The TCU and our Carmen Division welcome the recent announcements that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) will be conducting special investigations into the safety culture at Norfolk Southern.
The recent derailments happening across the network have finally brought the needed attention to a business model that put profits ahead of worker and public safety. Our union will do everything we can to assist federal agencies with their investigations.
“You wouldn’t get on a plane if it hadn’t been properly inspected, so why do we allow the railroads to haul HazMat through communities without the proper inspections?” said BRC General President Don Grissom. “I’ve said it before, but a Carman is the only career I’m aware of where they train you to do a job, and then fire you for doing it.”
Recently, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg met with the rail labor leaders to hear our concerns directly. Most of the ongoing issues are directly related to the so-called “Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR),” which the rail carriers continue to implement. This business model involves longer trains, reduced inspections, and a hyper-focus on terminal dwell instead of safety.
“We really appreciated the opportunity to meet with Secretary Buttigieg, and we’re glad to see our members voices are finally being heard, but something must come of this – the time is now,” said Grissom.
“Secretary Buttigieg has demonstrated a commitment to listening and addressing the concerns of our members. It is encouraging to see the Biden Administration taking the necessary steps to understand the self-imposed problems created by PSR,” said TCU National President Artie Maratea. “We will continue the necessary work to ensure that our members are safe on the job and able to do the work they are trained to do.”
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