STB has a meeting next week discussing the failures of all Class 1 railroads in their handling of the supply chain issues. The STB is concerned about how PSR has gutted the railroads ability to handle the daily operations of the business let alone during peak times. The railroads inability to hire and retain people has had an adverse effect on this nation's transportation system. Should be a good show to watch if made public.
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Yep. Then they will be fired for violating blue signal.
Class 1 new hire Conductor training was mentioned to be woefully inadequate, but the reality is that is the new "norm" throughout trades industry. A local railroad contractor "trains" new employees via 8 hours of CBT on their cell phones the first day, most of which can just be skipped by clicking "acknowledge training". Among this training covered by requirement is Blue Signal. Now tell me someone with no prior RR knowledge can grasp blue signal protection in a 35 min CBT course? Now you tell me, is that adequate? The only reason they are not getting people ki---d is 1. Pure Luck 2. They repair cars on short lines, which see one train a day in their yard.
For real. The railroads have the FRA in their pockets. Don't know about the STB though. Big shippers have a lot of clout also. You're right though, sprinkle some money around and everything will magically be fixed.
Money will make it all go away and it will all be better!
COVID, the "Crisis" that they worked us through just to use that excuse to lay a bunch more off in Jan of 2021.
Like the instructor of my 1st week safety class said. “Welcome to the railroad, they just spent 5 weeks hiring you, and now they will spend the next 20 years trying to fire you..”
Class 1 railroads are an essential service to everyone! I personally appreciate them all. I appreciate the transportation crews stepping up to meet the demands every day, and working through the Covid pandemic to meet the needs of industries, businesses and the many other resources.
However, Class 1 railroads treat their skilled tradesmen and women railway workers with zero respect! Carriers have a wealth of “safety speak”, but don’t implement that same speak when it comes to showing respect, value or dignity for their ground / operations crews. The people doing the ground transport operations are expected to work an average of 12 hours on duty, with 10 hours rest. Rest periods are frequently interrupted by the employees calling during the workers rest, to be on duty immediately upon the said rest being over. The widely varying shifts of these crews are literally helter-skelter!
While it understood that this lack of precise scheduled work is not a part of the life of a railroad employee, there needs to be significantly improved balance. An adequate combination of rest, between work sets, days off and scheduled time off would speak volumes to your concerns of “safety” for your crews. Many factories have varied shift work, but they also respect / value the employees enough to allow for a sufficient rest period. I’d like to see more of a 4 on, 3 off, or a 4 on, 4 off type of schedule. If the railroader wishes to mark themselves up earlier, and feel rested give them that choice.
Also, suggestions include guarantee the train/ground crews 3 high impact days off every year, on a rotating basis. Everyone wants to be able to say they have a scheduled holiday off, to spend with their families. While we all understand that railroads are essential, engineers, conductors, mow, employees are essential to their families. Railroaders are only fairly compensated in the grand scheme. There is no consideration that these workers have personal lives, families; children, spouses, parents, grandparents, extended families ( who love them ) medical needs (ie,. planned doctors or other medical appointments), day to day lives with things that need taken care of…far beyond their work. Families of railroaders are also adversely affected by the horrible policies and attendance rules the railroads implement. They often have to choose between going to work overly fatigued, exhausted, often times physically sick, because of the draconian policies implemented.
Railroaders are enslaved to the Class 1 railway systems in the US. Many railroaders have been committed to their carriers for years, I believe it’s way past time that carriers start treating employees like human beings.
The day to day grind, also adversely affects families of railroaders as well…it hard to sit idly by and watch a loved one be treated with such little respect .
Personally, I wouldn’t suggest or recommend the railroad to anyone ( and I don’t) for the above reasons. Policies that class 1’s enforce do very little to recruit perspective employees, and make the long haulers wonder why and how soon they can call it quits, or find another profession.
As the quote says: treat employees like they make a difference and they will.
One more; Employees should come first, clients second. If you take care of employees, they will take care of your clients.
It’s my hope that action is taken, and a positive outcome is the end result.
Hopefully, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I hoped for a while the FRA would step in and stop some of the stuff going on. Never happened…
The ceo's are crying that's its all covid. They refuse to take responsibility for their part which was greater than covid ever thought of being. Hopefully the STB sees the truth.