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Western Railroad Discussion > UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?


Date: 04/04/08 11:47
UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: chilli

This morning about 0530 whilst walking to the break room, I happended to spy a notice posted on the joint KC office bulletin board (under glass, with key access only) from the the National Mediation Board that the train dispatchers on the Union Pacific had notified them that they intended to go thru the organization / representation process to join the American Train Dispatchers Association. It was dated April 1st (???) and stamped as being posted for view on April 2nd. It also said that the carrier was NOT to interfere in any way with the organization process, nor hinder free flow or posting of information regarding the process.

Was it an elaborate April Fool's Day joke (sure looked official) or will the dispatchers of the Yellow Peril be going thru the voting process again? I seem to recall the last vote just 2 years ago or so was against "going union," but not by much and that there was some talk the voting was tainted.

This might be something to watch for those of you that are "dispatched" by the UP folks. If, it's true. Anyone on the yellow team care to confirm or deny?



Date: 04/04/08 12:04
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: SDP40F

I know a few UP dispatchers. They are tight lipped at this time.
All seam to be fed-up with things. They don't want to be seen talking
to the union. Off property that's another matter.



Date: 04/04/08 12:41
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: UP_Engineer2005

I for one hope y'all get it. If goes through up in Omaha how would this affect the dispatchers in Spring, TX? Good luck.

Doug Wooten
UP Engineer
Kingwood, TX MP 21.5 UP's Lufkin Sub.



Date: 04/04/08 12:58
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: WR-44

American Train Dispatchers Association

http://atdd.homestead.com/atddpg1.html



Date: 04/04/08 13:07
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: SDP40F

Hi Doug....
If the dispatchers go UNION then they all will go.
The vote last time was close. With the way their
treated they just might change this time.
RLH



Date: 04/04/08 15:02
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: InsideObserver

As described to me a while back, at the joint facility in Riverside, the BNSF dispathcers (Union) are relaxed, telling jokes, and make OT if on duty over 8 hours while the UP dispatchers (non-Union) are all tense, tight lipped, and salaried (meaning no OT ever).

6 or 8 years ago, there was a vote to see if the UP dispatchers would go Union because the SP dispatchers were Union, and the UP ones weren't. In NMB overseen representational elections, 50% plus 1 of the ballots sent out must be returned or none are opened. If less that this number are returned, union representation isn't instituted. If there is respresentation, it's automatically terminated, the rationale being that it shows that a majority of those polled aren't interested in Union representation. If 50% + 1 are returned, then the ballots are opened and counted. In this UP/SP "A-card" election, as they are called, of 6-8 years ago, the NMB determined that the ballots returned were 5 short of 50% plus 1, so the union was tossed without even opening any ballots. There are a lot of us who hope this won't be the case this time, should there be another vote.



Date: 04/04/08 17:36
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: Lackawanna484

The 50% + 1 has been a sticking point in some representation elections because the company's address file may be a few months to a year old. The envelopes get lost, misdirected, etc.

This is especially true in places where you pick up a paycheck in person, so you wouldn't need to have an exactly current address on file.



Date: 04/04/08 18:03
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: jackpot

And the ATDD may well have been representing the UP if several UP dispatchers hadn't quit and gone to the BNSF, where they became Union Members. The vote was that close.



Date: 04/04/08 21:40
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: OliveHeights

InsideObserver Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As described to me a while back, at the joint
> facility in Riverside, the BNSF dispathcers
> (Union) are relaxed, telling jokes, and make OT if
> on duty over 8 hours while the UP dispatchers
> (non-Union) are all tense, tight lipped, and
> salaried (meaning no OT ever).

Do you mean San Bernardino? Of course there isn't much overtime to be made after 8 hours since the hours of service is 9 hours.



Date: 04/05/08 05:33
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: jackpot

OliveHeights Wrote:
>
> Do you mean San Bernardino? Of course there isn't
> much overtime to be made after 8 hours since the
> hours of service is 9 hours.

Sure there is overtime to be made. LOTS of it if you're union. If you work a job that is not your assignment--time and a half. If you take a call to work on your day off--time and a half.

This is part of the problem at BNSF these days--the company can't find enough qualified people who want to be chief dispatchers--dispatcher supervisors. The contract with the Union states that these managers must be promoted dispatchers, but since they make just a small amount more than dispatchers for base pay, their bonuses have been cut, their medical insurance is significantly more out of their pocket, and they work 48 hours an average per week (for alternating 3 and 4 day weekends, with 2 additional work days "value added" donated to the company each month), can you blame a union dispatcher for not wanting to give up the gravy train of the overtime pay and comp time for the slides and overtime calls (and this is despite unprecedented hiring of new people, which apparently doesn't seem to be putting a dent in the number of overtime moves)? Hell no!

I'd imagine if a UP dispatcher is "slid" to another position that they don't "own" there's no additional pay. And since there's no penalty to the company for putting someone on a job they aren't as familiar with (and thus it could be argued, not as comfortable with and more prone to make mistakes on), can you blame the company for just moving around dispatchers with little thought to to consequences?

Go get em ATDD!



Date: 04/05/08 07:19
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: Spatcher

We are all going to vote UNION here in San Bernardino. We are sick and tired of the crap we get from the MOTD and other dumbass managers. If the UPRR was smart, they would move this office back to Omaha where it belongs.



Date: 04/05/08 08:26
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: WR-44

Spatcher Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> We are all going to vote UNION here in San
> Bernardino. We are sick and tired of the crap we
> get from the MOTD and other dumbass managers. If
> the UPRR was smart, they would move this office
> back to Omaha where it belongs.


They should move it back to places like Eugene, Roseville, and LA.



Date: 04/05/08 10:02
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: ShastaLake




Date: 04/05/08 11:17
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: OliveHeights

jackpot Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> OliveHeights Wrote:
> >
> > Do you mean San Bernardino? Of course there
> isn't
> > much overtime to be made after 8 hours since
> the
> > hours of service is 9 hours.
>
> Sure there is overtime to be made. LOTS of it if
> you're union. If you work a job that is not your
> assignment--time and a half. If you take a call to
> work on your day off--time and a half.

Of course, I said there wasn't much overtime to be made after 8 hours. You responded to an unasked question.

I would like to hear more from Spatcher about what is going on at San Bernardino.

One of my favorite perks when I was a union dispatcher was getting paid 8 1/2 hours a day for 8 hours work. We used to get 20 minutes at time and a half every day because the contract called for a 20 minute uninterrupted meal period and the company wouldn't let that happen.

As a union dispatcher for the Santa Fe I voted against the withdrawal from the ATDA in 1986? However in all honesty, I believe after the dispatchers went exempt the working conditions did not decline during my remaining years as a dispatcher. In fact, I believe discipline was more realistic and administered less often than during the union period. Also, at that time, only exempt employees were allowed into the 401k program and I was able to build up a good nest egg pretty quick back in the 80's and early 90's before I moved on.

I know just about everybody is in the 401k programs today so that advantage from the 80's wouldn't make any difference today. It would seem money would be the main choice for being in an organization or not, unless discipline is a problem.

As far as dispatching and dumb managers go, 30 years ago I used to tell my bosses, Those that can, dispatch, those that can't chief. Nothing ever really changes.



Date: 04/05/08 13:48
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: Lackawanna484

The comment about the uninterrupted 20 minute lunch hour is telling. Under federal wage and hours, this meal could be provided free to a non-union employee by the employer, and its value wouldn't be taxed to the employee. It could also be tax free to a union member, but that would have to be specified in the agreement.

In general, collective bargaining offers a lot of additional benefits to employees in the area of wage and hours, number of hours worked in a 7 day period, division of overtime,etc. In one contract that I know of, there are tiers of OT to assure that everybody gets something in each monthly period.



Date: 04/06/08 00:02
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: InsideObserver

>Under federal wage and hours,

Which are pre-empted by the RLA.



Date: 04/06/08 13:44
Re: UP Dispatchers attempting to organize again?
Author: jackpot

OliveHeights Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>> One of my favorite perks when I was a union
> dispatcher was getting paid 8 1/2 hours a day for
> 8 hours work. We used to get 20 minutes at time
> and a half every day because the contract called
> for a 20 minute uninterrupted meal period and the
> company wouldn't let that happen.
>

Ah yes, the meal period. We used to have a $1.50 meal claim (yea!!!) one would put in for each day when you didn't have "time" for an uninterrupted meal period. Few of us even bothered putting in for it. Eventually, it was taken away in a later agreement.

Now the company caters elaborate four-course dinners twice a week. (pause) Just kidding.



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