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Date: 11/08/19 08:35
Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: tomstp

The basic reason the railroads want one person crews is so they can "remain competitive" they say.  If they get that then they will later make the same argument for NO PERSON crews.
http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2019/11/05-class-i-roads-make-official-their-desire-for-one-man-crews?utm_source=Yesmail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News0_TIN_191108_00000



Date: 11/08/19 09:05
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: co614

Only a matter of when not if that autonomous trains will be the industry standard. My WAG is it will happen sooner than later??

   Ross Rowland 



Date: 11/08/19 09:14
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: trainjunkie

I have a rant about poor execution and deployment of railroad tech in this thread...

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,4897985,page=1

In a nutshell though; The carriers have an abysmal record of deploying properly vetted, thoroughly developed, and properly tested technology when it's used to replace labor. They always make hasty decisions and deploy half-baked tech because they know that once it's out there, they will never have to retreat and replace it with the people it displaced. It happened with two-way radios, line-side defect detectors, end-of-train devices, RCO, distributed power, and now PTC.

But this time, with the level of sophistication that will be required, and the stakes in play with the "last man standing", the unions are going to really have to make it clear that this is premature and dangerous to the public and should be shelved until such a time that the technology actually exists and is proven to be an effective and safe replacement for that person. The stakes will be even higher if the railroads are allowed to start moving LNG in DOT 113 tank cars. Until then it's all theoretical and we are all (rail workers and the public) going to be part of a giant, dangerous experiment if allowed to go forward.



Date: 11/08/19 09:33
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: fbe

Ain't the conductor in a pick up going to be a lot of fun in big city rush hour traffic? What about in winter time with snow packed or icy roads with law enforcement recommending essential traffic only? What happens when there is a snow packed switch which needs to be cleaned out and the conductor is more than an hour away, meanwhile the train may have multiple grade crossings blocked?

A 2 person crew in a 135 car loaded grain train for 200 miles is not competitive with what other form of transportation?

Railroad management is just becoming increasingly stupid and disconnected from work in the field. MBA's running the show with no railroad experience.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/08/19 09:36 by fbe.



Date: 11/08/19 09:57
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: Juniata

This “need to become competitive” with trucks is pretty much complete BS. The average operating ratio for long haul truckers right now is in the mid-80’s to mid-90’s whereas the Class 1 OR’s are in the mid-50’s to mid-60’s. The railroads already enjoy a helluva cost advantage over trucking and they deliberately ignore that advantage in order to shovel more money to Wall Street.

Both Fred Frailey and Bill Stephens have made good points at different times over on the TRAINS website; specifically that the railroad’s pricing model is to continue jacking rates on a shrinking volume of business. This aligns with my personal experience as a rail shipper for 40 years. And this is validated by comments made by both UP and NS on recent quarterly calls with the idiot rail analysts where both actually bragged about maintaining pricing discipline on intermodal despite seeing notable declines in volume.

With perhaps one or two exceptions; the current crop of railroad senior management will likely be remembered as the people who did their best to kill a vital industry.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/08/19 10:50
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: tomstp

Whenever shippers, especially loose car shippers are asked about their satifaction with their rail service, you never hear anyone remotely happy with it.



Date: 11/08/19 12:33
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: 90mac

How can a one man crew or an unmanned train be safe?

Posted from Android



Date: 11/08/19 12:44
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: callum_out

Because in the event of any sort of collision there will be no one board to get hurt,

Out



Date: 11/08/19 12:54
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: HardYellow

fbe Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Railroad management is just becoming increasingly
> stupid and disconnected from work in the field.
> MBA's running the show with no railroad
> experience.


Yeah! That's the way they've been running AMTRAK for many years.



Date: 11/08/19 12:56
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: joeygooganelli

The only mantra the railroad industry strives for these days is money-money-money. They are willing to try and make as much of it as they can without any thought to the longevity of the industry. Lots of corps do that this day and age. If they can't stay competitive making tens of billions of dollars a year, who can? 

This march to automation is happening in every industry in the world. No workers is the goal. But these automated trains don't need the products we move. None of the robots will. Grain? Nope, trains can't eat that. Wood? Computers don't need homes. Automobiles? Computers don't need transportation, people do. 

I could support the railroad wanting more and more out of people if they hadn't already seen double digit asset utilization in the last 50 years. Or the same double digit drops in their operating ratios while serving fewer and fewer customers and communities. At some point, we as the general public have to stand up to these railroads and demand the service they claim to provide. And for them do actually provide for the communities they claim to serve. Rather than just letting them strip mine the money out while not reinvesting.

Joe



Date: 11/08/19 13:14
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: Nomad

joeygooganelli Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The only mantra the railroad industry strives for
> these days is money-money-money.
> Joe

All this railroad bashing going on here. I would remind you all that railroads were perfectly content with not deploying PTC and relying on (mostly) two man crews to move their trains safely. You can thank your federal government for forcing them into changing that.



Date: 11/08/19 13:28
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: joeygooganelli

You are wrong here. The reason PTC was forced on the railroad has more to do with the cuts they pushed in staffing that has caused crew fatigue for DECADES. FWIW,congress passed a law called the rail safety improvement act that was supposed to address the fatigue issue and it has been 11 years since they wrote this and the railroads have been lobbying for them to NOT address this in the halls of congress. 

I'm very thankful that the federal government forced these railroads to implement ptc. THAT was a forceful step to the railroads to try and prevent accidents and injuries they declined to address for years. BTW, the railroads paid $14 billion to implement ptc. That's less than one year of profits for all these railroads. 

Joe


Nomad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> All this railroad bashing going on here. I would
> remind you all that railroads were perfectly
> content with not deploying PTC and relying on
> (mostly) two man crews to move their trains
> safely. You can thank your federal government for
> forcing them into changing that.



Date: 11/08/19 13:33
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: trainjunkie

Nomad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> All this railroad bashing going on here. I would
> remind you all that railroads were perfectly
> content with not deploying PTC and relying on
> (mostly) two man crews to move their trains
> safely. You can thank your federal government for
> forcing them into changing that.

That is true, but a gross oversimplification of the CURRENT issue. PTC was always supposed to be, and described as, a "safety overlay". It's no surprise that the carriers want to leverage it to replace jobs. I predicted this way back in 2008 in this thread...

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,1767930,1768402#msg-1768402

But the technology is barely working now, and not even deployed in many areas, with the deadline extended, once again, until December 31, 2019. If the carriers want to replace bodies with PTC, it had better be a fully evolved, and thoroughly tested version that has ALL the bugs worked out and all the regulatory changes that will be need in place BEFORE they start talking about replacing conductors and leaving only one-man left on a train.

Rail labor has taken huge hits in wages and benefits since the Staggers Act, and at the same time raised productivity over 400%. We should not have to make any further concessions for technology that doesn't even exist yet, and even if it does is untested, unrefined, and comes with too many unknowns until it has been in use for awhile.



Date: 11/08/19 13:51
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: Drknow

Nomad is 100% right. The carriers had PTC shoved up there a## in political grandstanding and the Unions sat there and cheered from the sidelines.... What the hell? Nobody thought the carriers would want there pound of flesh? Bah... smh.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 11/08/19 14:53
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: utwazoo

Drknow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nomad is 100% right. The carriers had PTC shoved
> up there a## in political grandstanding and the
> Unions sat there and cheered from the
> sidelines.... What the hell? Nobody thought the
> carriers would want there pound of flesh? Bah...
> smh.
>
> Posted from iPhone

Railroads have been reducing crew size for decades.  Remember five person crews?   Then bye bye to cabooses and three people in the engine.  Now two.    All this waaay before anyone heard of PTC.  Then there's consolidating dispatching in a bunker somewhere,  with most of the DS crew having little idea of what their piece of railroad even looks like.  Shops, yards, everywhere they can get away with cutting union jobs,  they do.   Just sayin'



Date: 11/08/19 16:06
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: trkinsptr

Well put Allen!



Date: 11/08/19 16:16
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: goneon66

sheer greed as all class 1's do NOT need to reduce crews to remain profitable......

66



Date: 11/08/19 16:25
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: SantaFeRuss

Wall Street Greed. Isn't that the American way???  More More More with Less Less Less.

SantaFeRuss



Date: 11/08/19 19:54
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: Lkirts

They must be looking at an extended downturn, why do this now? Automation tech isn't ready yet.



Date: 11/08/19 20:54
Re: Railroads demands in labor negotiations
Author: spwolfmtn

Nomad Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> joeygooganelli Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The only mantra the railroad industry strives
> for
> > these days is money-money-money.
> > Joe
>
> All this railroad bashing going on here. I would
> remind you all that railroads were perfectly
> content with not deploying PTC and relying on
> (mostly) two man crews to move their trains
> safely. You can thank your federal government for
> forcing them into changing that.

No, the railroads were not perfectly content. Ever since this mandate was ordered, the railroads did nothing to fight it with it’s high costs. They had already planned that this mandate was going to be their stepping stone to one man crews, and eventually automation. They wanted this.



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