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Western Railroad Discussion > new "taxi" service for BNSF in Flagstaff


Date: 09/17/05 18:58
new "taxi" service for BNSF in Flagstaff
Author: dxm332

BNSF has changed van services in Flagstaff
End of the line for rail taxi workers?

By Rachel Peterson
Sun Staff Reporter
09/17/2005



About 20 employees of a long-distance taxi company have been laid off in Flagstaff, along with another 300 nationwide, and most are still waiting for their final paychecks.
Alex's Transportation, which locally contracts with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad as a taxi service for engineers, started laying off employees Aug. 21, and it still hasn't paid those workers for their final two weeks of work. Arizona statute requires fired employees to be compensated within three working days, or at the end of the next regular period, whichever is sooner.

In addition, the office employees that continued to work past that date were only paid 65 percent of their final paycheck, said Rachel Ferguson, a payroll employee.

Ferguson quit Sept. 9 after she was given a bad check for the remaining 35 percent of her earnings. No bank or check cashing service in town would accept the check, she said.

Local owner Curt Balducci said the company was "caught off guard" after the railroad canceled its contract, and he simply didn't have the money to pay the former workers.

"If you don't have the money, how do you do it?" Balducci said. "Right now we have some serious issues in this company we need to fix."

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Meanwhile, former employees like Tim Redding are facing serious financial problems. The company owes Redding about $900 from his $10-an-hour job; his unemployment check comes to about $174 a week.

"That's about enough for one car payment," Redding said.

His cell phone has been shut off because of overdue bills, and he's concerned other utilities are soon to follow.

But Redding's biggest concern is that he'll never see his earnings.

"We basically feel like they're going to go bankrupt and they're just holding out so they don't have to pay any of us," he said.

Balducci said the company has some issues to work out, but it plans to remain afloat.

"Our intent is to rebound from this and move forward," he said. "We'll be charting a new course with the railroads."

LAWSUIT PLANNED

After allegedly being told for three weeks by company officials they didn't care about the employees' final wages, some of the Flagstaff residents are enlisting legal assistance and intending to sue Alex's Transportation.

Ferguson said the company has been having problems in payroll since she started her job six months ago.

"They keep ... saying there's going to be a wire coming in to pay people, but there never is," she said.

Balducci said he hopes to fix the problem before it escalates further.

"We might have this thing resolved sooner than you think," he told The Daily Sun Wednesday. "We're a couple days, I hope, from putting this part of our life behind us."

Balducci could not be reached by phone Friday for an update on the situation.

BNSF also did not return calls regarding their contracts with Alex's Transportation.

Rachel Peterson can be reached at 556-2253 or rpeterson@azdailysun.com.



Date: 09/17/05 19:22
Re: new
Author: LCW

on the positive side, who ever takes over will probably offer jobs to the employeess of the former vendor. UP has changed crew shuttle companies in chicago three times since I hired in 2000, but its still the same drivers. Not many people (crews included) now how to get to those back woods out of the way areas except cab drivers and railfans.



Date: 09/18/05 00:50
Re: new
Author: David.Curlee

How come so many of these drivers and/or office personnel were based out of Flagstaff when the mainline crew change points are at Needles and Winslow?



Date: 09/18/05 05:25
Re: new
Author: riff

Crew vans (in this case) are primarily for crews "going on the law" at outlying points and to bring crews to those locations for recrew.



Date: 09/18/05 07:25
Re: new
Author: RRChuck

This same thing happened in Needles a month ago. Alex is out. Renzberger (spelling?) is in.



Date: 09/18/05 09:33
Re: new
Author: drgw

riff Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Crew vans (in this case) are primarily for crews
> "going on the law" at outlying points and to bring
> crews to those locations for recrew.

So, what happens when the crew van (driver) goes dead on the law? <G>
-Wes



Date: 09/18/05 18:06
Re: Alex's Transportation
Author: skeeter4810


I hired on with Alex's Transportation on Sept 17, 2003. I moved from El Centro, CA. to Yuma, Az. to take this job. I had just left the grocery business after 13 years, and decided I wanted something new. My first paycheck bounced, and I was only paid half of what I had coming to me, that was a small cursor to what was to come. I transfered to El Centro, CA. on May 14, 2004 as the company had set up a terminal at El Centro and I was offered the Lead Driver position. I stayed on with the company to the very end as they pulled out of El Centro Thursday Sept 15, 2005. This was two days earlier then announced. (Sept 17). My six employees and myself are still owed checks from this company, in fact recently I went almost a month without getting paid, before it was resolved. I have never dealt with such an unorganized, understaffed company in my life. Checks were always bouncing, and I had a hard time keeping drivers as they would get tired of this and quit. We don't get paid much, work long lousy hours, and are subject to this treatment, worse than the RR. Anyway luckily we were all hired by Renzenberger, but you never know, our worst fear could be realized next April, as this company may be back in the picture.

Skeeter
El Centro

P.S. to answer your question if a driver goes dead, first shame on him for putting himself in that position. In California it is 10 hours driving time, and 5 hours waiting time for a total of 15 hours on duty time and then the driver has to go down for 8 hours rest. It is the drivers responsibility not to put themself in a position to go over DOT hours, as the fines by DOT are pretty stiff.



Date: 09/20/05 03:26
Re: new
Author: DutchDoor

LCW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> on the positive side, who ever takes over will
> probably offer jobs to the employeess of the
> former vendor. UP has changed crew shuttle
> companies in chicago three times since I hired in
> 2000, but its still the same drivers. Not many
> people (crews included) now how to get to those
> back woods out of the way areas except cab drivers
> and railfans.

FYI, sentences begin with a capital letter. Chicago is a proper name. "Its" is a contraction and is spelled i t ' s, and "know" is spelled k n o w, not n o w. The third sentence is missing all of it's comas.

I hope you read better than you write,





Date: 09/20/05 05:45
Shame, shame, shame
Author: archriker

From The Trainorders Discussion Guidelines:

2. Do not criticize spelling, phrasing, or other non content errors in a message. Many people are handicapped by their typing abilities, communication and equipment restraints such as a laptop with a tiny keyboard and screen. In addition, people are visiting from other areas of the world and English may not be their native language.




Date: 09/20/05 09:53
Re: Shame, shame, shame
Author: pecosvalleychief

archriker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> From The Trainorders Discussion Guidelines:
>
> 2. Do not criticize spelling, phrasing, or other
> non content errors in a message. Many people are
> handicapped by their typing abilities,
> communication and equipment restraints such as a
> laptop with a tiny keyboard and screen. In
> addition, people are visiting from other areas of
> the world and English may not be their native
> language.
>
>
Not too metion its just plain rood.




Date: 09/20/05 14:45
Re: Shame, shame, shame
Author: PumpkinHogger

Yeh Gesus keap yer pinions to yursef



Date: 09/20/05 16:43
Re: Shame, shame, shame
Author: n6nvr

You just might want to check with the Labor Board if you were in CA, some of those payroll shenanigans might be criminal violations and you'ld be surprised how fast money arrives (SOMETIMES not every time) when a whelcher finds out it's not just a civil problem.

I don't know about AZ though. BTW in CA you are supposed to be paid in full when you are terminated by the employer, no 2 days, no next pay period, but when you walk out after notice. 2 days if you give notice.

Don't know the AZ Labor Code.



Date: 09/20/05 19:49
Re: Shame, shame, shame
Author: filmteknik

"The third sentence is missing all of it's comas."

[sic]



Date: 09/21/05 13:36
Re: Shame, shame, shame
Author: skeeter4810

Several of my California drivers are in the process of filing claims with the labor board as we speak. We were always told that we did not get overtime wages, with Alex's we were paid by the hour, so by law we should have gotten overtime wages for working over 8 hours, and 40 hours in a week, but somehow they got away with this for two years.



Date: 09/21/05 15:26
Re: Shame, shame, shame
Author: pecosvalleychief

filmteknik Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> "The third sentence is missing all of it's
> comas."
>
>

Thank God, we want our sentences awake dangit!




Date: 09/22/05 13:24
Re: new
Author: skeeter4810


Another article was published by the Arizona Daily Sun on Sept 21, 2005 concerning Alex's Transportation.

You can access the website at

WWW.AZDAILYSUN.COM


Skeeter
El Centro, CA.



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