, they also extended the existing bridge across the river by 30 to 40 feet.

Joseph Szabo, administrator with the Federal Railroad Administration, said: "It's great  when we can come out and complete a project that is ahead of schedule and under budget.

 

Federal Railroad Administration Administrator Joseph C. Szabo, center, and other special guests at the golden spike ceremony Monday at the opening of the new Osage River railroad bridge.

 

"Szabo said in the coming decades the U.S. transportation system will need to move an additional 100 million Americans and 4 billion tons of freight.

"This will put a tremendous strain on our already strained transportation systems that are stretched to their limit," he said. "Our economic success is going to depend largely on how well  we respond to this transportation challenge."

Szabo also noted the new railroad bridge also advanced the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative.  "A vision Missouri shares with eight other states to connect the Midwest's 40 largest cities with high-performance passenger rail," he noted. "It's time to commit to this higher-performing rail system that our country needs and our rail passengers deserve."

Szabo called for a "reliable funding stream" that would put rail travel "on par with other modes."

Ted Kettlewell, OCCI vice president, prompted the crowd to chuckle when he said: "We are very, very happy to spend anyone's $28 million."

He noted, while MoDOT is a valuable client to OCCI, most of the company's work happens elsewhere in the nation - from New York to the Gulf of Mexico. "This project has been a great chance for the OCCI family to build a project within the state of Missouri," he added.

OCCI also built a pedestrian walkway over the Missouri River in Jefferson City another cooperative project, he noted.

"More and more in our industry we are seeing that it takes cooperative funding and creative engineering" to get projects accomplished, he said.

He noted that railroad work and this type of bridge construction "is not for everybody." "It's a tough industry," he said. "I'm here to celebrate those men and women who were on the ground and who actually get these jobs built and are thus able to provide for their families and enjoy what they do for a living. These are great people who work for us, and (they are) some of the best in the industry." He noted the people who built the bridge are all Missouri residents. "This is a Missouri job, built by Missouri residents, for the state of Missouri," he said. "It doesn't get any better than that.

Thanks again, Union Pacific and MoDOT, for giving us the opportunity.

>>>
AAR wants stronger regs on tank cars - 11/15/2013

Railroad lobby wants tighter tanker rules for flammable liquids

By Adam Snider

 

The Association of American Railroads wants old tank cars carrying flammable liquids to be upgraded or phased out, a move that would affect 92,000 cars, the group said in regulatory comments filed Thursday morning. 

The announcement comes amid growing scrutiny on railroads carrying crude oil and other hazardous materials after the Lac-Mégantic accident that killed 47 people in July and several other high-profile accidents in Alberta and Alabama. 

The proposal means about 78,000 cars currently in use would have to be retrofitted or phased out. Another 14,000 meet new industry safety standards but will still need “certain retrofit modifications,” the rail group says. 

AAR, a major lobbying force in D.C., also laid out a series of specific recommendations as the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration weighs improvements for tank car safety. The agency extended the comment period last week; the original notice was issued in September. 

The group’s proposal would lay out a series of specific requirements on tank cars, such as a jacket around the cars, thermal insulation and upgraded pressure relief valves. The group also wants to “aggressively phase out” the oldest tank cars. 

AAR also wants a change in rules that let shippers classify some liquids as less dangerous, allowing them be shipped in tank cars with less stringent safety standards. Specifically, AAR wants to stop shippers from labeling liquids with a flash point between 100 and 140 degrees as “combustible” instead of the more dangerous “flammable.” 

“Freight railroads understand the rail supply marketplace is seeing an increased demand for tank cars needed to move more flammable liquids, such as crude and ethanol,” AAR President and CEO Edward Hamberger said in a statement.

 “We believe our suggested approach to improving tank car safety allows railroads to continue to serve their customers, while taking rail tank car safety to the next level. We look forward to working with PHMSA, rail customers and the rail supply community as this rulemaking process moves ahead.”

 The recent rail crashes have reinvigorated the debate about the safest way to move highly flammable crude oil — pipelines that can rupture, or railroads that can be run through populated areas. Green groups, meanwhile, take issue with the crude itself, saying there is no safe way to move it around the country.

 

>>>
AAR underscores U.S. traffic gains, need to improve federal tank-car regs - 11/15/2013

Rail Industry Trends Article
AAR underscores U.S. traffic gains, need to improve federal tank-car regs


Rail Industry Trends


For the week ending Nov. 9, U.S. railroads reported 297,581 carloads, up 4.9 percent, and 265,259 intermodal loads, up 6.3 percent compared with volumes from the same week last year, according to traffic statistics released yesterday by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Intermodal traffic climbed for the 19th straight week and total combined U.S. traffic rose 5.6 percent to 562,840 units. Eight of 10 carload commodity groups posted gains, led by petroleum and petroleum products (25 percent), grain (21.3 percent), and motor vehicles and parts (20.5 percent).

Agricultural products volume jumped 14 percent, showing seasonal improvement amid easing year-over-year comparisons, said Robert W. Baird & Co Inc. analysts in their weekly "Rail Flash" report. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently raised corn production estimates by 146 million bushels, and total production now is expected to total close to 14 billion bushels, above the previous record high, they said.

Canadian railroads reported 85,187 carloads for the week ending Nov. 9, up 11.5 percent, and 56,266 intermodal loads, up 5.2 percent year over year. Mexican railroads' carloads inched up 0.8 percent to 15,432 units, but their intermodal volume fell 7.8 percent to 9,513 units.

Through 2013's first 45 weeks, 13 reporting U.S., Canadian and Mexican railroads handled 16,923,683 carloads, up 0.3 percent, and 14,011,237 containers and trailers, up 4 percent compared with the same 2012 period.

The AAR also announced yesterday that it has urged the U.S. Department of Transportation to press for improved federal tank-car regulations by requiring that all tank cars used to transport flammable liquids be retrofitted or phased out, and new cars be built to more stringent standards. The recommended safety upgrades will substantially decrease the likelihood of a hazardous material release if a tank car is involved in an accident, AAR officials said in comments filed with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

The AAR estimates that about 92,000 tank cars currently are moving flammable liquids, and 78,000 of them would require a retrofit or phase out based on the association's proposal. Another 14,000 newer tank cars that today comply with the latest industry safety standards would require certain retrofit modifications, AAR officials said in a press release, adding that the tank cars affected by its recommendations include those used to transport crude oil and ethanol.

The AAR is recommending that the PHMSA consider the following when determining what safety standards should be required for tank cars moving flammable liquids:
• increase federal tank-car design standards for new cars to include an outer steel jacket around the car and thermal protection, full-height head shields and high-flow capacity pressure-relief valves;
• require additional safety upgrades for tank cars built since October 2011, when the rail industry instituted its latest design standards, including installation of high-flow-capacity relief valves and design modifications to prevent bottom outlets from opening in an accident;
• phase out older-model tank cars used to move flammable liquids that are not retrofitted to meet new federal requirements, and
• eliminate the current option for rail shippers to classify a flammable liquid with a flash point between 100 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit as a combustible liquid.

"We believe it's time for a thorough review of the U.S. tank car fleet that moves flammable liquids, particularly considering the recent increase in crude oil traffic," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger. "Our goal is to ensure that what we move, and how we move it, is done as safely as possible."

Officials at the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) — an AAR Tank Car Committee member — support the AAR's proposal to phase out existing tank cars and build new cars to more stringent standards because the recommendations promote safe haz-mat transportation.

“This petition is a positive step for North America’s rail industry and these changes would improve safety,” said RAC President and CEO Michael Bourque. “We urge the Canadian government to work in concert with officials in the United States to adopt these recommendations.”

>>>
NS's ATCS System not as safe as they say - 10/31/2013
 

 


smart logo


 

 

WARNING!

 

Norfolk Southern

Unified Train Control System (UTCS) 

 

Click on Image to read full text

 

...the Carrier has taken such a position and continues to ignore these very real and documented safety concerns, we ask that your great Organizations inform and educate your members on this issue. At this time and given the flawed operating system that we are forced to use in our duties, the dispatchers on Norfolk Southern do not feel that we can offer the protection to your members that they deserve and that is required. 

 

 

   

 

     Find us on Facebook                                                Follow us on Twitter                                                             

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 

 

 
>>>
Affordable Care Act Community Outreach Event - 10/22/2013

Dear all,

    The attached flyer is self-explanatory. We are helping with a community outreach event at LU on Oct 28th. PLEASE share this information with your contact lists.  Let's make sure everyone who needs CORRECT information,knows this is going on. 

Paula J. Willmarth

 

pjowen49@aol.com

>>>
Fire Prevention Info - 10/17/2013

Kitchen fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injury. Help us reduce these statistics by spreading the word about preventing kitchen fires throughout October.

  • If you are frying, grilling or broiling food do not leave the kitchen.
  • Wear short sleeves, or push up your shirt sleeves, to prevent clothing fires.
Establish a three-foot child-free safety zone around any cooking appliances.


Top Three Ways To Avoid A Kitchen Disaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

>>>
After a 42-year career, God’s blessings be upon you - 9/30/2013

After a 42-year career, God’s blessings be upon you

Mike Futhey

Mike Futhey

By Mike Futhey, 
SMART Transportation Division President –  

After a rewarding career of working a combination of 42 years on the railroad and as a union representative, my wife, April, and I look forward to a productive post retirement in Memphis, Tenn. The career journey began on the Georgia St. midnight job in downtown Memphis, June 10, 1971, two days before Mike Sykes, who followed me on the seniority roster the rest of his railroad days.

The associated duties have afforded the opportunity to sit with the most powerful kings of industry, politics and organized labor. I had the honor of representing the motor, our members, that run the economic engine that provides the foundation for the power enjoyed by all those listed.

Our objective has always been the insistence that our members be treated by management with dignity, compensated appropriately, given the opportunity to participate meaningfully, and supplied a safe work environment. We have taken on management and politicians that do not share that same philosophy. We have experienced:

•Improperly dismissed members unjustly vilified before arbitration boards;

•Capricious intimidation of members who were merely complying with federally mandated safety statutes, who as a result, had their livelihoods lost;

•Operational practices that, in our opinion, compromise safety to the detriment of our members;

•And, legislative initiatives intended to provide benefit to the carriers at the expense of our working members.

This is not an indictment of management, politicians, nor the political system. It’s only an observation of real events and of our desire to represent the working men and women of this organization that are treated unjustly. The same men and women that volunteer in their communities, work to make life better for their families and their neighborhoods – men and women whose children, as well as themselves, have served and sacrificed in the military protecting our freedom. They are heroes with stories replete with situations placing themselves in harm’s way to save the lives of public individuals or fellow workers. They live next to you, worship beside you, take time to vote (at a higher percentage than others) and subscribe to the inalienable right to independent thought, but not an independent system to benefit the few.

It is my biased opinion that our members are the “salt of the earth” that dispel the stereotypes associated with “organized labor.” We represent men and women of every race, creed and color, a collection of personalities and backgrounds that break down artificially manufactured barriers constructed to divide and intended to dissuade commonality of interests.

In this business, sometimes our task is daunting, but our unity has delivered beneficial results:

•When the vilified members are exonerated and compensated through the efforts of local and general committee officers;

•When the intimidated members utilize our infrastructure for whistleblower cases and are compensated for lost time and punitive damages, while the carrier is admonished and cited for a statutory violation;

•In the introduction of legislation and statutory safety requirements for minimum crew consist;

•And, through our completely voluntary PAC donations that help elect reasonable, governmental like-minded representatives from both sides of the aisle.

What makes us different? It is the commitment and emotion that wells up within us while we strive to assure our members “a fair shake.” There are those that write about it, but without the workplace experience required of our officers, they only write what they observe, then translate that into statistics.

Critics merely stand on the sideline, lacking institutional knowledge, yet second-guessing the motive, scrutinizing decisions, all the while shirking the responsibility of representing those without a voice.

That responsibility was instilled in me through multiple generations. My great-grandfather was killed organizing railroad workers. He left a 14-year old son, my grandfather, to become head of the household for his mother and his younger brothers. He dedicated his life to union representation, as did my father before me. I can truly say that the support April and I have received, as well as the duties entrusted to me, exceed anything I could have ever envisioned that midnight June 10, 1971, in Memphis. I am truly grateful and humbled. Moreover, I pray God’s blessings upon you, collectively and individually.

Fraternally,

Mike Futhey

>>>
CTA collision... 33 injured - 9/30/2013

33 injured after CTA trains collide

More than 30 people were injured Sept. 30 morning after two trains running on the Chicago Transit Authority’s Blue Line tracks collided, CTA officials confirmed.

The accident happened just before 8 a.m. at Harlem Avenue and Interstate 290 in Forest Park, a northwest suburb that surrounds much of O’Hare International Airport. A westbound train that stopped at the Harlem station was struck by an out-of-service train heading toward the Loop, officials said.

Read the complete story at NBC News Chicago.

>>>
RRB unemployment, sickness benefits to increase - 9/30/2013

RRB unemployment, sickness benefits to increase

RRB_seal_150pxBeginning Oct. 1, 2013, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) will reduce railroad unemployment and sickness insurance benefits by 7.2 percent due to federal budget cuts first implemented in March 2013. Since that time, these benefits had been reduced by 9.2 percent.

The adjusted reduction amount is based on revised projections of benefit claims and payments under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act. It will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2014, the end of the fiscal year. Reductions in future fiscal years, should they occur, will be calculated based on applicable law.

The 7.2 percent reduction in railroad unemployment and sickness benefits will reduce the maximum daily benefit rate from $68.00 to $63.10. As a result, the total maximum amount payable in a two-week period with 10 days of unemployment will drop from $680 to $631.04.

Certain railroad sickness benefits are also subject to regular tier I railroad retirement taxes, resulting in a further reduction of 7.65 percent. Applying the 7.2 percent reduction to these sickness benefits will result in a daily benefit rate of $58.27, with a maximum two-week total of $582.77.

Under the previous 9.2 percent reduction, the maximum two-week unemployment benefit was $617.44, while the maximum for sickness benefits subject to tier I payroll taxes was $570.21.

These reductions are required under the Budget Control Act of 2011 and a subsequent sequestration order filed by President Obama to implement the mandated cuts. The law exempted social security benefits, as well as railroad retirement, survivor, and disability benefits paid by the RRB, from sequestration.

In fiscal year 2012, the RRB paid $11.3 billion in retirement and survivor benefits to about 573,000 beneficiaries, and net unemployment-sickness benefits of $88.5 million to about 26,000 claimants.

>>>
Victory for Missouri Workers - 9/11/2013

 


Victory for Missouri Workers as Missouri Senate Lets Stand Governor Nixon’s Veto of Paycheck Deception

Bipartisan leaders stand up for Missouri’s middle class families, reject extremist attack on everyday heroes with SB29

 

JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri AFL-CIO response to the failed vote to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of SB29, the paycheck deception bill misleadingly called “paycheck protection” by backers:

“With his veto, Governor Nixon stood up for the basic rights of Missouri’s everyday heroes – and bipartisan opposition to this unfair bill in the House and Senate means SB29 will not become law,” said Hugh McVey, President of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “Although wealthy corporate special interest groups pushed for this paycheck deception bill that would take away the voice of teachers, nurses, social workers and other middle class Missourians, with bipartisan opposition the veto override fell short. The working people of Missouri and the affiliated unions of the Missouri AFL-CIO are grateful to the entire Democratic delegation who tirelessly opposed this shameful bill and for Sen. Wallingford for his courageous vote against SB29.”

“Making it tougher for me to be a union member wouldn’t help families struggling to make pay the bills," said Catie Shinn, Eligibility Specialist for the State of Missouri. "The bipartisan opposition that stopped the bill from becoming law is a victory for people like me who work to help families here in Missouri."

“Here in Southeast Missouri and across the state, voters made tens of thousands of calls, sent emails and letters and even met in person with their legislators to try and stop this radical legislation, said Mark Baker of the Southeast Missouri Central Labor Council. “Proposals like SB29 would reward the CEOs who only care about corporate profits, without a thought for the workers that generate them. Thank you to all the leaders who opposed this unfair bill and particular thanks to local Senator Wallingford for his opposition to the veto override.”

“Politicians in Jefferson City need to start working on job creation instead of making it more difficult for me to do my job,” said John White,  Developmental Assistant II for the State of Missouri in Sikeston. “As a union member, I voluntarily contribute to giving a voice to all workers, and I don’t need extremist legislators to get in the way of my freedom to make that decision. Plain and simple, these extremist proposals would do nothing but impede my rights as a worker.”


###

>>>
Why it's a Good time to give to UTU-PAC - 9/4/2013

Railroads have invested heavily in making their case to Congress. Last year, the industry spent nearly $47 million lobbying the federal government, according to the political money-tracking website OpenSecrets.org. The industry's 329 registered lobbyists include former Sens. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and John Breaux, D-La., and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, as well as dozens of former House and Senate aides.

 

It was an accident investigators say didn't have to happen: Five years ago a commuter train collided head-on with a freight train near Los Angeles, killing 25 and injuring more than 100.

Read more at http://www.kansascity.com/2013/09/03/4454971/influence-game-train-safety-move.html

>>>
Labor Day 2013 - 8/31/2013
mo smart\
      
Missouri State Legislative Board

LABOR DAY 2013

 

 
LABOR DAY

 

Economic renewal that places working people and their families at the center of economic life cannot take place without unions. This renewal requires business, religious, labor, and civic organizations to work together to help working people defend their dignity, claim their rights, and have a voice in the workplace and broader economy.

 

I am a firm believer that in order to understand where you are you must first know where you came from.  As we celebrate Labor Day let us take a brief look at the Day and then at the history of labor so we can decide where we fit in in the fight to bring justice to the American worker.

 

As with anything the farther you get from the origin the less that is remembered about an event.  Most of us view Labor Day as the end of summer-in the sophisticated world of the rich it used to mean the end of wearing white cloths-a practice associated with the rich and famous-it is a time for the last long weekend to enjoy the lake and river, to barbecue and travel to visit family and friends.  Labor Day was first celebrated in the United States on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City and organized by the Central Labor Union to give tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

 

Local Labor Day holidays continued to grow throughout the country with Oregon passing the first state Labor Day Holiday in February 1887 followed by Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. By 1894 23 other states had adopted the holiday. Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. Military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with leader of the labor movement. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike-how they can work in a crisis!

 

And the rest is history-so as you are enjoying a little barbecue and your favorite beverage this weekend raise a glass to the American worker and the American Labor Movement and say "Thank You".

HOW DID YOUR MISSOURI LEGISLATOR VOTE ON LABOR ISSUES IN 2013
 

THIS IS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW TO BE AN ENGINEER!

 

YOU'LL LOVE THE LOGIC HERE!

 

Click here for some great wisdom 

Join UTU PAC 

 

UTU PAC is a political action committee that is 100 % voluntary and member supported

.  

 

Download UTU PAC application 

 

utupac

 

 

Give like your job depends on it

...because it does 

 

RAILROAD RETIREMENT FINANCIAL REPORT

LABOR DAY PARADE 
 
Jefferson City
September 7, 2013 

Come walk with your SMART brothers and sisters.

Meet near St Peter's Church parking lot at
10 am

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter                                                               

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 

>>>
WATCH THE BROTHERHOOD OUTDOORS SALUTE TO AMERICAN WORKERS ON THE SPORTSMAN CHANNEL - 8/28/2013

http://smart-union.org/watch-the-brotherhood-outdoors-salute-to-american-workers-on-the-sportsman-channel/

WATCH THE BROTHERHOOD OUTDOORS SALUTE TO AMERICAN WORKERS ON THE SPORTSMAN CHANNEL

The Sportsman Channel and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) are teaming up again to honor and recognize the contributions of Americans workers and sportsmen and women during the Labor Day Brotherhood Outdoors Marathon Salute to American Workers & Celebration of America’s Parks, sponsored by Bank of Labor.

This year, the marathon highlights the contributions American workers have made to our park system and how those parks desperately need help once again. Brotherhood Outdoors Co-hosts Daniel Lee Martin and Julie McQueen will provide viewers with interesting facts about America’s parks between eight back-to-back episodes of Brotherhood Outdoors airing from 1 to 5 p.m. ET. on Monday, September 2, exclusively on Sportsman Channel.

A collaboration between Sportsman Channel and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, this one-of-a-kind marathon provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of hardworking, blue-collar union sportsmen and women. The marathon concludes with a NEW episode of Brotherhood Outdoors with journeyman plumber, David Zinke, joining Daniel Lee and Julie in Texas to hunt monster bucks in the height of the rut.

Brotherhood Outdoors isn’t just a great hunting and fishing series but a true testament to the American spirit,” said Graig Hale, Sportsman Channel VP of business development. “When the USA introduced its Adopt-a-Park program to assist America’s parks as they struggle with  severe budget cuts, we wanted to help by bringing more visibility to the program and showcasing how America’s workers continue to help preserve the park system that is part of our country’s heritage.”

Through the USA’s new Adopt-A-Park program, union members will volunteer their time and unique skills to renew, rebuild and restore America’s parks, whether by restoring a weathered visitor’s center, rebuilding the park ranger station or modernizing the facilities.

“There are more than 6,600 state parks in the U.S., one within 100 miles of every American, and they’re among the most affordable places for families to visit.  In a nutshell – they remain the outdoor recreation retreats for the working person and his or her family,” said Joe Elton, president of America’s State Parks Foundation.  “While those parks stimulate more than $23 billion in economic impact, they operate with less than $1 billion in taxpayer dollars annually and are continually faced with budget cuts.  By celebrating the value of America’s parks, the Sportsman Channel and Union Sportsmen’s Alliance are bringing much needed attention to the need to support and preserve our parks for future generations.”

Episodes Airing on September 2 include:

1 p.m.           Desert Dream Hunt for Deer and Javelina with a Firefighter (Michael McShane, IAFF Local 1312)

1:30 p.m.     Illinois Bucks and Tennessee Gobblers with an Elevator Constructor (David Ragland, IUEC Local 93)

2 p.m.           Florida Keys Deep Sea Fishing with a Retired Electrical Worker (Leroy Shull, IBEW Local 124)

2:30 p.m.      Illinois Waterfowl Action with 4th Generation Laborers (Larry Lucco & Dustin Ramage, LIUNA Local 100)

3 p.m.           Texas Trophy Elk with a Sheet Metal Worker (Mike Kraning, SMART Local 18)

3:30 p.m.     First Time Turkey Hunt with a Cement Mason (Matt Gehris, OPCMIA Local 11)

4 p.m.           Boca Grande Tarpon with Operating Engineers (Travis Simmons & James Dyer, IUOE Local 673)

4:30 p.m.     (NEW!) Texas Bucks in Full Rut with a Journeyman Plumber (David Zinke, UA Local 15)

 

For more information about Brotherhood Outdoors and the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance visitwww.BrotherhoodOutdoors.tv.

 

 

 

 

Ken Menges

Missouri State Legislative Director

United Transportation Union - SMART

>>>
FRA issues guidance memorandum on EO 28 - 8/22/2013

FRA issues guidance memorandum on EO 28

The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a guidance memorandum for Emergency Order 28, which seeks to prevent trains operating on mainline tracks or sidings from moving unintentionally.

The memorandum has been sent to all Railroad Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) members and alternates.

Hardcopies will be provided at the emergency RSAC meeting scheduled for Aug. 29 and a detailed presentation on the safety advisory, Emergency Order 28 and this guidance document are on the agenda.

To view the guidance memorandum, click here.

>>>
SMART P.A.C. Contest - 7/16/2013
 

 


smart logo


 

 

 

 

PAC Member,

 

Thank you for joining the UTU PAC "Win a Trip for Two to Washington D.C." contest!  You were one of 40 members who made a commitment to PAC at the Boston Regional meeting, and by making this commitment to help raise PAC funds from fellow members in your Local and State, you not only have an opportunity to win a trip to our nation's capital to see firsthand how PAC makes a difference, more importantly, you are making a difference in the lives of all members with every member you upgrade or sign up for UTU PAC.

 

Before you set off to help PAC, familiarize yourself with the packet that you received. The packet includes: 

  • "Raising PAC Funds," a seven (7) page guide to UTU PAC with helpful hints. 
  • Twenty (20) PAC Forms.  If you need more, please call 202-543-7714 or 573-634-3303 and more will be mailed to you. 
  • Three (3) postage paid Business Reply Envelopes to send in your completed PAC Forms. 

While the contest ends on Labor Day, please don't wait until the end to send in completed forms. Whenever you have a few forms, or even one form completed, please mail them directly to the North Olmsted, Ohio office.  We will automatically send you a few more envelopes when you mail in your completed forms; or if you need more reply envelopes immediately, please call the number above, or email me personally at: moutu@embarqmail.com

  • Important - When you return your completed PAC forms in the Business Reply Envelope, please attach your name and Local in the envelope so that our PAC coordinator will be able to credit the contributions to you. 
  • Important - To count for the contest, all new PAC contributions must be at the Silver Level ($10.00 per month) or higher.  Upgrades are encouraged too; for example, if a member upgrades from $8.35 to $15.00 per month, you will be credited for the difference, which would be $6.65.  The upgrade amount does not need to be $10.00, just over the final level has to be over the Silver Level. 

On behalf of the 60,000 plus SMART Transportation Members who keep America moving, we thank you for participating in this UTU PAC fundraising effort.  Should you have any questions about the contest, or need additional forms or information, please feel free to call me directly at 573-634-3303.

 

In Solidarity,

 

 

Kenny Menges

Missouri State Legislative Director

PAC Contest Chair

 

 

 

 

pac contest

 

 

 

 
>>>
James Stem Testifies on Safety before Senate Committee - 6/22/2013

Stem testifies on safety before Senate committee

SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation June 19 at a hearing to explore improvements in freight and passenger rail safety.

Stem testified on a variety of issues including fatigue, positive train control, the shipment hazardous materials, new technologies and worker training.

Stem told the committee that any discussion concerning rail safety should start with employee fatigue as the first order of business.

“Our railroad corporations are re-investing more than $20 billion annually in upgrading, maintaining and expanding their infrastructure, but are unwilling to invest anything in resolving the most pressing of safety issues – unpredictable work schedules coupled with employee availability policies,” Stem said.

“The Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008 contained provisions for two pilot projects sponsored by the Federal Railroad Administration for improving work schedules and employee notification. We have urged all the Class I railroads to participate in a pilot project, but not a single railroad would agree to a pilot.”

Stem offered the following suggestions to address the issue:

•Providing employees a regular start time so they know days in advance when they must come to work. A large majority of our members have a regular start time and do not consider fatigue to be a safety issue. Employees with regular start times are not the employees who are dying in fatigue-related collisions.

•Notifying employees before going off-duty what time they will be required to return to work for the next tour of duty. This option actually improves the availability of the employee by allowing the employee to return to service after only 10 hours off duty.

•Replacing the required 10 hours of undisturbed rest immediately following service that is now required with 10 hours of undisturbed rest immediately preceding service. This will give the employee at least 10 hours of notification prior to reporting for service.

“The high level of professionalism and dedication of the operating crews running our railroads today are the only reasons that accidents are not more frequent,” Stem said.

On positive train control, Stem testified that there are segments of the railroad industry that are hoping Congress will grant a blanket extension of three to five years for PTC implementation. The current required date for implementation is more than 30 months away on December 31, 2015.

“If Congress chooses to grant a blanket extension for PTC, the railroads that are behind on their implementation schedule today will further slow their progress, or just stop the process until that new extension expires,” he said.

“Any extension for PTC implementation should be on an individual basis, short in duration, six to 12 months, and only after identifying the reasons that the current implementation date is not obtainable.

“The PTC systems that are being implemented today contain all the information on thedisplay screen that is necessary to operate a train safely. This will be the first time that the operating crews on the locomotive will have all that information contained in one place and displayed in real time. The quality of that information on the screen will significantly reduce the complexity of safely operating the train.”

Some railroads, including Amtrak, BNSF and Metrolink in California have announced that they will be able to meet the statutory deadline and are continuing the implementation and testing of PTC components.

?On Amtrak, Stem testified about the need for continued funding of the passenger rail carrier.

“Since its inception, Amtrak has done a remarkable job with often inadequate resources. While setting ridership records in recent years, their safety record remains solid. Amtrak’s growing passenger volumes has made them far more self-sufficient than in the past, recovering 79 percent of their operating costs from ticket revenue. The high price of fuel, growing highway and airport congestion, and the significant increase in the number of passenger rail options, all contribute to the constant increases in ridership on Amtrak.

“Even with their remarkable progress, Amtrak has had no shortage of congressional critics who expect Amtrak to be the world’s only profitable passenger railroad. We ask that this committee take a fresh look at this American success story and work with the leaders of Amtrak and others to help ‘America’s Railroad’ build on its 40 plus years of success. Amtrak was created because the demand for rail passenger services remained strong, and the private railroads could not make a profit operating their own passenger trains.”

Addressing worker training, Stem said that thousands of new employees will be coming into the freight and passenger rail industies in the near future and that adequate and appropriate training is a major safety concern.

“Our experience is that the training of our members varies widely from railroad to railroad. Some of the larger railroads are reported to have excellent initial training programs for conductors and engineers. However, they rely almost exclusively on computer-based training for follow-up training or what I call ‘training on your own.’ They no longer use the traditional model of mentoring or apprenticeship, where a new employee has the advantage of working with more mature employees with experience, skills, and good technique.

“Forty years ago, there were five members of a train crew and they spent years working as brakemen before becoming conductors, and likewise, years as a fireman before becoming an engineer. Today, the standard crew size is two. Now railroads hire people off the street and train them to be conductors in several short months. We are concerned about the long-term impact of insufficient training processes that create employees that lack the confidence in their abilities to stop a train movement when they suspect something is wrong.

“It’s expensive to train new people, so like some American companies, railroads, when left to their own desires, will reduce training costs as much as possible for the short term gains involved.”

Also testifying before the committee were Federal Railroad Administrator Joe Szabo, National Transportation Safety Board Chairperson Deborah Hersman and Association of American Railroads President Edward Hamberger.

To read Stem’s complete written testimony, click here.

stem_senate_061913SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem
testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
June 19, 2013.

>>>
Update from Director Menges - 6/12/2013

 

mo smart\

      

Missouri State Legislative Board

June 2013

 

It ain't over

 Session 2013

The Missouri Legislative session ended May 17th but the session is far from over.  The legislature will return September 12th for the veto session.As the session began in January, Labor was faced with Right to Work, the elimination of prevailing wage, pay check deception and teacher tenure.  With the combined effort of the AFL-CIO and numerous labor unions we were able to ward off most of the attacks except for SB29-paycheck deception, which Governor Nixon will veto and if we can hold together our labor friendly Republicans there are not enough votes to override the veto.

  

With a coordinated attack lead by the Missouri AFL-CIO we were able to form a coalition of 25 Republicans along with the 54 Democrats that voted against or "walked" on paycheck deception giving the Republicans just 85 votes.  It will take 109 votes to override a veto!

 

HB34 which began as a bill to eliminate prevailing wage for public school projects in third and fourth class counties was sent to the Senate where there were efforts to eliminate prevailing wage in all maintenance work but those efforts were thwarted and we came out with a compromise that strip the maintenance language and added a mechanism for determining prevailing wage in third and fourth class counties. A compromise worked out with Labor.  While HB34 did pass with a veto proof majority, leadership reneged on their part of the compromise and brought up pay check and maintenance in the closing days of sessions.  The Governor has asked the Labor Councils for their input on whether to veto or not.

 

We have to work between now and the veto session to meet in district with the coalition to keep our votes together and prevent an override of the Governor's vetoes.

It ain't over until September 12th!

 

Read Thank You letter from MO AFL-CIO  

 

  MOST 

 Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan. 

 

MOST 529 Plan is a qualified tuition program established under Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code. The MOST 529 Plan is designed to help people save for the costs of education after high school. Currently, federal and Missouri tax benefits enhance the value of investing in the MOST 529 Plan.

  

As little as $25 lets you start saving for a child's education today.

Owners of MOST 529 accounts are able to make a deduction for contributions of up to $8,000 per year per taxpayer ($16,000 for married filing jointly) from their Missouri state income taxes.

Contributions can grow free from federal and Missouri income tax until withdrawn.

  

When it is time for the beneficiary to go to college, withdrawals used for qualified higher education expenses, including any earnings the investments may have yielded, will also be exempt from federal and Missouri income taxes.

Click here to sign up for Most

 
MOST-MATCHING GRANT

 

The MOST 529 Matching Grant Program is open to Missouri residents with an annual household income of $74,999 or less who own and contribute to a MOST 529 Plan account. If you qualify and are approved for the program, contributions to your MOST 529 Plan account will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $500 per year.

 

Sign up by June 30, 2013 

 

Click here to sign up for a matching grant  

 

 

YOUR Health! Food Chart

 

Click here for the healthy living food chart 

 

 

atv

Riding ATV's this summer? 

Check out the latest safety tips on how to operate ATV's!

   Visit      Show-Me Farm  Safety  

and Workplace Safety

  for more  tips!

 

Join UTU PAC 

 

UTU PAC is a political action committee that is 100 % voluntary and member supported

 

Download UTU PAC application 

 

utupac

 

UTU PAC provides job security, protects railroad retirement and helps to create a safer workplace

 

 

 

AMTRAK FUNDING FOR MISSOURI RIVER RUNNER

The Missouri Legislature has appropriated $8.9 million for the support of the Missouri state supported Amtrak River Runner between St. Louis and Kansas City. 

This is the first time in many years that we have received an increase in funding which will allow the state to continue the operation of the train and begin paying down a $3 million debt to Amtrak.

As special thanks to House Budget Chairman Rick Stream(R-90) and Senator David Pearce(R-21) for their leadership and support.

 

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 
>>>
Please call your State Reps - 4/22/2013

Tell your Missouri legislators to stop pushing paycheck deception! Call your state representative at 888-907-9711 and tell them to vote against the paycheck deception bill.

The Missouri House is rushing to pass SB29, otherwise known as the Paycheck Deception bill. This unfair bill could hit the House floor any day. We need you to fight back today! Call your state representative now and tell them to oppose paycheck deception: 888-907-9711.

Our legislators should be working on creating good paying jobs in our state and strengthening the economy. Paycheck deception is all about politics and not economics, and it’s time to put an end to this attack on workers.

- We are Missouri

>>>
News Update from Director Menges - 4/19/2013

mo smart\

      

UTU-Missouri State Legislative Board

April 2013

 

 

Every year, the Missouri Department of Labor pays tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on the job by coming together with families, friends, colleagues and legislators. The Department holds a ceremony at the state capitol to honor the lives of Missouri's lost workforce.  Until enough funds are made available to build a physical memorial, a video is made to create a virtual memorial to honor those Missouri workers and their families.

 

Click here to view Missouri workers' memorial website

 

AMTRAK-TRANSPORTATION POLL

 

The Missouri State Legislative Board recently conducted a telephone poll in the Missouri 8th Congressional District which will hold a special election on June 4, 2013 to elect a U. S Representative to replace JoAnn Emerson who recently resigned.

 

The poll asked several questions concerning Amtrak, future funding for transportation in the state and heavier trucks on the highways.

Click here to view the survey results 

Polls were conducted in Illinois and North Dakota at the same time as our Missouri Poll.  The information of these polls were combined to present a larger picture of how these issues.

Click here to view the IL-ND-MO combined survey 

The information from these surveys have been shared with the candidates of the 8th Congressional district, Governor Nixon, State Representatives and Senators on the Transportation Committees and with legislators who live in the 8th district.

 

We have received a great amount of publicity at recent public transportation hearings where the information was referenced and Politico's publication did a story on our polling.

Click here to read the Politico Article 

 

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED

Can you walk this weekend

 

Click here for info on the Lees Summit Canvass on 4/20 

Click here for info on Wentzville Canvass on 4/20 

 

Senate Bill 29-Paycheck Deception- is headed for the Missouri House Floor next week.  This bill is a direct attack on unions.

 

Already, House Speaker Tim Jones has been crowing about this attack on hardworking Missourians, calling it the "a way to get to the ultimate goal of right to work."

Don't be fooled - this legislation will hurt some workers the hardest, but it is a direct attack on all of us. It is a reckless and dangerous bill that will lead to larger class sizes for teachers and unsafe staffing levels for nurses. It would stop first responders like police officers from advocating for public safety needs. And it would mean front-line state workers who work in our veterans' homes and investigate child abuse and neglect would lose their voice on the job and in the statehouse. 

 

Click here for an explanation of Paycheck Deception

 

 

RAILROAD RETIREMENT SEMINAR

 

Kansas City, MO

May 3, 2013 

 

Sheet Metal Workers 

Local 2  Union Hall

 

2902 Blue Ridge Boulevard

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.

Seminar

8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

 

Join UTU PAC 

 

UTU PAC is a political action committee that is 100 % voluntary and member supported

 

Download UTU PAC application 

 

utupac

 

UTU PAC provides job security, protects railroad retirement and helps to create a safer workplace

 

 


AMTRAK PASS

This office has received several inquiries about Amtrak passes for railroad employees.

 

In order to possibly qualify for a pass you need to have hired out on the railroad prior to April 27, 1981. 

 

Here are some numbers you can use to find out more information on the subject.

 

General information from the Amtrak Pass Bureau 1-800-424-0224

 

This is the number you can call to find out your carrier's phone number like those provided here:

 

BNSF  817-352-4983

NS       540-512-5830

UP       402-636-7114

 

 

 

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 
>>>
Medicaid Expansion Rally!!! - 4/15/2013

 

                                      MEDICAID EXPANSION 

LOBBY DAY & RALLY

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

 Rally on Capitol Lawn at 2:00 pm

Free lunch, training, and transportation available

 

Buses to Jefferson City will leave from the following locations:

 

KANSAS CITY AREA
Bus #1: Kansas City, 7:30 am
Teamsters Joint Council 56, 
4501 Emanuel Cleaver Blvd.

 

Bus #2: Independence, 8:30 am
Independence Center, 18801 E 39th St S.

ST. LOUIS AREA

Bus #1: Brentwood, 7:30 am
Brentwood Promenade

Bus #2: St. Peters, 8:15 am
1600 Mid Rivers Mall Dr (In front of Sears)

MID-MISSOURI

Bus #1: Columbia, 9:00 am
Bus #2: Columbia, 1:00 pm

Hollywood Theater, 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr.

SPRINGFIELD

Bus #1: Springfield, 7:30 am
American Cancer Society,
3322 S Campbell Ave.

 Carpools can be arranged from other areas of the state.

 

To sign up or get more information, contact:

 

Kevin Stamps, Missouri Medicaid Coalition
kevinstamps@momedicaidcoalition.org

or

 sign up online at: 

momedicaidcoalition.org/rsvp

 

 

>>>
Haier & Black and Decker Freezer Recall - 4/15/2013

Freezer Recall

Black and Decker and Haier freezers recalled because of fire hazard.

The following recall was originally posted on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website here

 

 

 

Name of Product
Chest Freezers

Hazard
A capacitor in the freezer's circuitry can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

Remedy
Repair

Consumer Contact
Haier America; toll-free at (877) 878-7579 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET any day, or online at www.haieramerica.com and click on Product Recalls for more information.

Units Sold
About 41,000, 67,500 additional freezers were recalled in November 2010

Description

This recall involves the Haier® models HNCM070E with 7.0 cubic foot capacity and ESNCM053E with 5.3 cubic foot capacity, and Black & Decker® model BFE53 with 5.3 cubic foot capacity white chest freezers.

"Haier" is printed on the upper-left corner of the freezer, or "Black & Decker" is printed on the front upper-right corner of the freezer. "Haier" or "Black & Decker," the model number, the unit's serial number and other information are printed on a rating label at the top center of the back of the freezer.

The recalled Black & Decker model BFE53 freezer also has a label adjacent to the rating label with the UPC number 896603002660 printed on it.

Click here to which freezer serial numbers are being recalled.

Incidents/Injuries

In addition to the 18 incidents reported in the November 2010 recall, which included four reports of fires with minor property damage, Haier America and CPSC have received 27 additional incident reports. This includes three fires that caused substantial property damage. There have been no reports of injuries.

Remedy

Consumers should immediately unplug their freezer and contact the company to schedule an appointment for a free repair to the freezer.

Sold at

Haier model HNCM070E was sold by regional and local retailers nationwide and online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and other online retailers from September 2009 through October 2011 for between $180 to $200.

Haier model ESNCM053E was sold primarily on Amazon.com and other online retailers from February 2010 through March 2013 for between $200 to $290. The Black & Decker model BFE53 was sold exclusively at Walmart nationwide and at Walmart.com from September 2009 through September 2010, for about $150.

Importer
Haier America Trading LLC, New York, N.Y.

Manufactured in
China

>>>
Railroad Retirement Informational Seminar - 4/8/2013

This years Railroad Retirement informational seminars will be held:

Friday, April 12th

St. Louis, Missouri

Drury Inn & Suites-St. Louis Forest Park

2111 Sulphur Avenue

and

Friday, May 3rd

Kansas City, Missouri

Sheet Metal Workers Local Union Hall

2902 Blue Ridge Boulevard

 

All informational conference registrations begin at 8:00 AM, with the programs beginning promptly at 8:30 AM and ending at 12:15 PM.

>>>
MEDICAID EXPANSION LOBBY DAY & RALLY - 4/8/2013



24,000 jobs.

That's how many jobs will be created if we expand Medicaid. And 260,000 people will gain health coverage.  In contrast, "Right to Work," Paycheck Deception and attacks on prevailing wage protections will hurt working people and create ZERO jobs. Instead of the relentless attacks on hardworking Missourians, it is time for our elected leaders to focus on JOBS and expand Medicaid.

Join us and march with health care providers and recipients, community and business organizations and people from across the state and rally April 16 to expand Medicaid.

 


Save the Date:

MEDICAID EXPANSION LOBBY DAY & RALLY


Tuesday, April 16, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Rally on Capitol Lawn at 2:00 p.m.

RSVP: 
http://momedicaidcoalition.org/rsvp

Facebook RSVP link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/315587975237544/


Free lunch, training, and transportation available.

Buses to Jefferson City will leave from the following locations:

KANSAS CITY AREA
Bus #1 will leave Kansas City at 7:30 am
Teamsters Joint Council 56, 4501 Emmanual Cleaver Blvd

Bus #2 will leave Independence at 8:30 am
Independence Center, 18801 E 39th St S

 

ST. LOUIS AREA
Bus #1 will leave Brentwood at 7:30 am
Brentwood Promenade, Brentwood Promenade Ct.

Bus #2 will leave St. Peters at 8:15 am
in front of Sears, 1600 Mid Rivers Mall Dr

MID-MISSOURI
Bus #1 will leave Columbia at 9:00 am
Hollywood Theater, 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr.

Bus #2 will leave Columbia at 1:00 pm
Hollywood Theater, 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr.

 

SPRINGFIELD
Bus will leave Springfield at 7:30 am
American Cancer Society, 3322 S Campbell Ave.

 
 

>>>
Express Scripts/Medco's packaging may change - 4/6/2013

Members who receive prescription medications through Express Scripts/Medco’s home-delivery pharmacy service may notice a change to their prescription bottle and its packaging beginning May 1.

For those who are unaware, the companies merged last year.

Members may notice different colors of prescription bottles – Express Scripts prescription bottles are orange and Medco bottles are white. Medication may also be dispensed in the manufacturer’s packaging instead of a prescription bottle.

Also, while the content on the prescription packaging labels is the same, the prescription labels may have a different type style and layout.

The changes are due to the location from which your prescription is being sent. You may now get your prescription from an Express Scripts Pharmacy or from a Medco Pharmacy, depending on factors including weather, supply, or proximity of the pharmacy to your home.

Express Scripts is now shipping from both Express Scripts and Medco pharmacies, so you may notice some changes to the color, shape and cap of your prescription bottle and the packaging it’s shipped in. There are no changes to your medications and they are being filled and shipped as safely and accurately as they always have.

Packaging for temperature-sensitive prescriptions may be different based on the pharmacy that it was shipped from, but all packaging meets the temperature requirements for safely shipping your medication.

Be assured that your medications will still undergo the same rigorous processes for safety and accuracy.

>>>
Right to Work passed House Committee - 4/5/2013


The House of Representatives could consider a "Right to Work" bill soon.


Yesterday a House committee combined three "Right to Work" bills (HBs 77, 91 and 95) and passed it out of the House Workforce Development and Workplace Safety Committee. All of these bills are directly based on model legislation distributed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Your state representative needs to hear from you - call 888-907-9711 NOW and ask your rep to oppose both "Right to Work" and paycheck deception.

Our legislative leaders should be coming together to balance the budget,improve our schools, and create jobs.  But instead, extremists are pushing this unnecessary and irresponsible right to work bill that would hurt Missouri’s middle class families, our public schools, and put our safety at risk.  

These bills are part of an organized national plan to eliminate the voice of middle class workers. What's really terrifying about their campaign? CEOs and big corporations aren’t just after the pay and pensions of workers, they are trying to eliminate protections for whistleblowers who protect food safety, speak out against toxic chemicals in air and water, and waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars.

Missourians have defeated "Right to Work" before - and we're going to have to work together  to beat back this attack now. There's bi-partisan opposition to "Right to Work" laws, but the special interest groups are pushing hard. Make sure your state representative hears from you today. Call 888-907-9711 now to oppose "Right to Work" and Paycheck Deception.

In Solidarity,

Hugh McVey, President
Missouri AFL-CIO

Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
Radiological Training for Rail Workers - 4/5/2013

RAIL WORKERS RADIOLOGICAL TRANSPORTATION TRAINING PROGRAM
April 25-27, 2013 in Laurel, MD


The US Department of Energy (DOE) has shipped large amounts and a variety of radioactive material by rail for years. The number of rail shipments is expected to increase in coming years. With the increase in rail shipments comes the increased risk for rail incidents involving radioactive material.  

The Rail Workers Hazmat Training Program was awarded funding to provide safety training to rail workers to increase their knowledge of the transportation of radioactive materials. To meet this training need, the Rail Program at NLC will conduct a two-day Radiological Transportation Train the Trainer course on April 25-27, 2013.

This federal grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) provides transportation, lodging, and meals for training participants. No stipend or per diem is allowable under the conditions of this grant.

The 16-hour DOE Modular Emergency Response Radiological Transportation Training (MERRTT) course will be held at Holiday Inn in Laurel, MD. The program begins on Thursday Morning, April 25, 2013 at 8:00 am, and ends at 3 pm on Saturday, April 27, 2013. It will include an intermission at 1:00 pm on Friday, April 26, for observance of Workers Memorial Day activities at NLC.

Interested rail workers can register online at: www.hazmatgmc.org by selecting the "course dates" tab and scrolling down to the Radiological Transportation Training section.

Since space for this course is limited, completed registration forms must be received no later than 1:00pm (Eastern Time) April 10, 2013.


For more information, call Freddie Thomas in the Hazmat office at 301-431-5457 or email fthomas@nlc.edu.


Facebook  Twitter  Flickr  WordPress    Vimeo

© 2013 National Labor College. Affiliated with the AFL-CIO
(American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations).

Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
Anti-RTW rally in St. Charles, MO - 4/5/2013


Our elected officials should work for us – not CEOs and wealthy special interest groups.

Unfortunately, too many politicians are listening to the extremists instead of their own constituents. As working people who vote, we need to speak up now.

In St. Charles on Monday afternoon, meet up at 1:00 pm and rally to stop “Right-to-Work” & Paycheck Deception bills moving in the Missouri legislature.

Meet at Frontier Park, 500 S. Riverside Drive – in Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey’s District. He joined extremists in the state senate to vote for paycheck deception, SB29. Soon, the senate will consider more anti-worker bills. He – and his colleagues—need to hear from all of us now.

Can I count on you to be there Monday?
Click here to sign up on Facebook.

In Solidarity,

Robert Soutier, President
Greater St. Louis Labor Council

Click here to unsubscribe.

>>>
Medicaid Rally in Jeff. City - 4/5/2013

Jason,

Please read the email below and take action. April 16 is an important day for all of us to step up. Information below on buses already scheduled and a link to RSVP. The campaign is also looking for help sponsoring buses with snacks and bottled water. If your group can fill an entire bus, if you'd like to sponsor or have questions, please contact Kevin Stamps, Campaign Director at 636-208-6570 or kevinstamps@momedicaidcoalition.org.

I look forward to seeing you and your members at the rally.

In unity,

Hugh McVey, President
Missouri AFL-CIO



Zero jobs or 24,000?


That’s the decision our politicians face in Jefferson City. You’d think it would be a no-brainer.

24,000  - That's how many jobs will be created if we expand Medicaid.

Zero – Jobs created by "Right to Work," Paycheck Deception and anti-prevailing wage bills put together.

Instead of the relentless attacks on hardworking Missourians, it is time for our elected leaders to focus on JOBS and expand Medicaid. Join us and march with health care providers and recipients, community and business organizations and people from across the state and rally April 16 to expand Medicaid.

Click here to sign up for a very important rally on April 16 to get our state back on track.

MEDICAID EXPANSION LOBBY DAY & RALLY

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Rally on Capitol Lawn at 2:00 pm

Free lunch, training, and transportation available

Buses scheduled so far. Please
RSVP early so you'll have a seat on the bus to Jefferson City. You can also sign up on Facebook.

Buses will leave from the following locations:

KANSAS CITY AREA

Bus #1: Kansas City, 7:30 am
Teamsters Joint Council 56,
4501 Emanuel Cleaver Blvd.

Bus #2: Independence, 8:30 am
Independence Center, 18801 E 39th St S.

ST. LOUIS AREA

Bus #1: Brentwood, 7:30 am
Brentwood Promenade

Bus #2: St. Peters, 8:15 am
1600 Mid Rivers Mall Dr (In front of Sears)

MID-MISSOURI

Bus #1: Columbia, 9:00 am
Hollywood Theater, 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr.

Bus #2: Columbia, 1:00 pm
Hollywood Theater, 2800 Goodwin Pointe Dr.

SPRINGFIELD

Bus #1: Springfield, 7:30 am
American Cancer Society, 3322 S Campbell Ave

Click here to unsubscribe.

>>>
The Missouri House of Representatives could consider a "Right to Work" bill soon - 4/5/2013



The Missouri House of Representatives could consider a "Right to Work" bill soon.


Wednesday April 3rd a House committee combined three "Right to Work" bills (HBs 77, 91 and 95) and passed it out of the House Workforce Development and Workplace Safety Committee. All of these bills are directly based on model legislation distributed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). 


Your state representative needs to hear from you. Contact your State Representative today and ask them to oppose both "Right to Work" and paycheck deception.

These bills are part of an organized national plan to eliminate the voice of middle class workers.

What's really terrifying about their campaign? CEOs and big corporations aren’t just after the pay and pensions of workers, they are trying to eliminate protections for whistleblowers who protect food safety, speak out against toxic chemicals in air and water, and waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars. 

There's bi-partisan opposition to "Right to Work" laws, but the special interest groups are pushing hard. Make sure your state representative hears from you today.

Missourians have defeated "Right to Work" before and we're going to have to work together to beat back this attack now.

Together,

We Are Missouri

Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
Tentative agreement reached on Kyle Railroad - 4/3/2013

Tentative agreement reached on Kyle Railroad

The negotiating team representing SMART Transportation Division members on the Kyle Railroad has reached agreement with the carrier on a proposed contract for all crafts under its jurisdiction. The Transportation Division represents engineers, conductors, brakemen, maintenance of way employees, signal employees, mechanics, helpers and apprentices, carmen and welders.

General Chairperson Brent Leonard, who was assisted by Local 44 President and Chairperson William Strickland, Local Secretary & Treasurer Dustin Meiller and Vice Local Chairperson Jacob Dougherty, led the negotiating team.

Assistant President John Previsich, who participated in the negotiations, praised the team for its efforts. “This round of negotiations was made more difficult by the sale of RailAmerica to Genesee and Wyoming partway through the process. The sale introduced a number of new concerns regarding preservation of benefits and pay that weren’t present at the start of the negotiations.

“The team did an excellent job of securing the current benefit levels while obtaining new provisions that guarantee pay and time off, along with excellent improvements to wages and working conditions.”

“The proposed agreement contains new working conditions that provide for a quality of life unseen on Class I railroads,” said Leonard. “For the first time on the Kyle Railroad, our members can secure a guaranteed level of benefit and a cost-sharing cap on their health insurance plan.”

The tentative agreement and ballots have been mailed to affected members and ballots must be returned no later than April 22, 2013.

The Kyle Railroad is a short line railroad operating from north central Kansas into eastern Colorado, with 625 miles of track. It interchanges with BNSF Railway, Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado Railway and Union Pacific.

Commodities moved on Kyle include wheat, soybeans, milo maize, alcohols, siding asphalt and roofing granules.

>>>
We need your help again - 4/1/2013

Jason,

The attacks on working Missourians are relentless this session.  Now SB29, Paycheck Deception, is scheduled for a public hearing this Wednesday morning at 8:00 am in House Hearing Room 5. It is important that we fill the room in opposition to this unnecessary and dangerous legislation.

Please click here to sign up if you or someone else from your union will be at the hearing Wednesday. Please share the information below as well so House members hear from hundreds of working people even before the doors open Wednesday morning.

In unity,

Hugh


Brothers and Sisters,

On Wednesday, April 3, the House Government Workforce Development and Workplace Safety Committee will hold a public hearing on SB29, a dangerous Paycheck Deception bill.

Like "right to work" bills, this Paycheck deception bill would put a chokehold on working families. It would further tilt the balance of power in favor of CEOs and wealthy corporate interest groups by silencing the voices of Missouri workers, both on the job and in our political process. 

Would you take a moment to email your state representative? House members need to hear from all of us. Send the message: enough is enough. Instead of bills attacking the people who keep our families safe, urge them to start working to create jobs and a better future for our state's middle-class families.

Send a message now to let the House know we expect them to start working to solve the problems of the middle class, not to recklessly give away even more power to the corporate CEOs and special interest groups.

 

In Solidarity,

 

Hugh McVey

President, Missouri AFL-CIO

Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
LED Light Bulb Recall - 3/28/2013

Light Bulb Recall

Nearly a half-million light bulbs are being recalled because they may overheat, posing a fire risk.

 

The following recall was posted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). You can see the original recall here.

 

 

Name of product: 

LED Light Bulbs

Hazard:

The bulbs can overheat during use, posing a fire hazard

Units Sold:

About 554,000

Description:

The 120-volt LED bulbs, sold as 6- 8- and 9-watt bulbs (equivalent to 40 or 50 watts), were marketed under the brand names Definity, EcoSmart, Sylvania and Westinghouse. The model numbers A19, G25 and R20/PAR20 are found on the packaging and on the light-colored circular neck above the base of the bulb where the date code is also printed. The date code reflects the week and year of manufacture; for example date code L4010 was produced during the 40th week of 2010. The date codes listed below may have the letters "CH " or "MX " at the end. For example, date code L4010 can also appear as L4010CH or L4010MX. The date codes are:

 
L4010
L4110
L4210
L4310
L4410
L4510
L4610
L4710
L4810
L4910
L5010
L5110
L5210
L5310
L0111
L0211
L0311
L0411
L0511
L0611
L0711
L0811
L0911
L1011
L1111

Incidents/Injuries:

Lighting Science Group is aware of 68 incidents of product failures, eight of which were accompanied by visible smoke or fire conditions. The incidents include damage to light sockets, melted fixtures, burned rugs/carpet/ floors, damage to a circuit and to a lamp. There have been no reports of personal injuries.

Remedy:

Consumers should immediately remove the bulbs from sockets and lamps and contact Light Science Group for replacement bulbs.

Sold at:

Various retailers including hardware and lighting and electrical supply stores.

Importer:

Lighting Science Group Corporation, of Satellite Beach, Fla.

Manufacturer:

Citizen Electronics and Lighting Science Group

Manufactured in:

China (with a small number of products having final assembly in Florida or Mexico)

>>>
We cannot afford to be complacent - 3/23/2013

 

Mike Futhey

By Mike Futhey, 
SMART Transportation Division President – 

Election day 2012 has passed, the celebration of an inauguration is done. Now what?

Complacency is not a luxury we can afford. Our fight is not over. After the candidates’ assurances of brighter days for labor, a continuation of “business as usual” is unacceptable. It will only perpetuate the process designed to lead to our demise.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. phrased it best in his “I Have a Dream” speech, exhorting “This is no time…to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”

There are treacherous sycophants roaming the political landscape like panthers in the night. Their objective: to introduce legislation to change the methodology for calculating votes on the state level.

Such legislation awards proportional votes based on the popular vote within the state. Prior to the election, Pennsylvania’s GOP Senate majority leader considered a proposal to move the state from an all-or-nothing contest to a proportional allocation based on winning specific congressional districts.

Had it been the law of the land during the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney would now be the President of the United States. The electoral vote would have resulted in a 276-262 margin in Romney’s favor, a 70-vote swing. All of this with President Obama winning the popular vote by nearly 5,000,000 votes, or 51.1 percent for Obama and 47.2 percent for Romney.

These individuals do not heed the observations of history and only view labor as an inconvenient expense to overcome in order to achieve the ultimate prize: greater profit.

Our nation’s economic future is contingent on putting America back to work, not the other way around.

At a meeting of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO last month, transportation union leaders rolled out a 2013 transportation investment and jobs agenda and condemned damaging cuts to transportation programs and jobs that are threatened by sequestration.

While meeting with the TTD, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) said, “I appreciate today’s opportunity to meet with the Transportation Trades Department’s executive committee, and look forward to working with them and all parties interested in a stronger transportation network for our nation. By listening to a diverse set of opinions and working together to build consensus, we can improve America’s infrastructure, make us more competitive, and strengthen our economy.”

Let’s hope his statement was sincere.

The good news is that the power to protect our rights resides in our hands. Those targeted for demise, the members of SMART – along with all labor in America – have the numbers to steer the course.

Your support of our legislative department is essential. You can start by signing up for a UTU-SMART PAC donation, or, if you already participate, consider increasing your donation. If you are not already, become personally involved in local politics. Your contribution, through your labor and involvement, is what will lead to a healthy economic recovery.

The recent election celebrations are fading into history. Now we embrace history to deliver the future.

>>>
News Update from Director Menges - 3/23/2013
mo smart\
      

UTU-Missouri State Legislative Board

MARCH 2013

 
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
 
With 8 weeks left in the legislative session we will have our work cut out for us as we continue to battle the anti-worker issues that the Republican leadership has been pushing.
 
Big money and out of state interest are trying to take charge and change the landscape of the Missouri workplace.
We are hearing rumbles that leadership is going to make a push to pass right to work for less when they return from Spring Break. 
 
The Missouri House has passed HB409, a bill that eliminates prevailing wage on public projects in third class counties--92 of Missouri's 115 counties are third class counties. The bill also redefines maintenance as any project less than the total cost of the building and maintenance projects would not be covered by prevailing wage.
 
The House has also passed HB64 a paycheck deception bill.  It is interesting to note that these bills passed with only 90 votes.  We had 11 of our Republican friends vote with us and 3 "took a walk" and did not vote.  If this hold they do not have th votes to override a veto.  Your PAC money at work!
 
These bills still need to be taken up by the Senate.  The Senate on the other hand has passed its own version of a pay check deception bill SB29. It was passed after an 8 1/2 hour filibuster and was amended and is unacceptable to the House in its present form.
 
We will continue to work with our labor partners each day to work with the legislators that seek to protect Missouri workers.  As one of our good Republican friends said, "why do we work to destroy the person who gets up each day and goes to work, makes a living for his family, and grows the economy?"  
 
It is about destroying a voice--your voice!   

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?

 

Click on the link below and fill out the letter. After you have filled out the letter save it to your computer and then attach the saved file to an email and email to moutu@embarqmail.com and we will hand deliver your letter to your senator!

 

Click here to download letter to mail to your senator 

 
 
Our friends at American Rights at Work have a put together some interesting facts about why right to work is wrong for everyone.  Print it off and keep it handy as it explains what unions do. Keep it in your pocket and use it to talk to your coworkers or that biased relative at the dinner table
 

RAILROAD RETIREMENT SEMINARS

 

St. Louis, MO

April 12, 2013 

Drury Inn & Suites-St.Louis Forest Park

2111 Sulphur Avenue

  

Kansas City, MO

May 3, 2013 

Sheet Metal Workers 

Local 2  Union Hall

 

2902 Blue Ridge Boulevard

 

Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. 

 

 

Seminar  

8:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

  

Join UTU PAC 

 

UTU PAC is a political action committee that is 100 % voluntary and member supported

 

Download UTU PAC application 

 

utupac

 

UTU PAC provides job security, protects railroad retirement and helps to create a safer workplace

 

POST ACCIDENT TESTING

FRA FINAL RULE

 

SUMMARY: In 1985, FRA implemented a post-accident toxicological testing (post-accident testing) program to test railroad employees who had been involved in

serious train accidents for alcohol and certain controlled substances (marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), and selected opiates, amphetamines, barbiturates, and

benzodiazepines). This final rule adds certain non-controlled substances with potentially impairing side effects to its standard post-accident testing panel.

The non-controlled substances include tramadol and sedating antihistamines. This final rule makes clear that FRA intends to keep the post-accident test results for these

non-controlled substances confidential while it continues to obtain and analyze data on the extent to which prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug use by

railroad employees potentially affects rail safety.

 

Click here to read the

 final rule 

 

Click here for post accident flow chart 

 

 

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

>>>
NTSB Recomendations to the FRA and railroads - 3/20/2013
 
 
 
 

http://www.ntsb.gov/

NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD SAFETY RECOMMENDATION

An independent federal agency

 

RAIL


NTSB Issues 12 New Safety Recommendations as a Result of its Investigation of the 9/30/2010 Collision of Two Freight Trains near Two Harbors, MN

March 12, 2013

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issues the following recommendations to the following organizations:

To the Federal Railroad Administration:

Identify, and require railroads to use in locomotive cabs, technology-based solutions that detect the presence of signal-emitting portable electronic devices and that inform the railroad management about the detected devices in real time. (R-13-005)

Incorporate the use of handheld signal detection devices to aid in the enforcement of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 220 Subpart C. (R-13-006)

Require railroads to implement initial and recurrent crew resource management training for train crews. (R-13-007)

Conduct an audit of the Canadian National Railway’s North Division program of operational tests and inspections to evaluate their effectiveness for promoting knowledge and compliance with rules regarding the execution of track authorities and the appropriate use of portable electronic devices. (R-13-008)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-005-008.pdf

To the Canadian National Railway:

Discontinue the use of after-arrival track authorities in nonsignaled territory not equipped with positive train control. (R-13-009)

Develop and implement specific training that will result in operating personnel acquiring and using strategies and skills based on the principles of crew resource management. (R-13-010)

Incorporate the use of handheld signal detection devices into your operational efficiency program on the use of portable electronic devices. (R-13-011)

Evaluate your operational testing program, and verify that the testing of track authority procedures and unauthorized use of portable electronic devices is adequate to ensure consistent, safe operation. (R-13-012)

Work with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the United Transportation Union, to develop and implement a nonpunitive peer audit program for the North Division, focused on rule compliance and operational safety. (R-13-013)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-009-013.pdf

To the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen:

Work with the Canadian National Railway and the United Transportation Union, to develop and implement a nonpunitive peer audit program for the Canadian National Railway’s North Division, focused on rule compliance and operational safety. (R-13-014)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-014.pdf

To the United Transportation Union (SMART Union):

Work with the Canadian National Railway and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, to develop and implement a nonpunitive peer audit program for the Canadian National Railway’s North Division, focused on rule compliance and operational safety. (R-13-015)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-015.pdf

To the Canadian Pacific Railway Limited:

Discontinue the use of after-arrival track authorities for train movements in nonsignaled territory not equipped with a positive train control system. (R-13-016)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-016.pdf

To the Kansas City Southern Railway Company:

Discontinue the use of after-arrival track authorities for train movements in nonsignaled territory not equipped with a positive train control system. (R-13-016)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-016a.pdf

To the Norfolk Southern Railroad:

Discontinue the use of after-arrival track authorities for train movements in nonsignaled territory not equipped with a positive train control system. (R-13-016)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-016b.pdf

To the Union Pacific Railroad:

Discontinue the use of after-arrival track authorities for train movements in nonsignaled territory not equipped with a positive train control system. (R-13-016)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-016c.pdf

The NTSB also reiterates the following recommendations to the following organizations:

To the Federal Railroad Administration:

Prohibit the use of after-arrival track warrants for train movements in dark (non-signaled) territory not equipped with a positive train control system. (R-06-010)

Establish an ongoing program to monitor, evaluate, report on, and continuously improve fatigue management systems implemented by operating railroads to identify, mitigate, and continuously reduce fatigue-related risks for personnel performing safety-critical tasks, with particular emphasis on biomathematical models of fatigue. (R-12-017)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-005-008.pdf

To the BNSF Railway:

Discontinue the use of after-arrival track warrants for train movements in dark (non-signaled) territory not equipped with a positive train control system. (R-06-12)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2006/R-06-012a.pdf

To the America Short Line and Regional Railroad Association:

Encourage your members to discontinue the use of after-arrival track warrants for train movements in dark (non-signaled) territory not equipped with a positive train control system. (R-06-13)

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2006/R-06-013a.pdf

The NTSB reclassified the following recommendations to the following organization:

To the Federal Railroad Administration:

Require the installation, in all controlling locomotive cabs and cab car operating compartments, of crash- and fire-protected inward- and outward-facing audio and image recorders capable of providing recordings to verify that train crew actions are in accordance with rules and procedures that are essential to safety as well as train operating conditions. The devices should have a minimum 12-hour continuous recording capability with recordings that are easily accessible for review, with appropriate limitations on public release, for the investigation of accidents or for use by management in carrying out efficiency testing and systemwide performance monitoring programs. (R-10-001)

Safety Recommendation R-10-001, previously classified “Open—Acceptable Response” is classified “Open?Unacceptable Response.”

Require that railroads regularly review and use in-cab audio and image recordings (with appropriate limitations on public release), in conjunction with other performance data, to verify that train crew actions are in accordance with rules and procedures that are essential to safety. (R-10-002)

Safety Recommendation R-10-002, previously classified “Open—Acceptable Response” is classified “Open?Unacceptable Response.”

http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/recletters/2013/R-13-005-008.pdf

# # #

The letter is in the Portable Document Format (PDF) and can be read using the Acrobat Reader 5.0 or later from Adobe (http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html).

 


).

 
 
 
 
>>>
We need your help - 3/18/2013

Brothers and Sisters, I hope this finds you well.

As you are aware, the Missouri Labor Movement is under attack by extremists in the State Legislature.  In addition to the work we are doing at the Capitol in Jefferson City, the Missouri AFL-CIO is working with the state Unity Table to fight back against these attacks in the field.

Together we are holding canvasses in key senate districts across the state.  Unions have released staff to assist with this project, and these organizers will be reaching out to your locals in the areas to recruit for these actions.

From now through the end of session on May 17th, we will be scheduling our largest canvasses on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Please help us defeat these anti-worker attacks by sending at least a couple members to each canvass shift and keep an eye out for these calls and emails from We Are Missouri organizers. A list of actions scheduled to date is below.

We are also in need of staging locations to run our canvasses in Senate Districts 8 and 19  and for Senate District lead staff for Districts 6, 20 & 27.  If you are able to help with a union hall we could use for Wednesday evening and Saturday canvasses in those areas or with release staff, please contact Luke Canfora at 517.488.9291 or
lcanfora@aflcio.org.  All help is much appreciated.  It will take all of us to fight off the legislative attacks we face.

Thank you for all that you do.
In Solidarity,

Hugh McVey, President
Missouri AFL-CIO

Here are events scheduled so far. Please ask your members to volunteer at their closest canvass:

District

Wednesday,
March 20

Friday,
March 22

Saturday,
March 23

2 - Rupp


Meet at UAW
1199 E. Pearce
Wentzville, MO
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mike Melson
314.808.0793
Sign up on Facebook

Meet at UAW
1199 E. Pearce
Wentzville, MO
6:00 - 8:30 pm
Contact Mike Melson
314.808.0793
Sign up on Facebook

3 - Romine


Jefferson County Dems
4 Main Street
Festus, MO
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Contact Veronica Wansley
314.403.4303
Sign up on Facebook

15 - Schmitt

UAW
995 Larkin Williams Rd
Fenton, MO
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Contact Stan Stevenson
636.352.5083
Sign up on Facebook


UAW
995 Larkin Williams Rd
Fenton, MO
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Contact Stan Stevenson
636.352.5083
Sign up on Facebook

23 - Dempsey


UFCW 655
300 Weidman Rd.
Ballwin, MO
6:00 -8:30 pm
Contact Luke Canfora
517.488.9291
Sign up on Facebook


UFCW 655
300 Weidman Rd.
Ballwin, MO
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Contact Luke Canfora
517.488.9291
Sign up on Facebook

24 - Lamping


UFCW 655
300 Weidman Rd.
Ballwin, MO
6:00 -8:30 pm
Contact Luke Canfora
517.488.9291
Sign up on Facebook


UFCW 655
300 Weidman Rd.
Ballwin, MO
6:00 -8:30 pm
Contact Luke Canfora
517.488.9291
Sign up on Facebook

30 - Dixon


CWA
431 S. Jefferson
Springfield, MO
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Contact James Raines
417.771.9774
Sign up on Facebook


IBEW
2902 E. Division Street
Springfield, MO
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Contact James Raines
417.771.9774
Sign up on Facebook

>>>
NLC now offers Associate of arts degree - 3/18/2013

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 
We are thrilled to report that
National Labor College (NLC) is now accredited to offer an Associate of Arts degree!  An Associate of Arts degree is basically the first two years of college and will provide students with the foundation to succeed in NLC’s bachelor's degree programs or at any other 4-year college or university.
 
Applications for the Associate of Arts degree for the fall semester beginning September 3, 2013 will be available shortly.  If you would like to be immediately notified when the applications are available, please click here.
 
In order to apply, union members, their families, and others must have a high school diploma or GED certificate. Discover more about the Associate of Arts degree requirements here.
 
In solidarity,

Paula E. Peinovich, PhD
President

1-877-427-8100


Facebook  Twitter  Flickr  WordPress    Vimeo

© 2013 National Labor College. Affiliated with the AFL-CIO
(American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations).

Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
Important message to call your State Senators!!! - 3/10/2013

Jason,

This is urgent. We just got word that paycheck deception, SB29 will again come up in the Missouri Senate and will likely be voted on in the next few days.

We need you to call your state senator at at 888-907-9711.

Ask him or her to oppose SB 29. If they're voting against the bill, please thank them for standing up for working families.

Thank you,

- Hugh

PS - if your Senator's voice mail is full, please call back tomorrow. In the meantime, click here to send an email.
-------------

Begin Forward Message:

Call Your
State Senator:

888-907-9711
Dear Jason,

Missouri's everyday heroes worked through the night last night in the cold and snow - out in hazardous conditions working for us.

Politicians in the Missouri Senate were also at work last night - with some extremists pushing SB29, a paycheck deception bill that would silence the voices of hardworking Missouri front line workers.

Attacks like SB29 are the last thing our state needs. It won't create a single job, but SB29 and similar bills will make life more difficult for the snow plow drivers and street crews, nurses and grocery store workers who work for us every day.

Call your state senator now at 888-907-9711. Speak up for the workers who keep our communities safe.

In unity,

Hugh McVey, President
Missouri AFL-CIO

PS - After you make the call, like us on Facebook for updates on Paycheck Deception and other important issues. 
Click here to unsubscribe
>>>
Rule adds non-controlled substances to drug list - 3/8/2013

Rule adds non-controlled substances to drug list

The Federal Railroad Administration has published a final rule, effective May 6, 2013, adding certain non-controlled substances with potentially impairing side effects to its standard post-accident testing panel. 

This rule will enact the addition of over-the-counter, legal drugs, (uncontrolled) such as Tramadol and a variety of sedating antihistamines, to the panel of drugs being tested for in post-accident testing only (not in random testing).

The FRA will not include the results of this testing in post-accident reports, nor release its results to the railroads or tested employees. It is being used, according to the FRA, to conduct research studies on the effects these non-controlled substance may have on accidents and incidents in the rail industry, among affected railroad workers.

The FRA believes that the use or abuse of these substances is a possible contributing factor in rail accidents and incidents, and its hoping that this rule by itself will deter the use, misuse or abuse of some non-controlled substances.

Employees may authorize a release of the tests’ results to themselves and their employer by giving permission, however, the FRA did not specify what form of communication constitutes “permission by the employee.” Therefore, it is important that UTU members be aware that releasing these test results is purely voluntary and that anyone coercing them to do so, orally, in writing or by any other means, may be subject to action by the affected employee in legal or administrative venues. 

SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem noted that the UTU, along with others in rail labor, filed official comments with FRA’s Director of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Lamar Allen, opposing the rule.

Local officers are requested to post this information and inform UTU members at the union meetings and in briefings as appropriate.

Questions regarding this matter may be directed to the UTU’s national legislative office.

To review the final rule, click here

>>>
RRB answers questions about retirement benefits - 3/7/2013

RRB answers questions about retirement benefits

Employers and employees covered by the Railroad Retirement Act pay higher retirement taxes than those covered by the Social Security Act, so that railroad retirement benefits remain higher than social security benefits, especially for career employees.

The following questions and answers show the differences in railroad retirement and social security benefits payable at the close of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2012. They also show the differences in age requirements and payroll taxes under the two systems.

1. How do the average monthly railroad retirement and social security benefits paid to retired employees and spouses compare?

The average age annuity being paid by the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) at the end of fiscal year 2012 to career rail employees was $2,975 a month, and for all retired rail employees the average was $2,365. The average age retirement benefit being paid under social security was over $1,235 a month. Spouse benefits averaged $880 a month under railroad retirement compared to $590 under social security.

The Railroad Retirement Act also provides supplemental railroad retirement annuities of between $23 and $43 a month, which are payable to employees who retire directly from the rail industry with 25 or more years of service.

2. Are the benefits awarded to recent retirees generally greater than the benefits payable to those who retired years ago?

Yes, because recent awards are based on higher average earnings. Age annuities awarded to career railroad employees retiring at the end of fiscal year 2012 averaged nearly $3,510 a month while monthly benefits awarded to workers retiring at full retirement age under social security averaged some $1,750. If spouse benefits are added, the combined benefits for the employee and spouse would total $4,890 under railroad retirement coverage, compared to $2,625 under social security. Adding a supplemental annuity to the railroad family’s benefit increases average total benefits for current career rail retirees to over $4,920 a month.

3. How much are the disability benefits currently awarded?

Disabled railroad workers retiring directly from the railroad industry at the end of fiscal year 2012 were awarded almost $2,900 a month on the average while awards for disabled workers under social security averaged about $1,190.

While both the Railroad Retirement and Social Security Acts provide benefits to workers who are totally disabled for any regular work, the Railroad Retirement Act also provides disability benefits specifically for career employees who are disabled for work in their regular railroad occupation. Career employees may be eligible for such an occupational disability annuity at age 60 with 10 years of service, or at any age with 20 years of service.

4. Can railroaders receive benefits at earlier ages than workers under social security?

Railroad employees with 30 or more years of creditable service are eligible for regular annuities based on age and service the first full month they are age 60, and rail employees with less than?30 years of creditable service are eligible for regular annuities based on age and service the first full month they are age 62.

No early retirement reduction applies if a rail employee retires at age 60 or older with 30 years of service and his or her retirement is after 2001, or if the employee retired before 2002 at age 62 or older with 30 years of service.

Early retirement reductions are otherwise applied to annuities awarded before full retirement age, the age at which an employee can receive full benefits with no reduction for early retirement. This ranges from age 65 for those born before 1938 to age 67 for those born in 1960 or later, the same as under social security.

Under social security, a worker cannot begin receiving retirement benefits based on age until age 62, regardless of how long he or she worked, and social security retirement benefits are reduced for retirement prior to full retirement age regardless of years of coverage.

5. Does social security offer any benefits that are not available under railroad retirement?

Social security does pay certain types of benefits that are not available under railroad retirement. For example, social security provides children’s benefits when an employee is disabled, retired or deceased. Under current law, the Railroad Retirement Act only provides children’s benefits if the employee is deceased.

However, the Railroad Retirement Act includes a special minimum guaranty provision that ensures that railroad families will not receive less in monthly benefits than they would have if railroad earnings were covered by social security rather than railroad retirement laws. This guaranty is intended to cover situations in which one or more members of a family would otherwise be eligible for a type of social security benefit that is not provided under the Railroad Retirement Act. Therefore, if a retired rail employee has children who would otherwise be eligible for a benefit under social security, the employee’s annuity can be increased to reflect what social security would pay the family.

6. How much are monthly benefits for survivors under railroad retirement and social security?

Survivor benefits are generally higher if payable by the RRB rather than social security. At the end of fiscal year 2012, the average annuity being paid to all aged and disabled widow(er)s averaged $1,415 a month, compared to $1,165 under social security.

Benefits awarded by the RRB at the end of fiscal year 2012 to aged and disabled widow(er)s of railroaders averaged nearly $1,845 a month, compared to almost $940 under social security.

The annuities being paid at the end of fiscal year 2012 to widowed mothers/fathers averaged $1,700 a month and children’s annuities averaged $980, compared to $890 and $785 a month for widowed mothers/fathers and children, respectively, under social security.

Those awarded at the end of fiscal year 2012 averaged $1,640 a month for widowed mothers/fathers and $1,215 a month for children under railroad retirement, compared to $840 and $770 for widowed mothers/fathers and children, respectively, under social security.

7. How do railroad retirement and social security lump-sum death benefit provisions differ?

Both the railroad retirement and social security systems provide a lump-sum death benefit. The railroad retirement lump-sum benefit is generally payable only if survivor annuities are not immediately due upon an employee’s death. The social security lump-sum benefit may be payable regardless of whether monthly benefits are also due. Both railroad retirement and social security provide a lump-sum benefit of $255. However, if a railroad employee completed 10 years of creditable railroad service before 1975, the average railroad retirement lump-sum benefit payable is $995. Also, if an employee had less than 10 years of service, but had at least 5 years of such service after 1995, he or she would have to have had an insured status under social security law (counting both railroad retirement and social security credits) in order for the $255 lump-sum benefit to be payable.

The social security lump sum is generally only payable to the widow(er) living with the employee at the time of death. Under railroad retirement, if the employee had 10 years of service before 1975, and was not survived by a living-with widow(er), the lump sum may be paid to the funeral home or the payer of the funeral expenses.

8. How do railroad retirement and social security payroll taxes compare?

Railroad retirement payroll taxes, like railroad retirement benefits, are calculated on a two-tier basis. Rail employees and employers pay tier I taxes at the same rate as social security taxes, 7.65 percent, consisting of 6.20 percent for retirement on earnings up to $113,700 in 2013, and?1.45 percent for Medicare hospital insurance on all earnings. Beginning in 2013, an additional?0.9 percent in Medicare taxes (2.35 percent in total) will be withheld from employees on earnings above $200,000.

In addition, rail employees and employers both pay tier II taxes that are used to finance railroad retirement benefit payments over and above social security levels.

In 2013, the tier II tax rate on earnings up to $84,300 is 4.4 percent for employees and 12.6 percent for employers.

9. How much are regular railroad retirement taxes for an employee earning $113,700 in 2013 compared to social security taxes?

The maximum amount of regular railroad retirement taxes that an employee earning $113,700 can pay in 2013 is $12,407.25, compared to $8,698.05 under social security. For railroad employers, the maximum annual regular retirement taxes on an employee earning $113,700 are $19,319.85, compared to $8,698.05 under social security. Employees earning over $113,700, and their employers, will pay more in retirement taxes than the above amounts because the Medicare hospital insurance tax is applied to all earnings.

>>>
RTW Training seminars in SouthEast MO - 3/7/2013

Don't forget - the trainings that were postponed due to weather will be held tonight in Cape Girardeau and Sikeston! See you there.



Union Family,

Dangerous anti-worker bills are moving in the Missouri legislature. The time to educate our members and the community about "Right to Work" and paycheck deception bills is now.

Please help make sure someone from each Southeast Missouri area local union participates in either the Cape Girardeau or Sikeston Train-the-Trainer Seminars Thursday.

Learn:
•    The threat Right-to-Work and Paycheck Deception laws bring to Missouri workers
•    How talk to your members about these critical issues
•    Steps you and your members can take to stop these legislative attacks

When:  TONIGHT: Thursday, March 7
        5:00 pm in Cape Girardeau
        8:00 pm in Sikeston

Where:  

Cape Girardeau    

CWA Local 6316
1131 N. Kingshighway, 2D
(Rear Lower Level)
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Sikeston
SEMO Shrine Club
1806 Garwood
 (right behind the baseball field)        
Sikeston, MO 63801

For questions or to RSVP contact
Cathy Sherwin at 314.452.2179.

Please try to send at least one person to be trained on this issue to bring the information back to your local members!

In unity,

Mark Baker,  President
SEMO Central Labor Council

Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
ICE number in your phone - 3/7/2013

ICE (In Case of Emergency) 

Everyone should have one, an ICE, or In Case of Emergency contact on their cell phones.

The idea is simple, add a contact in your phone whose name is ICE, if you are unable to communicate in an emergency, first responders, or medical professionals at a hospital will know whom to contact.

There are some unfortunate situations where we need to reach the next of kin, or someone who can help make decisions for those involved in an accident, or other emergency situation. If a person has an ICE contact in their phone it simplifies the process. We also recommend those who have severe medical conditions or allergies to wear a medic-alert bracelet or keep other identification on them at all times.

(Article from the CCFR)

>>>
Info from the Dept. of Labor - 3/7/2013

 

This Week in Labor

Subscriber, see what's happening this week in Labor by watching the video below.

Middle

 

Topics This Week

Severe Weather Awareness Week

2013 Missouri Workers' Memorial Day

Can child support be taken out of unemployment benefits?

NO MO Bullying Presentation

TWL: 3-4-13

 

Bottom


 DOL Logo

Questions?
Contact Us

Bookmark and Share

STAY CONNECTED:

>>>
STEM testifies before House Railroad Subcommittee - 3/6/2013

Stem testifies before House railroad subcommittee

SMART Transportation Division National Legislative Director James Stem and others testified yesterday before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials regarding the importance of railroads in America’s transportation network and to its economy.

He was one of only four industry representatives invited to appear before the subcommittee and the only member of railroad labor to testify.

Stem addressed rail labor’s support of the railroad industry and its partnership with the carriers on equipment safety standards, hours of service improvements, Railroad Retirement Pension reforms and the opportunities to expand both freight and passenger rail.

“We understand that the most secure job is one at a profitable company that provides services that America needs,” Stem testified. “Our rail industry today is involved in a rail renaissance that will bring many decades of growth to both freight and passenger rail services. Our rail employees have earned the equity to participate in the policy decisions that will impact our industry.

“America has the most advanced freight rail system in the world. Union labor helped build it; we maintain it, and we operate the trains on it,” he said.

Stem’s testimony included support for the nation’s coal industry, transportation of crude oil and hazardous materials by rail, the needed support of Amtrak and other passenger rail systems and the implications of increased truck sizes on our highways and to our environment.

Also testifying at the hearing were Edward Hamberger, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, Joseph Boardman, president and CEO of Amtrak, and Paula Hammond, secretary of transportation for the state of Washington and chairperson of the States for Passenger Rail Coalition.

To read Stem’s complete testimony, click here.

To read Hamberger’s complete testimony, click here.

To read Boardman’s complete testimony, click here.

>>>
CALL YOUR MO. STATE REP. - 3/5/2013

 

 

More on Missouri HB64, paycheck deception, up for debate on House floor tomorrow (Wed, 3/6)

 

More from Randy Kiser and Mike Louis:

·         We want people in the House Gallery tomorrow

·         Expect the House goes in at 11 am till break for lunch

·         House to return at 3 pm and go till 5:30 pm

 

Call – and have your members call:  888-907-9711 – hit #1 to be connected to your Representative


You can listen to House debate online here: mms://streaming.house.mo.gov/chamber/

 

Please tweet  - use #hashtags:  #moleg #paycheckdeception #hb64

>>>
Sequestration cuts unemployment, sickness benefits - 3/5/2013

Sequestration cuts unemployment, sickness benefits

As a result of recently implemented budget cuts, the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) must reduce railroad unemployment and sickness insurance benefits by 9.2 percent.

These reductions stem from a sequestration order which President Obama filed on March 1, 2013, in accordance with the requirements of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The sequestration order sets aside a total of $6 million in funding under the railroad unemployment and sickness insurance program. Given the total amount of spending under the program, a cut of this size made benefit reductions necessary.

The 9.2 percent reduction in railroad unemployment benefits will reduce the maximum daily benefit rate from $66 to just under $60. As a result, the total maximum amount payable in a two-week period covering 10 days of unemployment will drop from $660 to $599.28.

Certain railroad sickness benefits are reduced for regular Tier I railroad retirement taxes of 7.65 percent. Applying the additional 9.2 percent reduction to these benefits will result in a daily benefit rate of $55.34 and a maximum 2-week payment of $553.44.

The maximum daily benefit rate will increase to $68 on July 1, 2013. For days of unemployment and sickness after that date, the reduction will result in a maximum daily benefit rate of $61.74 and a maximum two-week payout of $617.44. The maximum daily benefit rate for sickness benefits subject to Tier I payroll taxes will be $57.02, with a maximum 2-week total of $570.21.

The total sequestration is actually spread out over nine years. This initial reduction will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2013. The initial reduction amount is based upon projected claims and benefits and may be adjusted as needed. Congress will subsequently determine the amount of any reductions in future years. In addition, any appropriations subsequently enacted in fiscal year 2013 could also result in changes to the reduction amount.

The law exempts social security benefits, as well as railroad retirement, survivor, and disability benefits paid by the RRB, from sequestration.

In fiscal year 2012, the RRB paid $11.3 billion in retirement and survivor benefits to about 573,000 beneficiaries, and net unemployment-sickness benefits of $89 million to about 26,000 claimants.

>>>
This week in JC - 3/5/2013


This week, Jefferson City politicians are pushing an unnecessary and irresponsible paycheck deception law that hurts Missouri’s middle class families, hurts public schools, and puts our safety at risk: HB64, the Paycheck Deception bill, is scheduled for debate this Wednesday.

Make no mistake, this bill is about helping multinational corporations, not helping the middle class. At times like these, that's just not what Missouri needs.

Tell your legislator that enough is enough - stop doing the bidding of corporations and CEOs and start standing up for our state's middle-class families.

 

 

 


The big corporations aren’t just after the pay and pensions of workers, they are trying to eliminate protections for whistleblowers who protect food safety, speak out against toxic chemicals in air and water, and waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars. 

Let your legislator know it's time solve the problems of the middle class, not to recklessly give away even more power to the corporate CEOs and the politicians they got elected. If they succeed, these extremists will make it harder for workers to protect their wages and job security and takes away their voice in the workplace

Call 888-907-9711 and tell your legislators today to VOTE 'NO' on HB64, the Paycheck Deception Bill, because it's unnecessary and unsafe!

-We Are Missouri

>>>
Legislative Update from Director Menges - 3/1/2013
  UTU-MO Logo   

 smart logo 

Missouri State Legislative Board

   
ARE YOU AWAKE?

The Missouri Legislature has awoke the sleeping giant!  Missouri is living proof that elections have consequences.  With the November election of Governor Jay Nixon we have a backstop to harmful anti-labor legislation.

The Senate Pro-Tem recently told us that if Dave Spence, the Republican candidate for governor, had won; we would have had Right to work, paycheck deception and the elimination of prevailing wage by the 28th of January.

Elections have consequences!

UTU PAC works.  Yesterday the Missouri House passed out a very damaging prevailing wage bill-HB 34-but in that vote 11 of our Republican friends stayed true to their word and voted to stand with labor.  The final vote was 89-59--not enough votes to override a veto!

 A big thank you goes a long way.  If your representative supported labor, take a minute and make a short call and thank your representative for standing up for the working men and women in Missouri. 

Your Missouri Legislative Board has been at every hearing on these issues and has testified in support of our brothers and sisters at many of these hearings.  It has been a unique and humbling experience to work along side of our friends who work every day to protect the rights of all working men and women in Missouri!

ARE YOU AWAKE?
 
FRA ISSUES FATIGUE STUDY
 
Fatigue--it is nothing new to railroaders.  We have lived the life of not knowing when we are going to work, bad lineups, and trying but not being fully rested.
 
Key findings of this report are as follows:

* The risk of a human factors accident is elevated 11 to 65 percent above chance by exposure to fatigue.

* The economic cost of a human factors accident when an employee is very fatigued is approximately $1,600,000, compared to $400,000 in the absence of fatigue.

* Amount of sleep and the time of day when sleep occurs account for 85 to 96 percent of fatigue exposure. Work schedules determine the amount and time of day of sleep.

* Dispatchers and T&E workers have the highest exposure to fatigue. They are also the groups that have the longest work hours and work at night.

* T&E as a group has significant fatigue exposure, but passenger T&E is the group with the least fatigue exposure. The predictability of passenger T&E schedules and less nighttime work explains this difference.

* The fatigue exposure of all groups is less than that of employees involved in human factors accidents, which indicates a relationship between fatigue and accidents.

* Significant differences resulting from job type and schedule exist in the sleep patterns of railroad workers. Analysis of data collected through a logbook study allows for identification of the differences that are not otherwise apparent.

* The sleep pattern of railroad workers differs from that of U.S. working adults. Railroad workers are more likely to get less than 7 h of total sleep on workdays, which puts them at risk of fatigue. On average, however, they obtain more total sleep than U.S. working adults, when total sleep hours on workdays and rest days are combined.

* Railroad workers in all groups reported sleep disorders that exceed U.S. norms for working adults. Of these, all but 2.4 percent were receiving treatment.

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 

 

>>>
FRA issues new report on fatigue - 2/25/2013

FRA issues new report on fatigue

The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a new report on the status of fatigue among railroad industry employees.

In 2001, the FRA began examining the fatigue status of safety-critical railroad employees by using logbooks to collect work and sleep data over a period of two weeks from a representative sample of employees in each group.

The research in this report was conducted prior to implementation of the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), which made significant changes to limitations on hours of work for railroad employees. Consequently, the information in this report can serve as a baseline for examining the adequacy of existing statutory or regulatory limitations on hours of work to prevent worker fatigue.

This report draws on the results of several prior studies, all conducted with similar methodology, to characterize the prevalence of employee fatigue in the U.S. railroad industry.

Data from logbook surveys of signalmen, maintenance of way workers, dispatchers, and train and engine service employees were combined to examine the relationship between work schedules and sleep patterns.

Railroaders make up for lack of sleep on workdays by sleeping longer on rest days. This strategy is used to a greater extent among by certain groups such as signalmen working four 10-hour days, first shift dispatchers, and train and engine service workers on jobs with a fixed start time.

T&E workers in passenger service with a split assignment have a shorter primary sleep period than those working straight through or working extra board assignments, but they have similar total daily sleep because they sleep during their interim release.

Overall, U.S. railroad workers are more likely than U.S. working adults to get less than seven hours of total sleep on workdays, but railroad workers average more total sleep when sleep on workdays and rest days are combined.

Logbook data for work and sleep indicates that T&E workers and third shift dispatchers have the most fatigue exposure and passenger T&E workers have the least. Railroad workers in all groups had less fatigue exposure than those involved in human factors accidents.

The key findings of this report are as follows:

•The risk of a human factors accident is elevated 11 to 65 percent above chance by exposure to fatigue.

•The economic cost of a human factors accident when an employee is very fatigued is approximately $1,600,000, compared to $400,000 in the absence of fatigue.

•Amount of sleep and the time of day when sleep occurs account for 85 to 96 percent of fatigue exposure. Work schedules determine the amount and time of day of sleep.

•Dispatchers and T&E workers have the highest exposure to fatigue. They are also the groups that have the longest work hours and work at night.

•T&E as a group has significant fatigue exposure, but passenger T&E is the group with the least fatigue exposure. The predictability of passenger T&E schedules and less nighttime work explains this difference.

•The fatigue exposure of all groups is less than that of employees involved in human factors accidents, which indicates a relationship between fatigue and accidents.

•Significant differences resulting from job type and schedule exist in the sleep patterns of railroad workers. Analysis of data collected through a logbook study allows for identification of the differences that are not otherwise apparent.

•The sleep pattern of railroad workers differs from that of U.S. working adults. Railroad workers are more likely to get less than seven hours of total sleep on workdays, which puts them at risk of fatigue. On average, however, they obtain more total sleep than U.S. working adults, when total sleep hours on workdays and rest days are combined.

•Railroad workers in all groups reported sleep disorders that exceed U.S. norms for working adults. Of these, all but 2.4 percent were receiving treatment.

•The FRA fatigue model (FAST) provides a valid method of assessing fatigue exposure as a function of work schedule and sleep pattern.

These findings suggest that strategies for reducing railroad worker fatigue include improving the predictability of schedules and educating workers about human fatigue and sleep disorders.

To view the complete report, click here.

>>>
Winter Driving Tips from MO Dept. of Labor - 2/20/2013

Winter Driving

Snowy Windsheild

With old man winter right around the corner, the Department of Labor urges the thousands of Missouri drivers to be prepared for treacherous driving conditions and to ALWAYS wear a seatbelt.

“Often people prepare for the winter season by adding snow tires to their cars and putting sandbags in the trunks. These measures can improve driving but wearing seatbelt is the most important action drivers can take as they head out on the road,” says Missouri Labor Department Director Larry Rebman. “Buckling up should be part of their daily workplace safety routine, which starts before they even arrive at work.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that occupants are 45 percent more likely to survive a crash if they are wearing their safety belts correctly. Three out of four people who are ejected from a vehicle during a crash will die as a result. Seat belt usage saves an estimated 9,500 lives each year.

Winter Driving and Preparation Tips:

  1. Winterize your car by checking the ignition, cooling system, fuel system, battery, lights, tires, heater, brakes, wipers and defroster.
  2. Keep a winter storm kit in the car in case of an emergency, pack a flashlight, windshield scraper, extra clothing, snow boots, blankets, booster cables, sand, chains, and high calorie non-perishable snacks.
  3. If a winter storm tests your driving ability, pull over and seek shelter immediately.
  4. Allow plenty of time for travel in winter storms to prevent accidents by rushed driving.
  5. Let others know of your travel plans and estimated time of arrival.
  6. Drive defensively. If your car does not have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes when trying to stop on snow or ice covered roads.
  7. Do not use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
  8. Turn your lights on when driving to increase your visibility to other motorists. Keep your lights and windshields clear.
  9. If ice/snow coats your car, try to remove as much of is as you can, don't just clear a hole in the windshield.
  10. Leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should leave at least three times more space than usual between you and cars in front of you.
  11. Don't assume your vehicle can handle all weather conditions. Four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can still have trouble on winter roads.
>>>
Right to Work Informational Training - 2/19/2013

Jason,

Dangerous anti-worker bills are moving in the Missouri legislature and the time to educate our members and the community about "Right to Work" and paycheck deception bills is now.

Please help make sure someone from each Kansas City area local union participates in this important Train-the-Trainer Seminar .

Learn:
•    The threat Right-to-Work and Paycheck Deception laws bring to Missouri workers
•    How talk to your members about these critical issues
•    Steps you and your members can take to stop these legislative attacks

When: 
Wednesday, February 27
5:30 - 7:30 pm

Where:
Sheetmetal Workers #2
2902 Blue Ridge Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64129
 
For questions or to RSVP contact Becky Capper at 816-221-6163 or becky@kcaflcio.org.

Please try to send at least one person to be trained on this issue to bring the information back to your local members!

In unity,
Duke Dujakovich,  President
Kansas City AFL-CIO
Click here to unsubscribe
>>>
RTW training in St. Joseph MO - 2/19/2013

Jason,

Dangerous anti-worker bills are moving in the Missouri legislature and the time to educate our members and the community about "Right to Work" and paycheck deception bills is now.

Please help make sure someone from each local union in Northwest Missouri participates in this important Train-the-Trainer Seminar .

Learn:
•    The threat Right-to-Work and Paycheck Deception laws bring to Missouri workers
•    How talk to your members about these critical issues
•    Steps you and your members can take to stop these legislative attacks

When: 

Tuesday, February 26

5:00  pm


Where:
IBEW Local 545
421 S. 8th Street
St. Joseph, Missouri 64501

 

For questions or to RSVP contact Cathy Sherwin at 314-452-7945 or csherwin@aflcio.org

Please try to send at least one person to be trained on this issue to bring the information back to your local members!

In unity,
Mike Veale,  President
Northwest Missouri Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
This week in the MO Capitol - 2/14/2013

Brothers and Sister,

 

The past few weeks have been some of the most hectic of any legislative session for those of us in labor.  The Republicans have been on a war path to inundate us with their anti-union legislation.  We have been attending almost daily hearings on right to work, paycheck deception and prevailing wage.  While these laws do not directly affect us on the railroad, I look at protecting these laws for our fellow brothers and sisters as our firewall.  If this national attack on unions is successful in the states it will only be a matter of time until they come after us. 

 

Right to work is rearing its ugly head again in the Missouri House.  Thanks to everyone that attended the hearings as we were able to fill the hearing rooms each day. I have attached a short summary of Right to work that we use at the capital and there is an article from the St Louis Post below.  This legislation strikes at the very core of unions and it is about destroying unions and our political influence for the middle class.

 

While the Republicans have a super majority we have worked hard to establish a good relationship with a number of labor friendly representatives.  We will be working hard next week in the Senate—while it looks like we can keep right to work at bay in the Senate we cannot let our guard down. 

 

On the railroad front we are working with the BLET and the BMWED on legislation:

  1. that as train crew members we will not be required to display our motor vehicle license to a law enforcement officer in an accident involving train operations,
  2. a bill that would restrict van drivers from using electronic equipment while transporting rail crews, and
  3. Senator Walsh has introduced a van safety bill.  She has taken the lead on this bill and is meeting with the railroad lobbyist next week to discuss our issues and see if we can get everyone on the same page.

 

Amtrak funding is moving along very smoothly this year and next week we start hearings on a proposed transportation sales tax and I have been asked by MoDOT to make a presentation on the economic benefits of funding both freight and passenger rails in Missouri(more homework to do).

 

Thanks again to all who take the time to participate in the political process.  We just received the preliminary data form the November elections and the UTU in Missouri had 77% of our active Missouri members vote and 88% of our Missouri retirees vote in the November election—quite impressive—thanks again

 

 

Ken Menges

Missouri State Legislative Director

United Transportation Union - SMART

 

Right-to-work building interest in Missouri
7 hours ago  •  By Elizabeth Crisp ecrisp@post-dispatch.com 573-635-6178
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/right-to-work-building-interest-in-missouri/article_58ce66f1-17d8-57a5-a531-7b3f5ed308c3.html

Legislation that could deal a blow to labor unions in Missouri is drawing increased interest at the Capitol, though the measure may still face a tough road to passage this year.

Right-to-work legislation has been proposed for several years in Missouri without gaining much traction. But last year, Indiana and Michigan both passed right-to-work laws, giving the effort a potential boost here.

A month into the state Legislature’s session, hearings on bills that aim to make Missouri the latest right-to-work state have been held in House and Senate committees, drawing standing-room-only crowds.

In Missouri and the 25 other states that don’t have right-to-work laws, labor groups can negotiate on behalf of all workers — even those who are not in unions. Employees who are not union members don’t have to pay dues, but they must pay fees to cover the cost of representation — essentially tying them to the groups, even if they want no affiliation.

“I’ve seen a momentum building around the country, and I don’t think it’s an issue that Missourians or our Legislature can simply ignore or avoid,” said House Speaker Tim Jones, Republican from Eureka who has signed on as a co-sponsor of right-to-work legislation here. “It may be a multiyear process because this is the first time — in a long time — these issues have been debated with this much attention.”

Several lawmakers have said it will be a difficult battle to get the bill through, even though Republicans have veto-proof majorities in both chambers. The bill remains controversial and would draw opposition, including from national labor groups.

But Michigan’s adoption of a similar measure in December largely came as a surprise, so proponents and opponents appear to be keeping a close eye on the issue.

Some of the proposals, so far, would leave the measure for Missouri voters to decide, rather than relying on Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, who opposes the effort.

Missourians overwhelmingly defeated a right-to-work law in 1978 after a bitterly fought campaign.

“I think everything needs to be on the table,” Jones said. “We’ll see where the debate goes.”

Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, is sponsoring one of the three proposals so far in the Senate.

“I think at some point we have to have this discussion,” he said.

Unions are still legal in right-to-work states, but the change is seen as a blow to their power because workers can opt out without paying fees and still receive the union-negotiated benefits and protections. Labor groups call those who benefit without paying “freeloaders.”

“Unions are good for this state — they’re good for workers,” said Robert Soutier of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council AFL-CIO. “We keep up the wages and benefits, and we should be having more unionized workers in this state — not less.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 224,000 Missouri workers are union members — less than 10 percent of the state workforce.

Political clout has been a key factor in the national push toward right-to-work. Organized labor has been a centerpiece of the liberal movement, with many labor groups giving to Democratic candidates and causes. In Missouri, several high-ranking Democrats cut their teeth through organized labor efforts. Such deep ties nationally between labor and the Democratic Party have given way to increased political scorn from the Republican ranks.

The right-to-work effort has strong backing nationally from conservative activists and groups. Several people from other states spoke in favor of the legislation during the Missouri House’s committee hearing.

Jared Rodriguez of the Michigan Alliance for Business Growth, which pushed for right-to-work legislation there, met with Republican lawmakers the night before the House hearing and gave legislators tips for building support. Legislation proposed here resembles model legislation distributed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative lobby group based in Washington.

In the debate over right-to-work laws, proponents and opponents often tout data that they say back their positions, but there are few impartial studies to turn to.

Most states’ right-to-work laws were adopted in the 1940s and ’50s, when the effort spread across the southeastern and plains states.

According to labor statistics, wages are lower — on average — in right-to-work states, but those states also tend to have lower costs of living and lower unemployment rates.

Business groups and others who support right-to-work laws point to anecdotal evidence of states’ attracting new businesses and more jobs, while union supporters tend to highlight wage reports, training data and workplace safety records.

The trends have stayed true here, where labor groups characterize the effort as an attack on workers and Republican lawmakers consider it a component of economic development efforts.

“A large majority of Missourians who have contacted me have told me that it is the time to move forward and create jobs like many of our other sister and brother states have, whether it’s Michigan or Indiana or Kansas,” Jones said. “If you look at where the job creation is in this country, it’s in states that have right-to-work laws enacted.”

But few of the arguments from either side of the right-to-work debate manage to separate right-to-work from other factors, such as tax rates, education, geography and business regulations.

During the House hearing, Democratic Rep. Stephen Webber of Columbia argued that the prevalence of air conditioning should be considered as a factor of job growth in the South, rather than pinning it on the region’s right-to-work laws. “To narrow it down to one thing, it just doesn’t work,” he said.

In 2011, economists Ozkan Eren of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and Serkan Ozbeklik of Claremont McKenna College in California studied the effects of right-to-work legislation on Oklahoma and Idaho, which adopted their laws in 2001 and 1985, respectively. Idaho saw a positive impact after adopting its right-to-work law, while Oklahoma saw none. Neither saw an impact in per capita income.

The union leaders who spoke out against the proposal during recent House and Senate hearings said they saw the effort as an attack on their associations, which some characterize as a way of life for generations of Missouri families.

Scott Ramshaw of the Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, based in St. Louis, said he thought the Legislature should focus on other economic development efforts. “It’s important to us for our workers to make good wages and have good benefits and retirement,” he said.

James Coyne, president of the Midwest Missouri Patriots, a group that advocates for limited government, said he thought unions would better serve their members under right-to-work laws because “they have to earn your support.”

“A forced monopoly doesn’t have to care about you,” he said.

It’s too early to tell the impact such legislation has had on unions in Indiana and Michigan. But in Oklahoma, the next most recent state to adopt, union membership trends haven’t shown deep declines.

In 2000, the year before right to work was adopted, about 6.9 percent of Oklahoma workers were union members. In 2012, the state reported union membership was 7.5 percent.

Union membership in Missouri has been on a slow but steady decline over the past two decades, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 1989, when the bureau first began collecting the data, union membership in Missouri was 15.5 percent. The number has since dropped to about 8.9 percent.

>>>
Contact your State Senators - 2/14/2013
 

 

 

Contact Your State Senator To Stop Anti-Worker Attacks

Tell Your Senator:
NO on Anti-Worker Legislation

Ken,

Tell your State Senator to NOT support anti-worker legislation "Right to Work for Less," "Paycheck Deception" and Prevailing Wage "Reform."

The Missouri Legislature may pass any or all of three anti-worker pieces of legislation. These are partisan attacks on labor unions that built the middle class in this country. They do nothing to create jobs, just drive down wages for working families in our state.

Act now to protect Missouri's middle class.
Tell your State Senator to not support any anti-worker legislation such as "Right to Work for Less," "Paycheck Deception" or Prevailing Wage "Reform."



Paid for by Missouri Jobs with Justice; Treasurer, Tony Harris; 2725 Clifton Ave, St. Louis, MO 63139

>>>
We pledge allegiance, in solidarity - 2/13/2013

We pledge allegiance, in solidarity

 

Nigro

By SMART General President Joe Nigro – 

We are one! Not only as a result of our recent merger, but also by the pledge we make to one another as union brothers and sisters.

The strength of organized labor lies in the hearts and minds of every union member who understands the meaning of allegiance.

President Obama used that term so effectively to set the theme of his second inaugural address: “What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’”

His call for collective action – action to address new challenges with new responses that still remain faithful to those founding principles – is no different from the pledge we made when we joined the SMWIA or the UTU.

We pledged our allegiance then, and we must reaffirm that commitment every day, to collectively make our merged union stronger and smarter.

When realizing a merger such as ours, we cannot always avoid spending time on issues like autonomy, titles, responsibilities and other minor details. Still, we have made real progress together to build SMART’s membership in bus operations, to reduce costs, and to keep our members informed about our finances and policies.

I can assure the UTU membership that the autonomy of the general committees of adjustment and the state legislative boards is not an issue that will derail our collective progress.

Now, we must work together – all of us, members and leaders – to ensure our representation is what it should be.

What does representation involve? What purpose does it serve? What does it mean to one who represents and to one who is represented?

Representation is what unions offer workers. It’s a big choice, in some cases, to put your job on the line to join a union. Once in the union, we as members want to be sure that we get what we pay for – that we’re not just a source of dues.

Strong representation is essential in such a diverse organization as SMART. Those who represent SMART members can do so only when they know, and listen to, the members they represent, when they understand members’ problems and challenges.

Our members are on the front lines with their employers and know first-hand whether the employers are living up to their labor agreements. Our members have to know that their union representatives want them to be recognized for the work they do every day, to be involved in the work of the union, and to be fully informed on any condition of employment that affects them or their family.

Our diversity in solidarity is our strength. As we reaffirm our allegiance to each other and to our union ideals, we can and will reach new heights. Together, we will use this year to brand SMART as the union of choice in sheet metal, air, rail, and transportation work.

This year we celebrate the 125th anniversary of this great union, born in Toledo, Ohio, on Jan. 25, 1888. The story of our past and its effect on our present and our future will unfold throughout the year through the commemorative theme: SMART Expertise Since 1888.

Please visit www.SMART125.com to learn more about the commemoration.

>>>
AFL-CIO cell phone deal with AT&T - 2/8/2013

I don’t need to tell you the difference in union-made products. Skilled workers and fine craftsmanship make our products the best there is, made right here in America.

Buying union-made products is one way for you to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. That’s why we’ve partnered with Union Plus for years, to bring you great discounts on products and services that support union workers.

Union Plus is offering one of those awesome deals right now. Show solidarity with Communications Workers of America members AND save more than 15% and an additional $100 on your wireless bill with AT&T—check it out.

AT&T is the only unionized wireless company, and every time you use your cell phone, you’re supporting 45,000 union workers and their families.

It’s a win-win for everyone. So, check it out now:

go.aflcio.org/solidarity-savings


In Solidarity,

Nicole Aro
Director of Digital Strategies, AFL-CIO

P.S. Even if you aren’t a union member, you can take advantage of this deal by signing up to join Working America.
Find out how here.



    
Visit us at www.aflcio.org | Facebook | Twitter
Text WORK to AFLCIO (235246) to join our text action team. (Message and data rates may apply.)
If you’d like to unsubscribe from your AFL-CIO email subscriptions, please click
here.

>>>
Legislative Update from Director Menges - 2/8/2013

Brothers and Sisters,

 

This legislative session has been a nightmare of attacks on the middle class and labor.  We have participated in hearings on worker’s comp, the second injury fund, paycheck deception, prevailing wage, right to work, and voter id.

 

This week the House committee on Workforce Development took up HB77 which is a “right to work for less” bill.  The hearing took over 4 hours and we had over 100 labor brothers and sisters in the room to help support our position.  The proponents had to bring in people from out of state to testify.

 

Several large business groups—Missouri Builders’ Association—supported our position as they expressed the need for qualified and trained workers that the unions provide. 

 

There are some interesting links further down in this email about the efforts to destroy unions in Missouri.  Take the time to listen to the audio on the first link—it was a recording of a meeting held for Republicans the night before the right to work hearing---the fight is on!!!

 

Next week the senate will hold hearings on prevailing wage and right to work.

 

On a positive note it looks like the Amtrak budget will make it through the process in good shape and this week Senator Kehoe and Rep Hinson introduced bills that would create a 1 cent sales tax for transportation.

 

Here is a summary of the proposal:


SJR 16 and HJR 23- This constitutional proposal, if approved by the Missouri voters, would raise the state sales and use tax by one percent for a period of ten years. The proceeds from the additional sales and use tax are to be used for transportation purposes. The temporary sales and use tax measure must be resubmitted to the voters every 10 years until such measure is defeated.

Five percent of the sales and use tax proceeds shall be deposited into the County Aid Transportation Fund, which is created in the state treasury by the resolution. Moneys in the newly created fund shall be distributed to the various Missouri counties in a manner similar to how motor fuel tax proceeds are distributed to counties. The sales and use tax proceeds distributed to the counties may be used for local highways and bridges, state highway system purposes, or for county transportation system purposes (multimodal).

In a similar manner, five percent of the sales and use tax proceeds shall be deposited into the Municipal Aid Transportation Fund, which is created in the state treasury by the resolution. Moneys in the newly created fund shall be distributed to the various Missouri cities, towns and villages in a manner similar to how motor fuel tax proceeds are distributed to such political subdivisions. The sales and use tax proceeds distributed to the cities, towns, and villages may be used for local roads and streets, state highway system purposes and uses, or for city transportation system purposes (multimodal).

The remaining sales and use tax proceeds (90%) shall be deposited into a newly created trust fund known as the "Transportation Sales Tax Fund". Moneys in the Transportation Sales Tax Fund may be expended by the commission for state highway system purposes or for state transportation system purposes and uses (multimodal).

The resolution requires the one percent sales and use tax to expire in 10 years unless renewed by the voters. If the decennial sales and use tax measure is ever disapproved by the Missouri voters, the sales and use tax will terminate at the end of the year following such election. The resolution prohibits the General Assembly from increasing or decreasing the gasoline tax during such period without the approval of the voters.

The resolution prohibits the General Assembly and State Highways and Transportation Commission from imposing tolls on highways in existence at the time of the resolution's adoption while the sales and use tax is in effect without the approval of the voters.

The resolution requires the commission to annually submit a report to the Governor and General Assembly. The report shall include the status of state highway system and state transportation system projects, programs and facilities that were approved by the commission and funded from the proceeds of the additional state sales and use taxes levied, imposed, and collected under the resolution

 

 

 

1. NATIONAL FORCES COLLABORATING TO RAM ANTI-WORKER ATTACKS THROUGH
MISSOURI. Progress Missouri today released audio of a late night
strategy session in the Missouri Capitol featuring speakers from
national corporate front groups. Discussion topics included
fundraising threats to Republican lawmakers who did not support the
organizers' extreme agenda, and "big money" from
unspecified national sources to finance anti-worker campaigns and
candidates.

*  Progress Missouri: Exclusive Audio: Missouri Legislators
Conspire With National Agents to Plot Anti-Worker Attacks
http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=DrHpUh9LuNz9vRiw-K5AQg

*  KOMU: Opponents Pack Right-to-Work Hearing
http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=Uq0vPBbtnjz82ngCkM1H5w

*  KMBC: SRO at Missouri Right-to-Work Hearing

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=17QgAeWna6LyFBVR3OpVCg

*  AP: House hearing on collective bargaining bill attracts crowd

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=Y5tcBa_cRppCiEM-Re7I3g

*  Turner: Video- Committee hearing held on so-called Paycheck
Deception Bill

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=74qrpPrMbJCR5iCYg38hRg

*  Progress Missouri: National Corporate Front Groups Conspiring
with MO Leaders to Silence Workers

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=mlGS9gpJpfNhHKnFoBa8bg

2. UTILITY SURCHARGE BILL DEBATED IN THE SENATE. The bill would let
the state's three investor-owned electric utilities -
Ameren Missouri, KCP&L and Empire District Electric Co. -
replace aging infrastructure and pass that cost on to customers
without needing approval from the Public Service Commission. Customers
would see the additional costs on their bills as an
"infrastructure system replacement surcharge," or ISRS.
The costs would be reviewed later by the PSC.

*  Post-Dispatch: Senators weigh Ameren's proposal for surcharge

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=E0Rbzf_o9JoG0tIsFtuXRg

*  News Tribune: Senate panel debates utility charges

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=0IqMrt2vlzKObkqCMPs-WQ

*  News Horizon: Ameren, energy companies begin push for
infrastructure funding permission

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=eKWGRj24XcrkPcDDSJikGQ

*  PoliticMo: Energy companies seek their own "ISRS"

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=jGLf3HbbcZaeIkcP9NxekQ

*  Public News Service: Will Missouri Be Left Behind in Race for
Clean Energy?

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=MG8dmIBslMKTuKhLe2NhjQ

3. STRONG, BROAD OPPOSITION TO GOP ANTI-VOTING BILLS.  New
anti-voting hurdles endorsed by a Missouri House committee were
derided Tuesday by the head of the Legislative Black Caucus as "voter
suppression" akin to a poll tax. 

*  KWMU: Mo. Legislative Black Caucus Opposes Photo Voter I.D.
Legislation

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=cEwliWvy3cmJzEFDBJQ_og

*  Turner: House Elections Committee approves needless photo voter
ID legislation

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=4GAFiAc7zqm3Hi4hwQLDZA

*  Missourinet: Legislative Black Caucus calls GOP push for voter
photo ID but not stricter gun regulations the 'height of
hypocricy' 

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=RfOTkHalJnrRg250aNHewg

*  Star Opinion: Missouri's Black History Month gift: Voter ID bill

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=9aBnAdxNGCtQOGCVXpEOZw

*  AP: House panel adopts voter photo ID requirement
http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=FelB0brFUkmsAWDKVrzwHQ

*  Missourinet: House Committee approves voter photo ID
proposal 

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=tB4ZUl__EoH3iWqvMiRu7w

*  MDN: House Election Committee moves bill that would require
photo ID for Missouri voters to House floor
http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=ZB9IxSEeKxZhZl8HF8Jgpg

4. EQUALITY: IT'S CATCHING ON! The Webster Groves City Council
unanimously approved an amendment to the city's fair housing
code that supporters say will protect renters and buyers from
discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity

*  Beacon: Webster Groves Council expands housing
anti-discrimination protections to include sexual orientation

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=pN1ITy6FmzUjEK135-H8Yw

*  AP: Webster Groves passes anti-discrimination law

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=hXTLVrJcxqTzQ3QOmTu1Ow

5. KC SCHOOL TAKEOVER BILL APPROVED IN SENATE. Although it would apply
to any failing school district in Missouri, the Senate legislation is
targeted primarily at the Kansas City school system.

*  AP: Mo. Senate backs quick takeover of failed schools

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=FDD8ogLisL1UAIEm2FuSJw

*  KMBC: KC School Take-Over Bill Clears State Senate

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=XXUlVbofmMKNRkHxN89SmA

*  Missourinet: Senate moving for state takeover of KC
schools 

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=R9V_v1eG2QFbjY-hUYYcyA

*  Post-Dispatch: Senate backs quick takeover of failed schools

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=phMvgxtChrsW04KEPC7YtQ

AND: SPEAKER JONES RIPPED FOR BIRTHERISM ON NATIONAL TEEVEE

*  Turner: "Very personal" birther Tim Jones ripped on "Hardball"

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=c9u_5YHLrX_anMu8gB82og

*  Progress Missouri: Birther Tim Jones Crushed on Hardball
"Sideshow"

http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=gnTgYnCXGox7XCf66sHiNw




 

Have friends or colleagues who'd like to receive these emails? Sign up
at: 
www.ProgressMissouri.org/HighFive
http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=TMYcnM1Wcv1ZYFu3fXCowA

Unsubscribe | Forward to a Friend | Visit ProgressMissouri.org
http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/CO?i=hsZ0F18aBh-BMN0Jm5HyrgwMogbxOV3m&cid=2601
http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=1YczY0U6DLkCjRLtKn3Fvw
http://progressmissouri.pnstate.org/site/R?i=rLojpLvwU1BOdCZozKIF2Q

 

 

Ken Menges

Missouri State Legislative Director

United Transportation Union - SMART

222A Madison

Jefferson City, MO 65101-3220

>>>
Effective peer-to-peer ‘in-cab communication’ is key - 2/5/2013

Effective peer-to-peer ‘in-cab communication’ is key

In-cab communication is an essential element in overall railroad safety. Too many fatal accidents and injuries have been attributed to a lack of or insufficient “in-cab communications.” Peer-to-peer interaction is the key component to effective in-cab communications, according to the UTU’s Rail Safety Task Force.

Everyone knows someone who can benefit from peer-to-peer interaction. Post-accident discussions often include statements like “I knew this would happen” or “it was just a matter of time.” It is absolutely critical that we speak up before an incident.

At the end of the day, we all want the same things. We all want to be able to go home to our families the same way we left them. It is our responsibility as union members to speak up any time, anywhere a risky behavior or unsafe action may come up. You never want to have the thought, “I wish I had said something.” We owe it to ourselves, as well as our other brothers and sisters, to speak up and communicate frequently in the locomotive cab about the operations of the train.

The following behaviors should be practiced during every train assignment.

• Continuous job safety briefings: Crewmembers need a complete understanding of the work to be performed, with conversations about potential risks and other job-related exposures. Don’t be timid about asking questions. There are no stupid questions. Your question may save a life. So speak up if you’re unsure about a move!

• Maintaining situational awareness: This includes planning and preparing for the task ahead, doing your best to avoid distractions, distributing your work load, communicating with your crew members and “recognizing a deteriorating situation.” Develop your own technique to minimize the loss of situational awareness. This may include your own personalized method of staying aware or making a check list that you go through repetitively.

• Attention to details: Go over any details that could possibly be overlooked. Follow procedures to ensure all tasks are performed safely. Perform routine or repetitious tasks with care and attention.

• Courage and confidence to speak up when necessary: Don’t be afraid to speak up regardless of craft, seniority, organization or gender. You may save someone’s life. You may save your own life.

• Electronic devices: Be the person on your crew to demonstrate that your cell phone is off and stowed away when prohibited by rule or regulation. It’s not only because of the rules and regulations that we should do this. It’s the right thing to do to insure safety for ourselves and other crew members.

• Lead by example: As union workers, we must always demonstrate that we are the best and safest workforce money can buy.

(This is Safety Alert #9 in a series of alerts posted by the UTU’s Rail Safety Task Force.)

>>>
Right to Work bill hearing on Feb 6th - 2/2/2013

Brothers and Sisters,

 

The Committee on Workforce Development will hear a "Right to Work" bill on Wednesday Feb. 6th at 8 am in Hearing room 5.  If you can attend to show your support for labor it would be appreciated.

 

The Committee members are:

 

(Lant, Bill, Chair--Newton, McDonald counties--Joplin) (Fraker, Lyndall, Vice Chair--Webster, Greene counties-Marshfield) (Frame, Michael--Jefferson county--Eureka) (Haahr, Elijah--Greene county-Springfield) (Hampton, Kent--Pemiscot, Dunklin counties--Malden) (Kelley, Mike--Barton, Dade, Jasper, Cedar counties--Lamar) (May, Karla--St. Louis City) (McManus, Kevin--Kansas City Swan, Kathryn--Cape Girardeau) (Walker, Nate--Sullivan, Putnam, Adair, Mercer counties-Kirksville) (Webber, Stephen--Boone County--Columbia) (White, Bill--Jasper, Newton counties--Joplin)

 

If any of these are your representatives give them a call or log on to www.house.mo.gov  and click on House members and find yours and you can send an email.

 

Tell them that you do not support any right to work legislation.

Thanks, 

Ken Menges

Missouri State Legislative Director

United Transportation Union - SMART

 

Information from AFL-CIO website:

Extremist groups, right-wing politicians and their corporate backers want to weaken the power of workers and their unions through so-called right to work for less laws. Their efforts are a partisan political ploy that undermines the basic rights of workers. By making unions weaker, these laws lower wages and living standards for all workers in the state. In fact, workers in states with these laws earn an average of $5,680 less a year than workers in other states. Because of the higher wages, working families in states without these laws also benefit from healthier tax bases that improve their quality of life. “Right to work for less" is closer to the truth.

States with "Right to Work" Laws Have:

Lower Wages and Incomes

  • The average worker in states with "right to work" laws makes $1,540 a year less when all other factors are removed than workers in other states.1
  • Median household income in states with these laws is $6,437 less than in other states ($46,402 vs. $52,839).2
  • In states with "right to work" laws, 26.7 percent of jobs are in low-wage occupations, compared with 19.5 percent of jobs in other states.3

Less Job-Based Health Insurance Coverage

  • People in states with "right to work" laws are more likely to be uninsured (16.8 percent, compared with 13.1 percent overall; among children, it’s 10.8 percent vs. 7.5 percent).4
  • They’re less likely to have job-based health insurance than people in other states (56.2 percent, compared with 60.1 percent).5
  • Only 50.7 percent of employers in states with these laws offer insurance coverage to their employees, compared with 55.2 percent in other states. That difference is even more significant among small employers (with fewer than 50 workers)—only 34.4 percent of them offer workers health insurance, compared with 41.7 percent of small employers in other states.6

Higher Poverty and Infant Mortality Rates

  • Poverty rates are higher in states with "right to work" laws (15.3 percent overall and 21.5 percent for children), compared with poverty rates of 13.1 percent overall and 18.1 percent for children in states without these laws.7
  • The infant mortality rate is 15 percent higher in states with these laws.8

Less Investment in Education

  • States with "right to work" laws spend $3,392 less per pupil on elementary and secondary education than other states, and students are less likely to be performing at their appropriate grade level in math and reading.9

Higher Rates of Death on the Job

  • The rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher in states with these laws, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.10

1 Economic Policy Institute.
2 U.S. Census Bureau, Table H-8. Median Household Income by State.
3 CFED, Asset and Opportunity Scorecard.
4 Kaiser Family Foundation
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.
7 Census Bureau, POV46: Poverty Status by State: 2010, related children under 18Table 19. Percent of Persons in Poverty, by State: 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Kaiser Family Foundation.
9 National Education Association, Rankings & Estimates–Rankings of the States 2011 and Estimates of School Statistics 2012, December 2011; CFED, Asset & Opportunity Scorecard.
10 AFL-CIO, Death on the Job: The Toll of Neglect, April 2012.

>>>
Fire safety info update - 1/31/2013
Photobucket

An Explosion Wasn't The Biggest Concern

 

When the Circle K gas station caught on fire in January an explosion wasn't the biggest worry. Click here to find out what was. 

Photobucket


 

More than 125 people have already lost their lives to home fires in the United States this month. Click here for details

Photobucket

1.7 Million Pots & Pans Recalled

 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) these Royal Prestige pots and pans can collapse, crimp or severely deform when exposed to heat, posing a burn and fire hazard to the consumer and nearby property. Click here for the full recall.

Stay Connected!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

 

Photobucket
Safety Links




Copyright © 2013 Central County Fire & Rescue All rights reserved.
You are receiving this e-mail because you completed a red sign up card at a CCFR event, or signed up via our website, www.centralcountyfire.org. We appreciate your interest in keeping our community safe.
Central County Fire & Rescue 1 Timberbrook Dr. St. Peters, Missouri 63376

>>>
Newsletter from Director Menges - 1/31/2013
mo smart\
      

UTU-Missouri State Legislative Board

January 2013

 
Inauguration 2012 

 

ELECTION HAVE CONSEQUENCES 

 

On January 14, 2013 Governor Jay Nixon was sworn in as Missouri's 55th Governor.  I was privileged to represent The UTU and SMART as an honorary member of the Host Committee.  We were honored to be one of a select few who joined the Governor and other elected leaders on the stage for the inauguration.  

 

Thanks to each of you that have donated to UTU PAC.  It was each of you that made it possible for the UTU and SMART to have such a prestigious role in the inauguration.

 

Elections have consequences. With the Republican Party having a super majority and enough votes to override any of the Governor's vetoes if they can get the support of all their members.

 

Governor Nixon is the only reason that Missouri has not gone the way of Wisconsin and Michigan.  We have our work cut out for us but hopefully with the help of our labor friends on both sides of the aisles, we can protect the rights of each of our labor friends.

Pictures from Inauguration Day 

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP?

 

Workers are under attack in the Missouri Legislature. The past two weeks both the House and the Senate have been busy holding hearings on Prevailing wage(What is prevailing wage--click here) and Paycheck Deception(What is paycheck deception--click here). 

 

While these issues may not directly affect us on the railroad, any attempt to weaken labor is an attack on each of us.

 

Now more than ever it is important for you to contact your state representative and senator and tell them that you are union, you vote and you want them to support labor and the middle class.  

 

Click here to find your legislators 

TRANSPORTATION
MOVING FORWARD IN MISSOURI

Transportation and how to fund the future of transportation in Missouri has been a hot topic at the state capital this session.  Last session the Legislature appointed a committee to study Missouri's transportation needs.  The UTU was invited and made a presentation on the need for a total transportation system at the Columbia hearing.
 
There are now bills introduced that will ask the voters to approve a one cent sales tax dedicated to transportation and also several bills that will allow for the sale of bonds to cover future transportation projects.

We will keep you apprised as these bills move through the process.  We have met with the Governor and the transportation leaders at the capital that we need a transportation system that encompasses all modes of transportation. 
 
This is one issue that has bipartisan support and appears to have a good chance of making it through the legislature this year.
 

 

 

UP Monitoring Computer Access

  

Union Pacific will now monitor an employee's cell phone usage at work. It will also monitor who is logging onto its computer system. The pilot program is to last for 90 days from January 1, 2013 through March 31, 2013. During this period, if one is caught using a cell phone improperly at work, the UP will coach and counsel instead of discipline. According to Union Pacific, it will be able to detect when an employee uses a wireless electronic device to access the Internet while on duty

.

Click here to read     DLC Steve Young's Info on UP policy  

 

The law Q&A by Steve Young 

 

Matty B

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for our grandson Matty.

Matty is doing very well--he is three months into a 36 month chemo program for leukemia and the prognosis is that he is on the way to full recovery!

Matty receives chemo for three weeks then gets one week off and other than being tired after the chemo treatment he is a rambunctious  and energetic 3 year old. 
 
Keep the prayers coming--they work!!!

Join UTU PAC 

 

UTU PAC is a political action committee that is 100 % voluntary and member supported

 

Download UTU PAC application 

 

utupac

 

UTU PAC provides job security, protects railroad retirement and helps to create a safer workplace

 

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

>>>
Why Medicaid Expansion is good for Missouri - 1/27/2013

Here is a link to a .pdf explaining the details of the Medicaid Expansion Plan and why it could be good for Missouri.

>>>
Grandfathered Conductor Guidance - 1/25/2013

Grandfathered Conductor Guidance Information put out by the FRA. Cond. Guidance Link

>>>
NLC offers hazmat training for railroaders - 1/22/2013

The National Labor College will conduct regional hazardous materials training workshops for railroad workers at various locations throughout the United States in 2013.

The first two workshops are five-day Hazardous Materials Chemical/Emergency Response Training Programs, that will be held in Houston, Texas, April 14-20, and Laurel, Md., May 5-10.

The workshops present Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Department of Transportation required training and also address procedures for different levels of response and worker protection in a hazardous materials emergency or release, as well as weapons of mass destruction awareness.

The training also provides components required to complete the OSHA 10-hour Outreach certification.

The training includes classroom instruction, small-group activities, hands-on drills and a simulated hazmat response in full safety gear.

The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program is funded to provide this training by a federal grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and is targeted at rail workers at the local level.

Applicant selection will be in the following order: local residents not requiring lodging, followed by those within a 500-mile driving radius. Those requiring air transportation to attend will then be considered.

Interested parties are urged to register as soon as possible. All questions should be directed to Freddie Thomas at (301) 431-5457 or fthomas@nlc.edu.

A stipend of $625 per week is available to all training participants in these programs, except those who are able to secure regular pay through their employer, or are paid union officers.

These programs begin at 8 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. daily, with a one-hour noon lunch break.

For more information or to register online, visit: http://www.nlc.edu/~bcantrell/course_dates.htm.

>>>
Make a union-made toast this Valentine’s Day - 1/22/2013

How are you and your Valentine celebrating this February 14th? The United Farm Workers (UFW), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) suggest toasting your Valentine with a union-crafted wine.

Select union-made wines, paired with foods, for the perfect dinner match.

Click here for a list of union-made wines.

>>>
Enter to win a FREE iPad mini - 1/21/2013

Enter to win a FREE iPad mini

Posted on January 20, 2013
Ipad-mini-hand

You could win a FREE iPad mini ($329 value) just for telling a fellow union member about the Union Plus AT&T wireless 15% discount.  It’s a great way to help others save money, show support for AT&T workers, and have the chance to win a new iPad mini. Contest ends February 28, 2013.

Download this 15% off coupon, then share it with a union friend and enter to win a FREE iPad mini.  Or And use it yourself to save 15% on AT&T wireless service.

AT&T is the only nationwide unionized wireless carrier with over 40,000 union represented employees.  Switch to AT&T to save and show solidarity.

Find more AT&T wireless savings and rebates.  And shop online to get your AT&T discount here.

Enter Contest

>>>
Department of Labor Newsletter - 1/18/2013

Labor Banner

Labor Link Cork Board
 

Missouri's Increase in Minimum Wage

Missouri’s minimum wage workers will see a pay increase this year, because the state’s minimum wage rate rose from $7.25 to $7.35. Read more...

Now Accepting: 2013 Prevailing Wage Surveys

Each year, contractors from across the state fill out the prevailing wage survey to help determine the wage rates for public works projects in the coming year. Read more...

It's All About YOU in 2013

Claiming unemployment insurance benefits? We want to connect with you to help get you back into the workforce. Read more...

 

 DOL Logo Questions?
Contact Us
Bookmark and Share STAY CONNECTED:
SUBSCRIBER SERVICES:
Manage Subscriptions  |  Unsubscribe All  |  Help
Visit us on Facebook Visit us on Twitter Visit us on YouTube Visit us on Flickr Sign up for email updates

This email was sent to jhayden75@gmail.com using GovDelivery, on behalf of: Missouri Department of Labor · P.O. Box 59 · Jefferson City, MO 65104-0059 · 1-800-320-2519 Powered by GovDelivery

>>>
2012 safest year in railroad history - 1/18/2013

2012 safest year in railroad history

Last year was the safest year in the history of the railroad industry, based on performance measures tracked by the Federal Railroad Administration.

For the fifth fiscal year in a row, the industry has improved on all six of the FRA’s official safety performance measures, including the rate of grade crossing incidents, human factor-caused train accidents, track-caused accidents, equipment-caused accidents, signal and miscellaneous train accidents, and non-accidental rail hazmat releases.

The industry has also met the Department of Transportation’s set safety performance goal for rate of rail related accidents and incidents.

Those performance measures were highlighted in a message to railroad industry and labor leaders from Federal Railroad Administration head Joe Szabo.

“We thank our partners at the railroads, their employees and communities across America for their commitment to achieving these results. Keeping our railroads safe is a team effort,” Szabo said.

These statistics are somewhat welcome news to the UTU and its membership. In 2012, six members of the UTU were killed while on active railroad duty. That is the least number of UTU rail members killed on active duty since 2009.

“While there is a bright side to the data released by the FRA, there are still some clouds in the sky,” said UTU International President Mike Futhey. “Even one death on the railroad is one too many.”

Szabo acknowledges there is more work to be done.

“This year, we will continue to take proactive measures to prevent accidents and incidents by aggressively advancing Risk Reduction and System Safety Programs. We will also stay focused on our collaborative effort with industry and labor to eliminate electronic device distraction. Together, we can make 2013 even safer,” he said.

>>>
Tell the House Approps Committee: Support Medicaid Expansion - 1/18/2013

 

 

 

 

 

Tell the House Approps Committee:
Support Medicaid Expansion

Act Now for
Medicaid Expansion
in Missouri

Dear Ken,

In November of last year, Governor Nixon announced his support for Medicaid expansion in 2013. Now, the House Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health, and Social Services must include it in their draft budget. Tell the committee to include Medicaid expansion in the budget.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Missouri has an unprecedented opportunity to expand Medicaid to provide health insurance to single parents and childless adults who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level, or about $26,000 for a family of three. Expanding Medicaid will allow 255,000 uninsured, hardworking Missourians to gain to access to affordable health care.

Expanding Medicaid is critical for our hospitals and economy. The expansion will create more than 24,000 new jobs in the state, slow the rising costs of health care, and prevent the closure of many rural hospitals.

Click here to tell the House Appropriations Committee on Health, Mental Health, and Social Services to include the Medicaid expansion in their draft budget.



Paid for by Missouri Jobs with Justice; Treasurer, Tony Harris; 2725 Clifton Ave, St. Louis, MO 63139

 

 Click here to unsubscribe

>>>
Some winter fire safety tips - 1/16/2013
Photobucket


 

CCFR responded to a two-alarm blaze at the Circle K gas station in St. Peters Monday afternoon. Thankfully, no one was injured. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but you can see photos from the scene on the CCFR Facebook page

Photobucket


 

Accidents related to smoking materials resulted in fires around our area in 2012. With cigarettes as the leading cause of home fire fatalities in the United States, it is vitally important to remember these safety tips. 

Photobucket


Like Us On Facebook
 

Like our Facebook page to be among the first to hear about emergency responses and other CCFR news.

Photobucket


 

CCFR is requesting sealed bids for a single prime contract for the construction of a new Fire Station #2. Click here for details. 

Photobucket


 

Certain portable space heaters were only one of the winter products recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission last summer. Take a look to make sure none of your winter products are on the recall list. 

Photobucket


 

Top tips from the U.S. Fire Administration:
  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Keep anything that can burn such as bedding, clothing and curtains at least three feet away.
  • Only use portable heaters from a recognized testing laboratory and with an automatic shut-off so that if they tip over, they shut off.
  • Plug portable heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.

Stay Connected!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


>>>
January newsletter from UHC - 1/16/2013
 
News for U
To help you manage your health care coverage and benefits
View past articles January 2013
myuhc Video
myuhc.com® Experience Videos Now Available.
Learn about the free tools available on your member website by watching a series of 60-second videos. Follow Chris and her family as they register for myuhc.com®, navigate through the site, and use convenient features as health care questions and issues arise.
Learn More
Medicare
Know someone on Medicare? Take the Medicare quiz then help them save on their health costs.
Did you know over 3.5 million people turn 65 this year and will become eligible for Medicare? If you're helping someone approaching Medicare, you may need to learn about what Medicare covers, the different plan choices available and when to enroll. Take a short quiz and test your Medicare knowledge!
Click here for quiz
Your privacy is important to us. View our permission marketing policy. © 2013 United HealthCare Services, Inc. myuhc.com®
Certain programs may not be covered in some benefit plans. Please check your benefits.

You are receiving this email from UnitedHealthcare because you purchased a product/service from UnitedHealthcare and consented to receive Marketing and/or Promotional email communications such as relevant news on tools and resources to help you manage your health care coverage and benefits.

To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, add the email "from" address to your email address book or safe list.

Please do not reply to this email address, this mailbox is used for outbound email only. Do not include any personal health information as part of any email communication. We cannot guarantee the security of any communication transmitted via the Internet. If you have questions about your account, claims or benefits or would like additional information, please visit myuhc.com (or your member website) or call the toll-free number on the back of your health plan ID card.

Update your email address, change your member profile page, subscribe to other email publications or unsubscribe to future marketing or promotional email communications.

Your privacy is important to us. View our privacy policy.

This email was sent by: UnitedHealthcare, 9700 Health Care Lane, Minnetonka, MN 55343 USA

Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates.

© 2013 United HealthCare Services, Inc.
 
>>>
OSHA, BNSF reach accord over whistleblowers - 1/15/2013

OSHA, BNSF reach accord over whistleblowers

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has signed an accord with BNSF Railway Co. announcing BNSF's voluntary revision of several personnel policies that OSHA alleged violated the whistleblower provisions of the Federal Railroad Safety Act and dissuaded workers from reporting on-the-job injuries.

FRSA's Section 20109 protects railroad workers from retaliation for, among other acts, reporting suspected violations of federal laws and regulations related to railroad safety and security, hazardous safety or security conditions, and on-the-job injuries.

"This is a tremendous victory for UTU members and all railroad workers employed by BNSF," said UTU International President Mike Futhey. "The Obama administration's efforts to stop the harassment and intimidation of employees concerned about safety in the workplace is a win for all workers. It is just one of the reasons why this union supported President Obama's reelection."

The major terms of the accord include:

•Changing BNSF's disciplinary policy so that injuries no longer play a role in determining the length of an employee's probation following a record suspension for a serious rule violation. As of Aug. 31, 2012, BNSF has reduced the probations of 136 employees who were serving longer probations because they had been injured on-the-job.

•Eliminating a policy that assigned points to employees who sustained on-the-job injuries.

•Revising a program that required increased safety counseling and prescribed operations testing so that work-related injuries will no longer be the basis for enrolling employees in the program. As part of the negotiations leading up to the accord, BNSF removed from the program approximately 400 workers.

•Instituting a higher level review by BNSF's upper management and legal department for cases in which an employee who reports an on-duty personal injury is also assessed discipline related to the incident giving rise to the injury.

•Implementing a training program for BNSF's managers and labor relations and human resources professionals to educate them about their responsibilities under the FRSA. The training will be incorporated into BNSF's annual supervisor certification program.

•Making settlement offers in 36 cases to employees who filed whistleblower complaints with OSHA alleging they were harmed by one or more of the company's previous policies.

"Protecting America's railroad workers who report on-the-job injuries from retaliation is an essential element in OSHA's mission. This accord makes significant progress toward ensuring that BNSF employees who report injuries do not suffer any adverse consequences for doing so," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.

"It also sets the tone for other railroad employers throughout the U.S. to take steps to ensure that their workers are not harassed, intimidated or terminated, in whole or part, for reporting workplace injuries."

"Ensuring that employees can report injuries or illnesses without fear of retaliation is crucial to protecting worker safety and health," said Michaels. "If employees do not feel free to report injuries or illnesses, the employer's entire workforce is put at risk because employers do not learn of and correct dangerous conditions that have resulted in injuries."

To review the accord between OSHA and BNSF, see this story at www.utu.org.

>>>
“Nurse line” offers answers to medical questions - 1/10/2013

“Nurse line” offers answers to medical questions

Members covered by Aetna, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield or UnitedHealthcare seeking information about treatment options, chronic conditions or answers to other health-related questions can call a “nurse line” for answers 24 hours a day, every day.

This free service can help you with losing weight, managing stress, quitting tobacco and much more. More importantly, the nurse line offers you information, motivation, encouragement, and the one-on-one support that can make a real difference in your health – to stay well, get well or manage a health condition. 

You or one of your dependents can call your plan’s nurse line for:

• Learn about any health topic that concerns you;

•Change a behavior, like smoking or overeating, that affects your overall health;

•Gather information about a recent diagnosis;

•Learn about symptoms for certain illnesses and diseases;

•Find out about your medications;

•Understand an upcoming test or procedure;

•Make an informed medical or surgical health care decision;

•Follow through with a treatment plan;

•Manage a chronic condition, like asthma or diabetes, more effectively;

•Understand treatment options;

•Learn how to handle symptoms to avoid emergency room visits;

•Find ways to reduce risks associated with the condition. 

To take advantage of this valuable resource, simply call the number on the back of your medical identification card anytime, or refer to the numbers below: 

Aetna: (800) 556-1555

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield: (888) BLUE-428

UnitedHealthcare: (866) 735-5685

>>>
2013 Railroad Retirement tax rates changes - 1/7/2013

2013 Railroad Retirement tax rates change due to expiration of 2010 Tax Reform Act

 1/4/2013

?The 2010 Tax Reform Act, which reduced Railroad Retirement Tier I taxes by 2 percent for wages paid in 2011 and 2012, has expired.

As a result, employees will pay 6.2 percent in Tier I taxes on wages paid in 2013. In addition, the 2013 annual maximum amounts of compensation subject to Railroad Retirement Tax (RRT) will increase as shown in the table below.

Tier II tax rates are based on an average account benefits ratio, reflecting Railroad Retirement fund levels. Depending on this ratio, the rate for employees can be between 0 percent and 4.9 percent. The Tier II rate, which has been 3.9 percent since 2007, will increase to 4.4 percent in 2013. The Medicare tax rate structure will also change.

Effective with all wages paid in the year 2013, the annual RRT bases and applicable tax rates are shown in the below table. Also included for comparison purposes are the base and tax amounts for 2012.

 

2013 Tax Rates

 

2013 Employee Limits

 

2012 Tax Rates

 

2012 Employee Limits

 

Employer

Rate

Employee

Rate

 

Base

 

Tax Amount

 

Employer Rate

Employee

Rate

 

Base

 

Tax Amount

Tier I

6.20%

6.20%

x

$113,700

=

$7,049.40

 

6.20%

4.20%

x

$110,100

=

$4,624.20

Tier II

12.60%

4.40%

x

$84,300

=

$3,709.20

 

12.10%

3.90%

x

$81,900

=

$3,194.10

Medicare

1.45%

1.45%

x

$200,000

=

$2,900.00

 

1.45%

1.45%

x

No Limit

=

No Limit

Medicare

1.45%

2.35%

x

>$200000

 

No Limit

>>>
Rail Workers Hazerdous Materials Classes - 1/4/2013

To:           Regional Peer Trainers

From:       Henry Jajuga, Director, RWHTP 

Subject:   Upcoming Hazardous Materials Transportation/Chemical Emergency Response Training.

 

Happy New Year!   The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program will conduct the following Hazardous Materials Transportation/Chemical Emergency Response Training.  Please circulate this announcement to all members/rail employees in your local and/or work location(s).

 

Training Dates:

April 14-20, 2013 – Houston, TX

May 5-10, 2013 – Laurel, MD

           

The training, addresses OSHA and DOT required procedures and different levels of response and worker protection in a hazardous materials emergency or release, weapons of mass destruction awareness, the incident command system, as well as components required to complete OSHA 10-Hour Outreach certification. The training includes advanced classroom instruction, small group activities, intensive hands-on drills and a simulated hazmat response in full safety gear.

 

The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program provides this training using federal grant funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).  This funding provides transportation, lodging, and meals for training participants. In addition, participants who are unable to secure regular pay through their employer are eligible for a stipend. 

Full time union officers or members being paid to attend by their respective organizations are not eligible for the stipend.  

 

Local Participants:                              Mileage reimbursement and meal allowance @ $45.00/day

Traveling Participants:                        Air travel, lodging and meal allowance

Completed application forms should be faxed, mailed or e-mailed to the Hazmat office as soon as possible.

Visit the Rail Workers website for schedule updates and to register online at: http://www.hazmatgmc.org  or   

You can also find us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RailWorkersHazardousMaterialTrainingProgram?fref=ts

REGISTER NOW!

 

Simone Roundtree

Rail Workers Hazardous Material Training Program

National Labor College

10000 New Hampshire Avenue

Silver Spring, Maryland 20903

Phone: 301/628-4858

Fax:  301/628-0165

E-Mail: sroundtree@nlc.edu

Proud member OPEIU Local 2

>>>
Monthly Newsletter from UHC - 1/3/2013
 
Healthy Mind Healthy Body


An award-winning, health
and wellness newsletter
for our members
Ask the expert: Watch now
What is glaucoma?
GO
Ask the expert
Health buzz
You've heard the buzz.
Now get the scoop.

This month: Fruits and veggies may chill hot flashes
GO
Health buzz
Tips from The
Dr. Oz Show
Tips to lose 5 pounds
GO
Tips from The Dr. Oz Show
Featured Article
FEATURED ARTICLE
Quit smoking — without gaining weight
Pick up these tips on how to go smoke-free and stay slim while you're at it.
GO
HEALTH AND WELLNESS ARTICLES
More stories
When the diagnosis is prediabetes
Parent power: Help kids say no to alcohol
Cruciferous veggies: Broccoli and beyond
Because you care: Avoiding caregiver burnout
Life after cancer: What's best for me now?
Measles on the rise: Is your family safe?
Posture: 3 great ways to straighten up
Check out the new claims display on myuhc.com®
Celebrate heART health
Your fitness questions answered on UHC TVSM!
StoryTellers
A UnitedHealthcare Wellness Program can greatly increase your chances of getting healthy, staying healthy or living with a chronic illness. Watch Story
Tell us your inspiring story
HOT LINK
A do-good resolution. Volunteer! Giving a helping hand can give you a lift, too. Click here to find volunteer opportunities in your area. Everyone is welcome to use this website — from members to the general public. Feel free to share this link!
TAKE ACTION
Source4Women seminar
Join this month's seminar:
Best weight loss tips ever
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT
Take our monthly poll
There are some tried-and-true strategies for cutting calories — and losing extra pounds. What works best for you?
Please wait for this page to fully load before voting.
Important links
Log on to myuhc.com Log on to myuhc.com®
Update preferences Update preferences
Refer a friend Refer a friend
View archives View archives
About us About us
Tell us your inspiring story Tell us your inspiring story
Explore health plan options Explore health plan options
Because we have customized this issue of Healthy Mind Healthy Body according to your personal information and preferences, do not forward it to others in the interest of protecting your privacy. If you wish to share this information, please click on "Refer a friend" or new members can sign up at uhc.com/myhealthnews.
This newsletter contains general health information and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs and to determine whether making a lifestyle change or decision based on this newsletter is appropriate for you. If you have questions about Healthy Mind Healthy Body content, you can email us at hmhb@uhc.com.
Some treatments mentioned in this newsletter may not be covered by your health plan. Please refer to your benefit plan documents for information about coverage.
You are receiving this email from UnitedHealthcare because you purchased a product/service from UnitedHealthcare and consented to receive Marketing and/or Promotional email communications such as relevant news on tools and resources to help you manage your health care coverage and benefits. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, add uhcenews@unitedhealthcare-hmhb.com to your email address book or safe list.
Please do not reply to this email address, this mailbox is used for outbound email only. Do not include any personal health information as part of any email communication. We cannot guarantee the security of any communication transmitted via the Internet. If you have questions about your account, claims or benefits or would like additional information, please visit your member website or call the toll-free number on the back of your health plan ID card. View frequently asked questions.
Update your email address, change your member profile page, subscribe to other email publications or unsubscribe to future marketing or promotional email communications.
Your privacy is important to us. View our privacy policy.
This email was sent by: UnitedHealthcare, 9700 Health Care Lane, Minnetonka, MN 55343 USA
Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or its affiliates.
© 2013 United HealthCare Services, Inc.

>>>
FRA: Intensive conductor training essential - 12/26/2012

FRA logoOne of the strongest studies validating the need for two-person crews and intensive training for conductors has come from the Federal Railroad Administration.

The conclusion is that the conductor and engineer function as a team, with managing multiple priorities essential to safe train operation – especially with regard to use of positive train control technology that will be installed on some 40 percent of mainline track.

The FRA observes that such mixed territory operation will require a higher level of vigilance by the train crew, including detailed knowledge of territory that can come only from intensive conductor training.

“This study supports what the UTU has been advocating – that conductor training standards, system safety plans, fatigue management and risk reduction must be given the highest priority by railroads to ensure safe operation,” said UTU National Legislative Director James Stem.

The FRA study emphasizes that the conductor’s main task is to supervise overall operation and administration of the train, which involves communicating closely with the engineer regarding upcoming signals and slow orders, alerting the engineer to hills, curves and grade crossings, monitoring the engineer’s performance, providing back-up as needed, and handling all radio communications and paperwork “so that the locomotive engineer can concentrate on operating the train.

“Knowledge of the territory provides the foundation for being able to operate safely and efficiently,” says the FRA. “Train crews need to develop a detailed mental model of the physical territory in which they operate. This includes knowledge of territory grade, location of signals, milepost signs, grade crossing landmarks, sidings, switches and detectors, as well as knowledge of track layout of yards and location of industries.”

Conductors also must “monitor the composition of their train consist relative to key elements in the environment,” says the report. “For example, they need to maintain awareness of the location of the front and back of the train relative to grade crossings or speed restriction zones [and] whether their train will fit without blocking a crossing” as well as knowledge of high and wide cars and clearances and parallel track meets.

A conductor must be “a problem solver,” says the FRA, because “conductors routinely confront novel situations where they perform mental simulations to identify a correct solution. This skill develops with experience.”

For a conductor to perform at their highest level of skill, “it can take up to five years’ experience to gain sufficient experience to become a confident, expert conductor,” says the FRA. “Too much is at stake in terms of safety of the operation to permit short-cutting of experience and training,” said Stem.

The FRA endorses a combination of classroom training with on-the-job training, assuring that students spend time in the classroom learning, go out in the field to apply what they learned, and then return to the classroom to be tested. Proficiency based training with incremental blocks of training and testing before advancing is based on the science of knowledge transfer.

Regulations for conductor certification adopt many of these conclusions. This report confirms that territorial qualifications are an integral part of the functions of conductors and engineers and must be addressed as such. If the conductor has not obtained the necessary qualifications on a territory, a certified conductor with those qualifications must be added to the crew as a pilot.

Other conclusions in the study are that the operating crew must function as a team to properly manage the multiple safety requirements on a moving train, and the judgment of the operating crew is the most important safety appliance.

The UTU is monitoring closely railroad conductor certification plans, opposing one railroad’s plan to provide a pilot for territorial qualifications only for conductors who have not traveled over a territory for 36 months, rather than the 12 months required in current agreements. Some territories are so complex that operating crews are required to update their territorial qualifications every six months.

“The UTU will not permit a tortured interpretation” of congressional and FRA intent, and will work to ensure every railroad follows the letter and intent of the law and regulations prior to the deadline for certifying conductors,” said UTU International President Mike Futhey.

“The railroads tried to supersede 50 years of collective bargaining success with their filing on conductor certification. The UTU did not allow a new safety regulation to change the many common sense solutions that have been implemented during the past five decades,” Futhey said. “This report fully bolsters our position.”

 To read the FRA report, click here.

>>>
December Newsletter from UHC - 12/18/2012
Trouble viewing this email? Click here.
News for U
To help you manage your health care coverage and benefits
View past articles December 2012
Manage My Claims
Available Now: New and improved tracking capabilities for claims on myuhc.com®
The "Manage My Claims" display on myuhc.com was recreated to simplify your claims viewing experience, providing an easier-to-understand explanation of claims, treatments and costs.
Learn More
Medicare
Helping someone you love with Medicare? Want to learn how it works?
Need help understanding Medicare and the plans available for someone you know? In just a few minutes you can learn how to help someone you know get the coverage they need and help save money on their health care costs. Click below to watch short videos on frequently asked questions about Medicare.
Click here to watch Medicare videos
Your privacy is important to us. View our permission marketing policy. © 2012 United HealthCare Services, Inc. myuhc.com®
Certain programs may not be covered in some benefit plans. Please check your benefits.

You are receiving this email from UnitedHealthcare because you purchased a product/service from UnitedHealthcare and consented to receive Marketing and/or Promotional email communications such as relevant news on tools and resources to help you manage your health care coverage and benefits.

To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, add the email "from" address to your email address book or safe list.

Please do not reply to this email address, this mailbox is used for outbound email only. Do not include any personal health information as part of any email communication. We cannot guarantee the security of any communication transmitted via the Internet. If you have questions about your account, claims or benefits or would like additional information, please visit myuhc.com (or your member website) or call the toll-free number on the back of your health plan ID card.

Update your email address, change your member profile page, subscribe to other email publications or unsubscribe to future marketing or promotional email communications.

Your privacy is important to us. View our privacy policy.

This email was sent by: UnitedHealthcare, 9700 Health Care Lane, Minnetonka, MN 55343 USA

Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates.

© 2012 United HealthCare Services, Inc.
 
>>>
Plea from FRA Adminstrator Joe Szabo - 12/10/2012

Please click on the following link for a message from FRA Administrator Joe Szabo: Click here

If we do not cease the use of these devices, the next step will most likely be INWARD facing cameras to observe our every move. This is one of the FRA's last plea's before allowing it to happen. Let's turn them off.

There are numerous members whose railroad does not have an emergency contact number for you to be contacted at work in case of an emergency. One option is to give your spouse or family members the Dispatcher's number (check to make sure this does not present a problem with your local rules) so they can contact you by radio.

>>>
Rail-Member vision plan improvements on tap - 11/23/2012

Rail-member vision plan improvements on tap

UTU members covered by the Railroad Employees’ National Vision Plan will see improvements in the program effective Jan. 1 when benefits formerly provided by VSP will be administered by EyeMed Vision Care. 

Enhancements include: 

A larger national network of providers, consisting of both independent and retail-affiliated providers; 

Five of the top six eye-care providers – LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Target Optical and JCPenney Optical – will participate in the program; 

• Employees will receive identification cards to ensure eligibility and benefits; 

• Those insured will enjoy greater discounts (40 percent versus the current 30 percent) on complete second pair purchases. There are no restrictions on how often or where an insured member can use the EyeMed additional-pairs discount; it applies at all in-network locations, at any time. 

• Members are eligible for discounts on LASIK or PRK services

• During 2013, each member can receive a $60 discount on non-prescription Ray-Ban polarized sunglasses at participating providers. Visit www.rayban.com and click on “store providers” to locate a participating provider; 

A no-cost discount plan for early retirees will be introduced. This plan will not be a part of the Railroad Employees National Vision Plan but will provide early retirees with savings on eye exams and material purchases at EyeMed provider locations. 

Workers covered by the vision-care plan should have received a postcard from EyeMed announcing the changeover. Covered participants will receive ID cards, information on participating providers and a summary of benefits by mail in January. 

For more details on the improvements, click here.

>>>
Distractions Kill, Maim and End Careers - 11/22/2012

Distractions kill, maim and end careers

FRA logoDistractions occur everywhere in our daily lives, but when those in safety sensitive positions are distracted on the job, the results too often result in death or career-ending injuries.

A collaborative effort among the Federal Railroad Administration, rail labor and carriers has been launched to educate and raise awareness through peer-to-peer programs of the dangers of being distracted by using electronic devices while on the job.

Specifically, the FRA has asked carriers to adopt anti-distraction programs and to remind and reinforce among rail workers in safety sensitive positions that use of electronic devices while on the job is not only in violation of federal and carrier regulations, but “socially unacceptable.”

In 2008, the FRA issued an emergency order prohibiting the use of electronic devices by rail operating employees, and it was followed in 2010 by a new permanent regulation that applies to all operating employees.

“Addressing the use of electronic devices as a safety hazard requires integrity in the process, consistency in application to all employees and all devices, and common sense in the design of the process,” said UTU National Legislative Director James Stem. “When we push the decision making process down to the level of local employee representatives and local managers, and a consensus based approach, all hazards will be addressed.”

Stem compares this consensus based approach to the success of Operation Redblock programs and the new model for success known as the Confidential Close Call Reporting system.

Stem also reminds members that in the event of a collision, derailment or fatality, one of the first actions taken by the National Transportation Safety Board is to pull the phone records of all crew members involved, as well as the phone records of crew members on other trains in the area of the event. “You don’t have to be directly involved to have your phone records examined by NTSB investigators,” Stem said.

“A good and safe practice,” Stem said, “is for all conductors and engineers starting their shift to show other crew members that they have turned off their cell phones.”

>>>
Recall of Medication Pradaxa(r) - 11/21/2012

Note a recall of medication Pradaxa(r)
Posted On November 19, 2012 (7:16 pm) In Healthcare, News, Recent Updates

The manufacturer of the prescription medication Pradaxa(r) is voluntarily recalling all patient-level lots of 75mg dosage of the medication.

The reason is a potential packaging defect that the manufacturer says may compromise the integrity of the bottle and permit moisture to enter and impair the effective dose.

If you have the 75 mg. dose of Pradaxa (r), you should contact your Medco/Express Scripts pharmacy for further instructions on return/replacement.

Medco customers who have been prescribed that medication by their physicians also will be receiving a letter from Medco/Express Scripts.

>>>
Dumb Ways To Die - 11/21/2012

Brought to us by Melbourne Metro.

Operation Lifesaver from Down Under

www.dumbwaystodie.com

>>>
Walmart and Thanksgiving - 11/21/2012

Please see the following ally talking points for Black Friday. Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

THANKSGIVING INTRO

Walmart has forgotten about families. 

This year, they are starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day at 8 pm to get a few steps in front of the competition. 

The benefits to Walmart’s bottom line will probably be marginal, while the costs to workers and their families are much greater.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that all Americans share – regardless of where we come from, our religion, our political party or where we live.

Yet, opening at 8 pm on Thanksgiving means that thousands of workers will have to be on the job on Thanksgiving day.   

That means Thanksgiving is cut short for many, and canceled altogether for more.

Walmart is the largest retailer and the largest company in the country.  And the impact that they make on our country is great, but in this instance, and others, it is not good. 

In addition to the thousands who work at Walmart whose families will not have a Thanksgiving holiday this year, countless more workers from other stores will also be forced to give up their Thanksgiving plans because of the rising pressure to compete with Walmart’s early opening.

 

OTHER IMPACT OF WALMART ON FAMILIES

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on the negative impact that Walmart is having on the lives of families across the country.

Our country, our economy is hurting not only because of the unemployment regularly discussed, but the under-employment that is hitting families.  Low-wages, rising part-time work and erratic scheduling – all practices that Walmart is promoting in its stores – are keeping workers across the country from being able to support their families. 

An independent firm had calculated that Walmart pays workers $8.81 an hour on average.  Walmart claims a little bit more. 

But across the country, even if their hourly wages are higher, many Walmart workers are not getting the hours that they need.  Many who are looking for full-time hours are only scheduled for a few shifts a week. 

As a result, some workers have take-home salaries of only a few hundred dollars.  Not nearly enough to cover even basic necessities. That’s why we see an increase in food stamps in our country. 

Walmart is the biggest private employer in the country, yet we hear from so many workers who can’t make enough to put food on the table for their families.

Walmart – a corporation with $16 billion in profits – yet some of its employees have to rely on emergency rooms and public healthcare programs because of the huge increases in premiums and deductibles that Walmart has passed onto workers in the last two years. 

Workers at Walmart help to make one family, the Waltons, richer than 42% of the rest of American families – yet in comparison, they are struggling to keep their own families afloat.

And what’s even worse is that Walmart is using its wealth, its power and its influence to try to silence the workers who do speak out for something different, something better. 

When these workers have spoken out, Walmart has lashed out and some have had their hours cut, their schedules turned upside down, and certain workers have even been fired.  

That’s not right.  It’s not fair. It’s not American to try to silence workers who are coming together to call for change. 

 

Things must change

It should not have to come to this.  Workers should not have to walk off the job to get the attention of their employer. 

That’s why we’re here supporting workers and calling for change. 

But workers at our country’s largest employer should not be struggling like this.  Our country needs Walmart and big corporations to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. 

Walmart must change.

The company must end its attempts to silence workers.  Walmart should meet with members of OUR Walmart to discuss their concerns.

Walmart has a responsibility as the country’s largest employer to create good jobs.  And the company must do more to increase hours and provide better benefits for workers.

 

We’re Standing with Walmart Workers

The courage of the OUR Walmart members who are standing up for their rights is an inspiration.    

We are joining their call for action on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and in the days leading up to it.  

We are reaching out to our members, our community and calling on them to support and stand with Walmart workers.  

We want all Walmart retail associates to know that their freedom of speech and freedom of association does not end when they walk in the door at Walmart.

And we want America to know that the fight to change Walmart is an American fight to rebuild our communities.  

We recognize that hope and change don't just happen.  We need to make it happen by standing with these brave Walmart workers. 

Together, we can ensure that Walmart and CEO Rob Walton make real changes that will help workers and our economy.  

>>>
JOIN Walmart Workers for Black Friday Actions - 11/21/2012

 

JOIN Walmart Workers for Black Friday Actions

Walmart workers around the country are mobilizing for a “Black Friday” strike to protest working conditions, wages and retaliation against workers who speak out. Meanwhile workers and their allies at a Walmart warehouse are picketing and rallying today in front of the Riverside County, Calif., facility following Wednesday’s strike by some two dozen warehouse workers.  

Walmart store workers are asking people nationwide to support them on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year. They ask that supporters take action that spreads the word about their strikes and demonstrates to Walmart a wave of support for workers who are speaking out about poor working conditions, low wages, irregular hours and more. 

While the store workers are not union members, they have joined together in OUR Walmart, a worker-led organization that stands up to make change in its company. Find out more at http://forrespect.org and http://MakingChangeAtWalmart.org.

Here are some ways you can help show support from Making Change at Walmart:

  1. Take the Black Friday Pledge to say that you will stand with workers on the busiest shopping day of the year. On the Corporate Action Network website, we are gathering locations for actions and events supporting Walmart strikers, as well as materials. Enter your city or ZIP code to see if we have something scheduled near you or adopt your own store.
  2. If you want to help in another way, why not sponsor a striker? The brave act of going out on strike also comes with an economic cost. By making a donation, you can help to ensure that Walmart strikers receive a $50 grocery gift card.
  3. Use our Share for Respect Facebook app to tell your Walmart worker friends about what’s going on.
  4. Join the conversation on how to change Walmart by contributing art and ideas to our Tumblr.
  5. Connect with workers and other community supporters on our Official Black Friday Walmart Strike Facebook page and like the Making Change at Walmart Facebook page.
  6. On Twitter, use the hashtag #walmartstrikers and follow Making Change at Walmart.

Yesterday’s warehouse action centered on retaliation workers have faced since a September work stoppage protesting unsafe working conditions. Javier Rodriguez, a warehouse employee who was on the picket line, told KESQ TV:

"We are standing up for ourselves to create a safe work environment, but we are continuously punished for it. We decided to strike again because we are tired of the retaliation and then, like clockwork, instead of addressing our concerns, the warehouse singled us out and punished us again."

The Mira Loma, Calif., warehouse workers are employed by a Walmart subcontractor, Warestaff. Find out more from Warehouse Workers United.

In other Walmart news, The Nation’s Josh Eidelson reports that one former Walmart worker in Orlando, Fla., who was visiting his former store to talk to workers about the upcoming actions, was handcuffed by police after store management “intentionally misled Orlando police” into detaining the worker. He was released after management failed to provide evidence of its charges. Read the full story.

>>>
News from United Health Care. - 11/21/2012
 
Trouble viewing this email? Click here.
News for U
To help you manage your health care coverage and benefits
View past articles November 2012
Medicare
Time is running out to help a loved one get 2013 health coverage — Medicare's Open Enrollment Period (OEP) ends December 7th.
Medicare Open Enrollment Period began October 15th and ends December 7th. If you know someone on Medicare, now's the time to review their health coverage to ensure its right for them. They can enroll in or change Medicare plans for 2013 if they're not satisfied, but time is running out.
Check out some helpful Medicare resources
Medicare
Did you know it's National Family and Caregiver month?
More than 65 million Americans provide care or have responsibilities for an adult who is chronically ill, disabled or needs help with daily living activities, and one in 10 caregivers lives more than an hour away from the person they're helping. In honor of November's National Family Caregivers Month, click below for some tips that can help you manage the responsibilities of long-distance caregiving.
Learn More
Flu Season
Flu Season is Here. Remember to Get Your Flu Shot!
Each year millions of people get sick with the flu. The best time to get your flu shot is now. Be sure get your flu shot from a contracted network flu shot provider.
For more information regarding flu vaccinations and where to go to get your flu shot, read this informational flyer (or Spanish language flyer).
Diabetes and the Eyes
Diabetes and the Eyes
Did you know that diabetes can lead to eye complications?
Learn More
Victorious Patient
Introducing Victorious Patient
Victorious Patient, a new online game designed to test your skills in a fun and engaging way and show you the powerful benefits of UnitedHealthcare's myHealthcare Cost Estimator. We want to help you maximize the value of your health plan so you can make more informed health care decisions and myHealthcare Cost Estimator, on myuhc.com® is a great way to get started.
Visit www.victoriouspatient.com and have fun learning about my Healthcare Cost Estimator — a tool committed to help you make more informed decisions about your health care.
All UnitedHealthcare members can access a cost estimator online tool. Depending on your specific benefit plan and the ZIP code that is entered, either the myHealthcare Cost Estimator, or the Treatment Cost Estimator will be available. A mobile version of myHealthcare Cost Estimator is available, and additional ZIP codes and procedures will be added soon. This tool is not intended to be a guarantee of your costs or benefits. Your actual costs and/or benefits may vary. When accessing the tool, please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Use and Why Your Costs May Vary sections for further information regarding cost estimates. Refer to your health plan coverage document for information regarding your specific benefits.
Preventive Email Reminders
Help maintain your health — and sign up for preventive health screening email reminders
We understand that maintaining or improving your health is important. And, a focus on regular preventive care, along with following the advice of your doctor, can help you stay healthy. Routine checkups and screenings can:
  • Help you avoid serious health problems
  • Allow you and your doctor to work as a team to manage your overall health
  • Assist you in reaching your personal health and wellness goals
Get your preventive health guidelines
UnitedHealthcare is here to help, with our online preventive care tool that allows you to view the health guidelines and recommendations specific to your age and gender. This web-based tool will allow you to review the age-specific preventive care recommendations to help you manage your health, prevent and detect health issues in their early stages, and live a more healthful life.
Take advantage of this new tool and visit the UnitedHealthcare Preventive Care website at www.uhcpreventivecare.com and sign up today.
Or
To update or add to your health screenings or immunizations reminders, login to the Member Subscription Center. Once you are in your personal profile page check to opt-in to Preventive Reminders and then click to select the monthly health screenings or immunizations reminders you would like to receive.
Learn more about preventive care reminders
Your privacy is important to us. View our permission marketing policy. © 2012 United HealthCare Services, Inc. myuhc.com®
Certain programs may not be covered in some benefit plans. Please check your benefits.

You are receiving this email from UnitedHealthcare because you purchased a product/service from UnitedHealthcare and consented to receive Marketing and/or Promotional email communications such as relevant news on tools and resources to help you manage your health care coverage and benefits.

To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, add the email "from" address to your email address book or safe list.

Please do not reply to this email address, this mailbox is used for outbound email only. Do not include any personal health information as part of any email communication. We cannot guarantee the security of any communication transmitted via the Internet. If you have questions about your account, claims or benefits or would like additional information, please visit myuhc.com (or your member website) or call the toll-free number on the back of your health plan ID card.

Update your email address, change your member profile page, subscribe to other email publications or unsubscribe to future marketing or promotional email communications.

Your privacy is important to us. View our privacy policy.

This email was sent by: UnitedHealthcare, 9700 Health Care Lane, Minnetonka, MN 55343 USA

Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates.

© 2012 United HealthCare Services, Inc.
>>>
Save money by using in-network providers - 11/17/2012

Save money by using in-network providers

The national railroad plans (“plan”) allow you to see any doctor in your plan administrator’s network, including specialists, without a referral. This means that you have the freedom to choose a physician or specialist without first seeing a primary care physician.

There are two levels of coverage under the plan. Your level of coverage is determined each time you receive care and whether you use an in-network provider or an out-of-network provider. Your out-of-pocket costs under both levels of coverage may include office visit copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance whether you are using services under the Managed Medical Care Program (MMCP), the Comprehensive Health Care Benefit (CHCB) or the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Care Benefit (MHSA).

MMCP and MHSA benefits 

 In-network: This level of benefit will apply when you use a physician, specialist, laboratory or other provider who is a member of your plan administrator’s network. When you use in-network providers, your out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, and coinsurance will be lower than if you use out-of-network providers.  Remember, there is no penalty for seeking treatment from a specialist without a referral, providing you with quicker, easier access to health care. 

Out-of-network:  This level of benefit will apply when you use a physician, specialist, laboratory or other provider who is not a member of your plan administrator’s network.  The plan provides coverage if you use an out-of-network provider, but your out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, and coinsurance will be higher than if you use an in-network provider. In addition, you will be responsible for any amounts in excess of the covered charges. Covered charges are those charges determined to be usual, customary and reasonable for a particular service in a particular ZIP code area. Additionally, out-of-network providers may require you to pay for services at the time of service which means you will have to file your claim with the plan in order to be reimbursed.

CHCB benefit 

Under CHCB, the plan pays a percentage of eligible expenses for covered health services. You will pay lower deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses if you use preferred providers, who are health care providers the plan has special arrangements with who agree to discount their charges. By using a provider where a special discount arrangement exists, the amount of the eligible expense that is your responsibility will generally be less than if non-preferred provider is used because the eligible expense will not be subject to a usual, customary and reasonable charge determination for a particular service in a particular ZIP code area.  The covered charge will be based on the discounted charge, after your calendar year deductible is satisfied, leaving you with a lower out-of-pocket expense. Your medical ID card shows if you are entitled to these discounts.  If you are, you must make sure the provider sees your ID card and knows that you are covered under one of these discount programs.

How to locate in-network providers

Locating in-network providers online for your medical health care needs is easy.  Simply follow the instructions outlined below for the plan administrator of your health benefits.

MMCP and CHCB benefits 

Plan administrator:  Aetna 

Customer service: (800) 842-4044  (Railroad Employees National Health & Welfare Plan); (888) 332-8742  (National Railway Carriers / United Transportation Union Health & Welfare Plan)

? Go to www.aetna.com

? Click on “Find a Doctor”

? Under “Search by Location”, fill in required items

? Click on “Search”

? You may also search by entering the Provider or Facility name

 

Plan Administrator:  Highmark BCBS

Customer service: (866) 267-3320

? Go to www.highmarkbcbs.com

? Under “Find Providers” click on “Find a Doctor, Hospital or Other Medical Provider”

? Under “I Want to Find A” complete all of the required fields

? To select a plan: if MMCP benefits, select “BCBS PPO”; if CHCB benefits, select “BCBS Traditional”

? Click on “Submit”  

 

Plan Administrator:  UnitedHealthcare 

Customer service: (800) 842-9905  (Railroad Employees National Health & Welfare Plan); (888) 445-4379  (National Railway Carriers / United Transportation Union Health & Welfare Plan)

? Go to www.myuhc.com

? Click on “Find Physician, Laboratory, or Facility”

? If prompted to select plan, select “UnitedHealthcare Choice Plus”

? Under “Physician Specialties,” “Facilities” or “Conditions,” select the choices that apply

? You also may enter the “Name, Facility, Specialty or Condition” and/or ZIP code 

 

MHSA benefit 

Plan Administrator:  United Behavioral Health 

Customer service: (866) 850-6212

? Go to www.liveandworkwell.com and login or register under the heading “Members: Login or Register”  

? If you prefer to login anonymously, under the heading “Members: Access Anonymously” enter the access

    code “railroad”

? Under the heading “Member Services” (top right-hand side of site), click on “Search for clinician”

? In step 1, under heading “Search for mental health clinicians near you,” click on “Click here to use our free

     behavioral health clinician search tool”  

? Follow the instructions of the Clinician Search tool to search for a facility or clinician   

 Note:  Provider information, while updated regularly, changes frequently. Always verify directly with your providers, prior to scheduling your appointment or receiving services, that they are still a participating member of your plan administrator’s network.

Discuss in-network services with your doctor 

It’s important that your in-network doctor always refers you to in-network providers should you be in need of other medical services, like laboratory work or a referral to a specialist.  

? At each visit, ask your doctor to use in-network providers for any medical services you might require from  other providers.

? For example, you have the right to ask your doctor to send your laboratory work to an in-network laboratory, thereby allowing you to take a more active role in containing your health care costs.

? If your doctor refers you to another provider, call the number on the back of your member ID card to confirm the provider’s participation in your plan administrator’s network.  

If you have any questions or need assistance in locating an in-network provider, or you do not have online capability, please call the phone number located on the back of your member ID card for assistance.

>>>
FRA Launches a Collaborative Effort to End Rail Distraction - 11/17/2012

Federal Railroad Administrator Szabo Launches a Collaborative Effort to End Workplace Electronic Device Distraction within Railroad Industry


DOT Logo

U.S.Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.
www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm

News

 


FRA 30-12

Friday, November 16, 2012

Contact: Kevin F. Thompson

 

Federal Railroad Administrator Szabo Launches a Collaborative Effort to End Workplace Electronic Device Distraction within Railroad Industry

Northlake, Ill. Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph C. Szabo joined senior railroad industry leaders and labor officials to launch a collaborative effort to educate and raise awareness among rail industry employees of the dangers of using electronic devices on the job. Administrator Szabo encouraged rail companies to adopt anti-distraction programs and challenged all railroad employees to make the improper use of such devices while on the job socially unacceptable.

Distraction can impact anyone, whether they're driving a car or working in a railroad environment, and the consequences can be equally serious and even deadly, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Ending distraction will take everyone's help, and I appreciate leaders in the railroad industry and labor joining us in this important safety effort.

Today's event marks the launch of a collaborative outreach effort to encourage the establishment of peer-to-peer programs that raise awareness among all railroad employees of the dangers of distraction. Railroad employees who improperly use electronic devices while on the job violate both federal regulations and railroad operating rules, while endangering themselves and possibly their coworkers, railroad passengers, and those who live and work along rail lines.

I have spent my entire career in the railroad industry, and I know firsthand how distractions can lead to danger, said Administrator Szabo. That's why I'm calling on all rail industry employees to adopt a zero tolerance position on using electronic devices while working, building an even stronger safety culture where workers can confidently depend on one another to keep everyone safe.

In October 2008, FRA issued an Emergency Order to prohibit the use of electronic devices by railroad operating employees. The Emergency Order was codified by FRA as a regulation, which includes all railroad employees, in September 2010.

The kick-off event to highlight the dangers of distraction was held at Union Pacific Railroad's Proviso Yard, as Union Pacific is among the first rail carriers nationally to adopt a peer-to-peer program to eliminate electronic device distractions. Representatives from several labor organizations and rail companies also took part in the event.

####

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Railroad Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

 

>>>
VOTE!! The Job You Save May Be Your Own. - 11/2/2012
  UTU-MO Logo   

 Missouri State Legislative Board

smart logo 

ELECTION

NOVEMBER 6, 2012

   

VOTE

The job you save

may be your own! 

The Importance of Voting 

Voting is one of the most important rights and responsibilities that U.S. citizens have. About 150 million American citizens are qualified to vote. Unfortunately, many don't. They give up on a chance to choose leaders and representatives who will do things that are important to them.

REMEMBER OUR MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE FIGHTING TO PROTECT OUR RIGHT TO VOTE

VOTE--IF NOT FOR YOU--FOR THEM

The last day to vote absentee in person is Monday, Nov. 5th.  Missouri voting law does not require a photo ID to vote.  While the blue voter registration card has a bar code which makes it easier for poll workers to scan to find your name in the voting precinct, there are other acceptable forms of identification including:

  • Missouri Driver's License
  • Missouri Identification Card/non-driver's license
  • Social Security Card
  • Student Identification Card
  • Bank statement/blank check (with address)
  • Passport (expired/current)
  • Utility bill
  • Pay check stub with address
  • Out of state driver's license
  • ID issued by federal/state government
 

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 

 

 

 
>>>
UTU Disaster Relief Fund Info for Members effected by SANDY - 11/1/2012

Here is a memo that has come down from the International about the Disaster Relief Fund. We have hundreds of fellow members that have been impacted by Super-Storm SANDY and the effects it left behind. All the necessary information is on the memo. If you do have any other questions feel free to call the office.

Disaster Relief Memo

>>>
Letter written by Congresswoman Kaptur from Ohio about RRT - 11/1/2012

Below is a letter written by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur from Ohio regarding the Ryan budget proposal and it's effects on RailRoad Retirement and Medicare. She makes some good points that should serve as a good reminder of what to expect if we do not Vote for and elect Labor Friendly Candidates.

Letter

>>>
News from Director Menges - 10/22/2012
mo smart\
      

UTU-Missouri State Legislative Board


OCTOBER 2012
 
VOTE---NOVEMBER 6, 2012

 

ELECTION 2012  

 

ELECTION HAVE CONSEQUENCES 

 

What if one candidate could protect you job and the other one eliminate it?  Who would you vote for?    

 

What if one candidate wanted to eliminate funding for Amtrak? Who would you vote for?

  

What if eliminating Amtrak funding caused a catastrophic collapse of the Railroad Retirement system?  Who would you vote for?

 

What if one candidate wanted to change your retirement system to be like Social Security?  Who would you vote for? 

 

What if one candidate wanted to change Medicare to a voucher system?  Who would you vote for?  

 

Elections have consequences-from the President to the local level.  At the national level there has never been a clearer line drawn in the sand.  President Obama has promised to continue funding for Amtrak and high speed rail-protecting our jobs in the future.  Not only would eliminating Amtrak funding cause 20,000 of our brothers and sister but the loss of those jobs would cause Railroad Retirement to have to restructure and affect each and every one of us and our pension-our families and our futures!   

 

You will recall that the issue of one person crews was not discussed in the last round of National negotiations-why? Elections have consequences.  If Governor Romney wins the race to the White House do you not think every railroad will be at the door just waiting to get a one person crew in the next round of negotiations?  Can you take that chance for you and your family? 

 

The Missouri State Legislative Board encourages you to vote for UTU endorsed candidates.  These candidates have a consistent voting record to protects our jobs, our families and our retirement.   

 

Missouri State 

Legislative  

Board Endorsements   

  

U.S. President------------Barack Obama        

 

U.S. Senate-------------- Claire McCaskill 

                                         

Governor -----------------Jay Nixon  

 

Lieutenant Governor ---Susan Montee   

 

Secretary of State--------Jason Kander  

 

Treasurer -----------------Clint Zweifel            

 

Attorney General-------- Chris Koster  

 

Click here to view MO Senate and House endorsements

 

Who are your Missouri Legislators--look here 

 

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves

and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt 

 

MEDICARE

 

MISSOURI OFFERS HELP WITH OPEN ENROLLMENT

 

  Missouri consumers can ask questions by phone or arrange one-on-one counseling by calling 800-390-3330 or visiting missouriclaim.org.

 

The website also offers a list of free open enrollment events being hosted by CLAIM throughout Missouri during the open enrollment period.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE FROM MO DEPT OF LABOR

WHERE IN THE WORLD?

 

Try this out.  If you enter an address slowly, you can watch it search for possible locations.

YOURS OR ANY ADDRESS IN THE WORLD!
 

Much faster than Google Earth.
 

After opening the link below, type in the address you want
slowly,  letter by letter, space by space, and WATCH what happens with each letter and number.


 
http://showmystreet.com/

 

 

Join UTU PAC 

 

UTU PAC is a political action committee that is 100 % voluntary and member supported 

 

Download UTU PAC application 

 

utupac

 

Contribution to UTU PAC is an investment in your future 

 

UTU PAC provides job security, protects railroad retirement and helps to create a safer workplace

 

MOAN GROAN GRIPE BELLYACHE

 

CRITICIZE CONDEMN CURSE  FUSS

 

COMPLAIN WHIMPER GRUMBLE

 

REFUSE OBJECT DELAY TOLERATE

 

NEGLECT PROTEST WITHDRAW

 

WHINE IGNORE SUFFER

 

OR

 

VOTE

 

Missouri General Election

November 6, 2012

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

>>>
United Healthcare October news letter - 10/22/2012
 
Trouble viewing this email? Click here.
News for U
To help you manage your health care coverage and benefits
View past articles October 2012
Medicare
It's your time to help! Medicare's Open Enrollment Period (OEP) has begun — it's time to review a loved ones health care needs for 2013 coverage.
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is from October 15th through December 7th. It's when people eligible for Medicare can enroll in or change Medicare plans. If you know someone on Medicare, now's the time to review their health coverage to ensure its right for them. It's important to act soon because the OEP ends December 7th for 2013 coverage.
Click here to find out how you can help
Pharmacy Questions
Your Pharmacy Questions Answered on UHC TV
What's the difference between a generic and brand name medication? What should I do with expired prescriptions? The answers to these questions and more are now available on UHC TV's Expert Alley channel.
Your Pharmacy Questions Answered on UHC TV
Eye Safety
Eye Safety at Home Awareness Month
Did you know that 125,000 eye injuries each year involve common household products?
Learn More
Hearing Aids
New Member Discount on Hearing Aids Through hi HealthInnovations™
Save thousands in out-of-pocket costs for state-of-the art, custom programmed digital hearing aids. Visit www.hihealthinnovations.com/united for details.
Learn More
Your privacy is important to us. View our permission marketing policy. © 2012 United HealthCare Services, Inc. myuhc.com®
Certain programs may not be covered in some benefit plans. Please check your benefits.

You are receiving this email from UnitedHealthcare because you purchased a product/service from UnitedHealthcare and consented to receive Marketing and/or Promotional email communications such as relevant news on tools and resources to help you manage your health care coverage and benefits.

To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, add the email "from" address to your email address book or safe list.

Please do not reply to this email address, this mailbox is used for outbound email only. Do not include any personal health information as part of any email communication. We cannot guarantee the security of any communication transmitted via the Internet. If you have questions about your account, claims or benefits or would like additional information, please visit myuhc.com (or your member website) or call the toll-free number on the back of your health plan ID card.

Update your email address, change your member profile page, subscribe to other email publications or unsubscribe to future marketing or promotional email communications.

Your privacy is important to us. View our privacy policy.

This email was sent by: UnitedHealthcare, 9700 Health Care Lane, Minnetonka, MN 55343 USA

Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates.

© 2012 United HealthCare Services, Inc.
>>>
Labor Rally in St. Louis - 10/4/2012

For those of you on the eastern side of the state, there is a Labor Rally being held on Oct. 16 at the Electrical Workers Local 1 hall in St. Louis. It is for ALL union members. All of the Democratic State-wide candidates will be in attendance. This is a great opportunity to hear from them directly. For the address and full details click here for the flyer.

>>>
2012 General Election Endorsements - 9/27/2012

2012 General Election Endorsements

Click on the link below to see the list of 2012 Candidates that have your best interest (as rail workers) in mind.

http://missouri.utu.org/Files/[4981]2012%20General%20ElectionEndorsement_UTUMO_FINAL.pdf

>>>
Dave Spence and his Bank Bailout - 9/27/2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

press@jaynixon.com

September 27, 2012

 

TV Ad Exposes Troubling Details about Dave Spence’s Bank Bailout

$40 Million in Taxpayer Money Vanished – Where Did It Go?

ST. LOUIS, MO -- The Nixon for Missouri campaign released a new TV ad today that reveals new and troubling details about Dave Spence’s actions while running a troubled St. Louis bank that took – and still refuses to repay – a $40 million bailout from Washington.  Shockingly, before Spence voted not to repay that bailout to taxpayers, he and his fellow bankers approved $40 million in insider loans for themselves – including a loan for Spence to buy a million-dollar vacation home. 

You can watch the ad, which is airing statewide, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooASrUoFy5M&feature=youtu.be

“The more we know about Dave Spence and his bank’s $40 million bailout, the clearer it becomes that this is a guy who’s made a habit of looking out himself and his own bottom line at taxpayers’ expense,” said Oren Shur, Nixon’s campaign manager.  “It’s bad enough that Dave Spence ran a reckless bank that took a $40 million bailout from Washington and then voted not to repay that bailout to taxpayers – but how does he explain taking an insider loan for a million-dollar vacation home while taxpayers are still out $40 million? In the six months since these revelations surfaced, Dave Spence still hasn’t answered the simple question: If there was money for him to buy a million-dollar vacation home, why wasn’t there money to repay taxpayers?”

After taking a $40 million bailout from Washington, Spence’s bank proceeded to give $40 million in insider loans to its executives and board members – including a million-dollar loan for Spence to buy a lakefront vacation home.  And when the bank board took a vote on whether or not to repay the taxpayers, Dave Spence voted no.  [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 4/5/12; Associated Press, 3/31/12]

The bank was also repeatedly reprimanded by federal regulators for making risky investments and engaging in unsound practices.   Last month the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that the bank, which still hasn’t repaid a penny of its federal bailout money, was the only bank among the 10 largest locally chartered banks to post a loss for the first six months of the year. [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 8/17/12]

 

AD          BACKUP

 

Meet Dave Spence

 

He helped run a St. Louis bank.

              

Spence Helped Lead Reliance Bancshares and Its Main Subsidiary for Years – Became One of Bank’s Largest Shareholders.  Dave Spence joined the board of directors of St. Louis-based Reliance Bank, the main subsidiary of holding company Reliance Bancshares, in 2005 and was elected to the parent company’s board in May 2009. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/13/05; Reliance Bancshares, DEF 14A, 2009 and 2010]

         Possessed “Ultimate Responsibility for the Conduct of the Banks’ Affairs.” According to a guide for bank directors from the Federal Reserve, “directors are an important part of a bank’s governance system, possessing ultimate responsibility for the conduct of the banks’ affairs.” [Basics for Bank Directors, Kansas City Federal Reserve]

         Responsible for Ensuring “Proper and Profitable Conduct.” According to the FDIC, a bank’s “board of directors is responsible for ensuring the proper and profitable conduct of banking activities…” [FDIC Risk Management Manual]

 

Ran it right into the ground with bad investments

              

Spence’s Tenure at Reliance Coincided with Reckless Growth.  Shortly after Spence joined the board, Reliance was described as “one of the most aggressive local banks.” Reliance expanded into regions like Houston, Phoenix and Florida, only to be dragged down by “significant real estate loan losses” once the bubble burst.   [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 6/3/05; St. Louis Business Journal, 3/17/08; 11/5/07; 8/12/11]

Federal Regulators Cracked Down On Reliance’s Risky Business Practices.  Reliance’s operations were so bad that they caught the attention of federal and state authorities.  For example, the FDIC and the Missouri Division of Finance told the bank to stop making “loans which might violate the Bank’s written loan policy” and to “reduce the level of risk.”  Later, the FDCI urged Reliance to “examine management.”   [Reliance Bancshares, DEF 14A, 2011; Form 10-K, 3/30/11; St. Louis Business Journal, 03/25/11]

Reliance Reported Highest Losses of Any St. Louis Bank in 2011. In the first quarter of 2011, Spence’s last quarter on the board, the bank had “the highest loss of any St. Louis-chartered bank.” [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 5/13/11]

…And Received “F” Rating from Bank Rating Firm. When David Spence resigned from the Reliance Bancshares board in March 2011 the company exhibited “significantly higher stress than the industry average,” due to “a negative net income earnings profile, lending default rates that are higher than industry average, [and] lower capital adequacy versus the industry.”  As a result, it received an F rating from Institutional Risk Analytics. [IRA Bank Rate, 3/15/11]

Reliance Still Worst-Performing Bank in Region.  “Frontenac-based Reliance Bank was the only bank among the 10 largest locally chartered banks to post a loss for the first six months of 2012, according to the Federal Reserve.” [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 8/17/12]

 

Spence’s bank took a $40 million bailout from Washington

 

              

Reliance Bancshares Took A $40 Million Washington Bailout – And Still Refuses to Repay Taxpayers.  On Feb. 13, 2009, Spence’s bank, “received $40 million from the U.S. Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP.”  Reliance “has yet to repay a penny of its federal money.” [AP, 3/31/12; St. Louis Business Journal, 3/11/11]

Bank Certified That Spence Had No “Disagreements” With Bank Practices. According to a statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Spence’s resignation was “not related to any disagreements with [Reliance’s] operations, policies or practices.”  [Reliance Bancshares Form 8-k, 3/16/11]

 

Dave Spence: “Our bank, after I was in, took TARP funds.”              

At Christian County Forum, Spence Said “Our Bank, After I Was In, Took TARP Funds.” At a forum in Christian County, Spence told the audience: “You know, as far as the TARP and everything else, I served on a bank board. It was crazy. Our bank, after I was in, took TARP funds.”  [Spence at Christian County Lincoln Days, 4/28/12]

 

 

Instead of repaying the bailout, Spence got an insider loan from his own bank to buy himself vacation home. 

A million dollar mansion.

So Dave Spence used the bailout money to help himself, instead of repaying taxpayers.

              

Spence Admitted to Voting Against Repaying Taxpayers As Member of Bank Board.  Spence admitted to the Associated Press that “he voted with the rest of the bank board in early 2011 to forgo payments to the U.S. Treasury” on the bank’s TARP debt. [Associated Press, 3/31/12]

Instead of Helping Families, Spence’s Bank Loaned $40 Million to Executives and Directors – Including Dave Spence.  “Mr. Spence and the rest of the board voted in early 2011 not to repay the $40 million in TARP money to the federal government. This was after the bank voted in 2009 and 2010 to approve loans, in approximately the same amount, to bank board members and executives.” At the same time, the bank failed to adequately serve low- and moderate-income households, according to a complaint filed by the St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council. [Post-Dispatch, 4/5/12, 11/30/11]

         Spence Got An Insider Loan For a Million Dollar Vacation Home. In April 2010, Spence “took out a more than $1.1 million mortgage on a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks and a smaller loan on his business property.” [Camden County Property Records; Associated Press, 3/31/12]

         Mansion Has 5 Bedrooms, 7 Bathrooms.  In addition to 5 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, a realtor’s description of the property says the house includes a “new private pool, extensive landscaping with river & waterfall, and lakeside patio.” [180 Hillside Court, Zillow.com; Lora Elliott Blog, Trulia.com]

         Experts Say “Insider Lending to Directors is Particularly Troublesome.”  As reported by McClatchy, “Insider lending to directors is particularly troublesome because it could cloud the judgment of people charged with protecting shareholders and overseeing bank management, the experts say… Insider loans, ranging from home mortgages to multi-million dollar lines of credit for big companies, are legal but are largely shrouded from public scrutiny.” [McClatchy, 3/22/09]

         Spence’s Loan Was Approved by the Board of Directors; Spence Served on the Board of Directors.  “As a board member, Spence was considered a bank ‘insider’ under federal regulations, and his loans thus required approval by the bank's board of directors. But Spence said he left the room while his colleagues voted to approve each of his loans.”  [Associated Press, 3/31/12]

Reliance Still Hasn’t Repaid Its $40 Million Bailout…and Spence’s Mortgage on Vacation Home Has Not Been Satisfied.  [SIGTARP Quarterly Report to Congress; Camden County Property Records]

Spence Also Personally Benefited by Being One of Bank’s Largest Shareholders. In addition to serving on the board of directors, Spence was also one of the largest shareholders in the company.  Spence owned nearly 600,000 shares of Reliance Bancshares stock – stock that would have been worth much less had the bank not been infused with $40 million in government bailout funds.  In fact, Spence bought $1.5 million worth of Reliance Bancshares stock just a few months before he and his fellow board members opted to stop paying back Reliance’s TARP debt. [Reliance Bancshares, SEC Form 4, 9/20/10; Reliance Bancshares FR Y-6, 12/31/10]

>>>
National Drug Take Back Day - 9/26/2012

National Take-Back Day

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, to be held on Saturday, September 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to dispose of those medications easily and safely.  Citizens who participated in the DEA's most recent take-back event this past April turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. 

For more information, including a Collection Site Locator and a Partnership Toolbox, visit DEA's website.

>>>
Absentee Voting for the General Election - 9/25/2012
UTU-MO Logo

Missouri State Legislative Board

smart logo

VOTE ABSENTEE

   

Vote Absentee

Missouri General Election

Absentee Ballots

available Sept. 25, 2012 until 6 p.m.

November 5, 2012

at the County Clerk's Office

Click here to download an absentee ballot request

VOTE

The job you save

may be your own!

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves

and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers

of our democracy are not a President and senators

and congressmen and government officials, but the

voters of this country."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com

 

 

 

 
>>>
Update from Director Menges - 9/24/2012
UTU-MO Logo

Missouri State Legislative Board

smart logo

VOTER REGISTRATION DAY

September 25, 2012

   

ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?

There is no right more important in our country than the right to vote. It is fundamental to our democracy. The voting booth is the one place where everyone is presumed equal, yet the reality is that the playing field is far from level.

 

In state after state we are seeing voting rights eroded by those who wish to suppress the vote, particularly among communities of color, young workers, senior citizens and low income Americans. We must fight against the efforts to disenfranchise millions and we must fight back together.

 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 has been declared National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). NVRD is a national day of action highlighting the need to register, educate and mobilize voters across the country around the issues that matter to us and our members most. With over 400 groups already participating, and close to 1,000 events already registered, this is one of the largest movements around voter registration on a single day to date. Given the issues at stake in this election, and with NVRD fast approaching, we want to make sure that our State Federations and Central Labor Councils can participate in this historic day.

 

Here are some of the ways in which you can help:

Register to vote at http://www.longdistancevoter.org/register-to-vote

Confirm that your family members and coworkers are registered to vote--verify your voter registration by clicking here

 

Request an Absentee Ballot by clicking here

 

Members can also participate in helping build awareness using the #925NVRD hashtag on Twitter, joining the event page on Facebook, or sending pictures to vsanchez@aflcio.org.

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves

and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers

of our democracy are not a President and senators

and congressmen and government officials, but the

voters of this country."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com

 

 

 

 
>>>
Labor Day and Merger Video from General President Nigro - 9/3/2012

 

 
UTU-MO Logo
     

 Missouri State Legislative Board

smart logo 

 

 

 
   

 

The Future of Our Union

LABOR DAY

This weekend, I wish to extend my warmest wishes to you, the heart and soul of this Union. Thank you for the talent, hard work and professionalism you bring to our industry.  No matter what anyone else may claim, the truth is that we, along with generations of our fellow workers, built this nation. 

 I wish you, on behalf of myself, Secretary Treasurer Sellers and the SMART General Executive Council, a happy Labor Day and hope you can enjoy it with your love ones, friends and neighbors.

Please take a moment during your weekend to view the video below to see what the future has in store, now that we are SMART - the International Association of Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Workers.

Joseph Nigro

General President, International Association of Sheet Metal Air Rail and Transportation Workers

P.S. - You can also click below to share the FaceBook image we distributed to remind our friends and neighbors about who really built our country.

 

 

 

 

"Let us never forget that government is ourselves

and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers

of our democracy are not a President and senators

and congressmen and government officials, but the

voters of this country."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 

 

 

 

 

>>>
News-Letter from Director Menges - 8/28/2012

 

 
UTU-MO Logo    

UTU-Missouri State Legislative Board


AUGUST 2012
 

 

 
 

Railroad Health Plan

Important: Open enrollment online

 

You start the open enrollment process by going to the "Alerts and Important Dates" section on the Railroad Information Depot home page (www.rrinfodepot.com). During the open enrollment period in September and October, you can link directly into the railroad enrollment services secured portal.

 

Click here to read UTU News Article about your health plan

ELECTION 2012 

 

YOUR JOB--YOUR FUTURE 

 

The November 2012 elections more than ever will be about our job, our union, our retirement, and our future!  It is about voting and voting for the candidates that best proclaim and protect our goals and ideals.  While we may not all share the same political philosophies, we do share the common goals of promoting a vibrant transportation system, a good job to provide for our families and a retirement system that will be there when we retire. 

  

No election should be about a single issue.  Our lives and our lifestyles are more complex than any one issue but if we protect our jobs we can work to change the issues that are dear to our hearts while providing for our families. 

 

While the UTU has many friends on both sides of the aisle, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan do not have our best interest in their sights.  They have laid out their plans to destroy unions, privatize Amtrak, phase out Social Security and Railroad Retirement, end Medicare as we know it and destroy the middle class.  What are future UTU contract negotiations going to be like in a Romney presidency?  One person Crews?  

 

Click here to read President Futhey's remarks about Mitt Romney  

 

Claire McCaskill has said many times that the reason we are the envy of the world is that we have a middle class.  Senator McCaskill has been a friend of the UTU and of the middle class.  She knows and understands the value that unions bring to the workplace.

 

Click here to read about Senator McCaskill protecting the middle class 

 

Governor Jay Nixon has been our firewall in protecting workers' rights in Missouri.  If not for the power of the veto, the Missouri Republican controlled legislature would have driven us right down the same path followed by Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin.   

 

Governor Jay Nixon: Fighting for Working Families

 

Veto Session

September 12, 2012

 

 The veto session is mandated by the Missouri Constitution and is held each year to give the legislature an opportunity to consider bills approved by the General Assembly but vetoed by the governor. This year there are 13 bills to be considered. 

A veto override requires a two-thirds majority, or 109 votes in the House and 23 in the Senate, in order to undo the action of the governor and put the bill into law.

  

Below is a brief summary of each bill

Click here for a detailed summary of each bill

 

SB 566 - Requires dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies

SB 569 - Modifies the law relating to elections, law enforcement districts, and transit authority taxes

SB 607 - Establishes procedure for resetting billboards during periods of highway construction

 SB 635 - Modifies the law relating to financial institutions, school funds, private roads, real estate appraisal, agricultural education programs, liens, and state purchasing preferences

 SB 715 - Allows the Adjutant General to waive the age limit for service in the state militia and repeals a complaint procedure for the state militia 

SB 749 -Provides protection for the religious convictions of certain persons and health care entities 

SB 837 - Modifies what is considered to be a franchise between alcohol wholesalers and supplier 

 HB 1219 - Changes the laws regarding unlawful discriminatory employment practices as they relate to the Missouri Human Rights Act and establishes the Whistleblower Protection Act

HB 1250 -Allows certain third class cities to cancel any primary election for the office of mayor and councilman

HB 1329 - Changes the laws regarding motor vehicles

HB 1758 - Changes the laws regarding child custody and visitation rights and adoption 

HB 1789 - Changes the laws regarding travel hardships for public school students

 HB1900- Restructures the statutes based on executive branch reorganizations

 

Railroad Retirement fund solvent and healthy

 

WHY YOUR VOTE MATTERS

 

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has reported to Congress that, barring a sudden, unanticipated, large drop in railroad employment or substantial investment losses, it will experience no cash-flow problems over the next 23 years. 

The report recommended no change in the rate of tax imposed by current law on employers and employees. 

The RRB is required by law to submit annual financial reports and triennial actuarial valuations to Congress on the financial condition of the Railroad Retirement System, as well as annual financial reports on the railroad unemployment insurance system. 

As of Sept. 30, 2011, total Railroad Retirement System assets totaled $23.6 billion

The cash balance of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance system was $58.7 million at the end of fiscal year 2011. 

Projecting income and outgo under optimistic, moderate and pessimistic employment assumptions, the valuation indicated no cash-flow problems occur throughout the 75-year projection period under the optimistic and moderate assumptions. Cash-flow problems only occurred under the pessimistic assumption, but not until 2035. 

The RRB's 2012 Railroad Unemployment Insurance financial report was also generally favorable. Even as maximum benefit rates increase 44 percent (from $66 to $95) from 2011 to 2022, experience-based contribution rates are expected to keep the unemployment insurance system solvent, except for small, short-term cash flow problems in fiscal year 2015 under the pessimistic assumption.  

Join UTU PAC 

 

UTU PAC is a political action committee that is 100 % voluntary and member supported 

 

Download UTU PAC application 

 

utupac

 

Contribution to UTU PAC is an investment in your future 

 

UTU PAC provides job security, protects railroad retirement and helps to create a safer workplace

 

LABOR DAY

  

Labor Day is a celebration of the American worker and a reminder of the accomplishments that organized labor has brought to the American workplace.

 

While many of us will be working on the holiday as we do in the transportation industry; take the time to appreciate your job and the benefits that your union has won for you and your family.

 

As we celebrate this weekend let us take the time to  remember  our union heritage and thank our fellow brothers and sisters for sharing in our struggles and in our victories.

 

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY LABOR DAY

  

 Indira Gandhi once said:

 

"My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition." 

               

Missouri State

Legislative

Board Endorsements

 

U.S.President 

 Barack Obama (D)*

  

U.S. Senate

Claire McCaskill (D)*

 

Governor

Jay Nixon (D)*  

Find us on Facebook                                                                Follow us on Twitter
                                                              

Kenny Menges

United Transportation Union

 

??222 A Madison St

Jefferson City, MO 65101

573-634-3303

 

moutu@embarqmail.com 

 

>>>
News from UHC - 8/20/2012

 

 

 

 

Healthy Mind Healthy Body

 

 


An award-winning, health
and wellness newsletter
for our members

 

 

 
Health buzz
You've heard the buzz. Now get the scoop.

This month: Spotlight on Alzheimer's disease
GO
Health buzz
Expanded care for women
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping
people live healthier lives.
GO
Expanded care for women
Tips from The
Dr. Oz Show
Energy boosters