Rail Safety Resolution

Teamsters unanimously pass Rail Safety resolution

Published: Jul 1 2016 8:56AM

Just days after a train collision tragedy in Panhandle, Texas, which claimed the lives of multiple BNSF employees, BMWED President Fred Simpson and BLET President Dennis Pierce addressed the 29th International Brotherhood of Teamster’s Convention June 30 regarding Rail Safety. Following Presidents Sinmpson and Pierce’s remarks, the delegates of the IBT convention voted unanimously, and with thunderous applause, to pass a Rail Safety resolution.

The resolution calls on the delegates of the 2016 IBT Convention to go on record in support of the Rail Conference unions’ efforts to improve railroad safety in areas not limited to; improving standards for track safety, bridge safety, and rail integrity as well as going on record to support a full and timely implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) and taking action to address the issue of fatigue.

“As you know, railroading is one of the oldest occupations in North America … and continues to be one of the most dangerous. In the five years since we last met in Convention, 75 railroad workers were killed on the job and over 21,000 suffered reportable injuries. The toll on our members, their families, and the safety of the public-at-large is incredibly high. That is why the Teamster Rail Conference and its two divisions work closely in the legislative and regulatory arenas to further railroad safety and the safety of our members and the public. Our members are skilled professionals, but our work is dangerous and difficult. Trains run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And tracks and bridges are in constant need of inspection and repair, in all types of weather and at every time of day,” President Simpson said.

The full text of the passed resolution is seen below:

Rail Conference Resolution on Railroad Safety

Whereas, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Division(BMWED) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division (BLET) of the Teamster Rail Conference represent over 70,000 railroad workers, and

Whereas, the work performed by BMWED and BLET members is critical to the safety and profitability of the railroad industry and the strength of the U.S. economy, and

Whereas, the work performed by BMWED and BLET members is inherently dangerous, and

Whereas, BMWED and BLET work closely together in the regulatory and legislative arenas to further railroad safety for the benefit of their members, the industry, and the public-at-large, and

Whereas, BMWED and BLET are leading the way in all areas of railroad safety,

Be It Resolved, that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention go on record in support of the Rail Conference unions’ efforts to improve railroad safety by calling upon the Federal Railroad Administration to adopt Federal standards strengthening requirements for two-person train crews on all trains, mandating emergency escape breathing apparatus for train crews hauling Toxic-by-Inhalation and Poisonous-by-Inhalation materials, and affording protection to crews involved with the shipment of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, and

Be It Further Resolved, that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention go on record in support of the Rail Conference unions’ efforts to improve standards for track safety, bridge safety, and rail integrity, and

Be It Further Resolved, that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention go on record in support of full and timely implementation of Positive Train Control (PTC) technology to prevent train-to-train collisions, prevent over-speed derailments, and prevent incursions into established work zones limits, and

Be It Further Resolved, that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention go on record in support of the Rail Conference unions’ efforts to mitigate and address fatigue through a combination of predictable scheduling, increased manpower, reduced travel territories, and the furnishing of clean and sanitary single-occupancy rest accommodations, nutritious meals, and appropriate away-from-home travel and meal allowances, and

Be It Finally Resolved that the delegates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention go on record supporting closer cooperation between the Federal Railroad Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to address any gaps in regulatory coverage to protect railroad workers from all occupational hazards that exist in the railroad industry.