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Western Railroad Discussion > BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority


Date: 01/13/22 18:15
BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: GenePoon

See image




Date: 01/13/22 19:11
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: DevalDragon

It's amazing how many other unionized Class I railroads have implemented attendance policies and the unions have remained silent. What's different about BNSF's that has the unions concerned?



Date: 01/13/22 19:50
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: pdt

If the policy is a violation of the BNSF contract, thats pretty straight forward.    Other RR's have different contracts, and other things negotiated in side letters.



Date: 01/13/22 20:16
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: PHall

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's amazing how many other unionized Class I
> railroads have implemented attendance policies and
> the unions have remained silent. What's different
> about BNSF's that has the unions concerned?

That BNSF has pushed the envelope a bit too far. Far enough to get a reaction.



Date: 01/13/22 20:17
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: DevalDragon

I haven't seen a union contract with an attendance policy in it - at least for a railroad. It's normally something the company comes up with and the union turns a blind eye.



Date: 01/13/22 20:18
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: ble692

The unions haven't remained silent. As I mentioned on here just a couple of days ago, the six BLET general committees on the UP collectively sued the UP in court over the UP's attendance policy. The BLET lost and the suit was thrown out, but they did at least try. Maybe others can fill in what other union general committees have done to try and deal with these policies on other railroads. 



Date: 01/13/22 21:20
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: SantaFe

They have literally taken the worst parts of all the attendance policies and combined them into this atrocious monstrosity. Basically the want us somewhere between indentured servitude and paid slavery.

But this gets down to the end game of forcing a false manpower crisis in order to whine to congress to let us do one man crew because we’ve driven all our TYE employees away and we can’t find qualified ones to replace them. All the while we still have people on furlough across the system in various locations.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/13/22 21:23
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: handsignals

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's amazing how many other unionized Class I
> railroads have implemented attendance policies and
> the unions have remained silent. What's different
> about BNSF's that has the unions concerned?

BNSF’s is so egregious and outrageous that it would make Pharoah and his taskmasters blush.

That seems like a joke, but if you took every other Friday off under this new policy, you would be fired in 3 months… for taking 8 days off, when a normal person would have had 24 days off. If you are a union officer and lay off for investigations and union meetings weekly like most do…. you can never pay for the sin of taking a day off. Not an exaggeration, points never get added back unless you can fully devote 14 consecutive days of your life to the BNSF, without union business, FMLA, vacation or personal leave days interfering.

Yes you read that right, BNSF wants to penalize you for taking federally protected medical and family leave. While they would say not technically a penalty, if someone works 13 days straight and takes an FMLA day, they get 0 points instead of 4… that’s a penalty.

Posted from iPhone



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/22 22:15 by handsignals.



Date: 01/13/22 23:26
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: switchlamp

If the guys sould stick together and walk off the job for a week and refuse to return these absurd policies would go out the window. The workers have the power. Getting people to stick together is a big problem. I am speaking from 39 years experience. I hope the workers prevail. I participated in 2 walkouts in my career.

Posted from Android



Date: 01/14/22 03:59
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: Englewood

Where did the company morons get the term "HiViz " from?
I thought the topic was about vests.
Is it like a high visibility red laser dot on the back of your head?



Date: 01/14/22 04:06
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: dcfbalcoS1

                   I have always been amazed at so many signatures that you have no idea who they are and that for most, there are no real letters represented in the scribble. And at most banking institutions, the  employees who deal with it for years know what the scribble is just from repetition.  
                  In this example, only one person has anything close to proper penmanship.



Date: 01/14/22 09:49
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: SantaFeCF7

dcfbalcoS1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>                    I have always been
> amazed at so many signatures that you have no idea
> who they are and that for most, there are no real
> letters represented in the scribble. And at most
> banking institutions, the  employees who deal
> with it for years know what the scribble is just
> from repetition.  
>                   In this example, only
> one person has anything close to proper
> penmanship.

Same here! I work in the rental car business and can have 150 slips or more signed in a day and most signatures, probably 98%,  are just some scribbles, a wavy line, even a few straight lines. I also have to tell the customers to date on the short line next to the short line, I would say the same 98% of the customers I have to repeat to them what date it is, or they ask me what date it is. Nobody pays attention or cares anymore. 



Date: 01/14/22 12:18
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: skinem

In over forty years, I think I've only been out 2-3 days total in those times we struck. Seems like the longest was over the roadrailers. They get a judge to put us back to work
account being 'vital to the country' or something to that effect. And careful gang, for all of you that are thinking 'well at least I'm gonna get some time off!'. It's a trap...if we go out
on a Friday... well there's gonna be most of your 30 points unavailable and then you'll be pulled out of service before ya get to mark back up. Yikes! Never under estimate their
deviousness! Of course this is sarcasm...well, kind of.



Date: 01/14/22 13:27
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: callum_out

Shippers start caring about rail employees when their freight quits moving.

Out  



Date: 01/14/22 20:12
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: Off-pending

skinem Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> In over forty years, I think I've only been out
> 2-3 days total in those times we struck. Seems
> like the longest was over the roadrailers. They
> get a judge to put us back to work
> account being 'vital to the country' or something
> to that effect. And careful gang, for all of you
> that are thinking 'well at least I'm gonna get
> some time off!'. It's a trap...if we go out
> on a Friday... well there's gonna be most of your
> 30 points unavailable and then you'll be pulled
> out of service before ya get to mark back up.
> Yikes! Never under estimate their
> deviousness! Of course this is sarcasm...well,
> kind of.

You guys went out on strike over the roadrailers??? Not to derail this subject, but why?



Date: 01/15/22 10:16
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: skinem

Off-pending Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> skinem Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > In over forty years, I think I've only been out
> > 2-3 days total in those times we struck. Seems
> > like the longest was over the roadrailers. They
> > get a judge to put us back to work
> > account being 'vital to the country' or
> something
> > to that effect. And careful gang, for all of
> you
> > that are thinking 'well at least I'm gonna get
> > some time off!'. It's a trap...if we go out
> > on a Friday... well there's gonna be most of
> your
> > 30 points unavailable and then you'll be pulled
> > out of service before ya get to mark back up.
> > Yikes! Never under estimate their
> > deviousness! Of course this is sarcasm...well,
> > kind of.
>
> You guys went out on strike over the
> roadrailers??? Not to derail this subject, but
> why?
 It was 1986. The carrier didn't talk to the unions before running them. Google Santa Fe roadrailer strike and you can find out more. Cheers.



Date: 01/16/22 08:32
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: engineerinvirginia

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's amazing how many other unionized Class I
> railroads have implemented attendance policies and
> the unions have remained silent. What's different
> about BNSF's that has the unions concerned?

The issue has been fought on the other roads....what has been repeatedly found is that an attendance policy is just that....a policy....and policies have nothing to do with negotiations.....we disagree, but that's where arbitration stands at the present. I wish the BNSF employees extreme luck...because it will resonate to other roads eventually. 



Date: 01/16/22 10:24
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: handsignals

..what has been repeatedly found is that an
> attendance policy is just that....a policy....and
> policies have nothing to do with
> negotiations.....we disagree, but that's where
> arbitration stands at the present. I wish the BNSF
> employees extreme luck...because it will resonate
> to other roads eventually. 

I just wonder at what point does a “policy” become so abusive that we have a right to self-help. This new policy is so oppressive it feels a lot like indentured servitude. When you are compelled to be on call 14 days straight in order to “pay” for having just one weekend day off, on a job that never gives you any regular days off, where even taking a paid day off or FMLA day prevents you from paying back your “attendance debt”, and you have so many years in that finding a new job or line of work is a huge undertaking, you are basically a slave to the attendance system.

An employee who only takes off Thanksgiving, Day after, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Years Eve, and no other days the entire year, would be fired. Most employees get all of these days off with pay, or get double time for working them. BNSF gives you nothing except threats and endless time in a hotel hundreds of miles from your family on those days.

An employee who takes every other Friday off and no other days ever would be fired in 3 months. Most employees get 26 “consistent and reliable” days off in that same period.

These are the kinds of working conditions that caused us to unionize in the first place.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/16/22 11:04 by handsignals.



Date: 01/16/22 17:28
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: Drknow

I raised this point a few years ago when our draconian availability “policy” came into effect. Suppose a farmer hires me to pick apples or pitch sh@t for him. He pays me 40 bucks an hour. Wow, sign me up!

Then 25 years later he declared he is going to have a “policy” where 4 times a day he is going to stab you with a pitchfork. All the civilians say “don’t bitch you guys make so much money 🙄” so you’re supposed to put up with holes in your body because it’s a policy, and the public still thinks it’s 1970 and you have a good blue collar job.

It’s just a policy 🤷‍♂️

Posted from iPhone



Date: 01/17/22 08:27
Re: BNSF General Chairs requesting strike authority
Author: engineerinvirginia

handsignals Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ..what has been repeatedly found is that an
> > attendance policy is just that....a
> policy....and
> > policies have nothing to do with
> > negotiations.....we disagree, but that's where
> > arbitration stands at the present. I wish the
> BNSF
> > employees extreme luck...because it will
> resonate
> > to other roads eventually. 
>
> I just wonder at what point does a “policy”
> become so abusive that we have a right to
> self-help. This new policy is so oppressive it
> feels a lot like indentured servitude. When you
> are compelled to be on call 14 days straight in
> order to “pay” for having just one weekend day
> off, on a job that never gives you any regular
> days off, where even taking a paid day off or FMLA
> day prevents you from paying back your
> “attendance debt”, and you have so many years
> in that finding a new job or line of work is a
> huge undertaking, you are basically a slave to the
> attendance system.
>
> An employee who only takes off Thanksgiving, Day
> after, Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Years Eve,
> and no other days the entire year, would be fired.
> Most employees get all of these days off with
> pay, or get double time for working them. BNSF
> gives you nothing except threats and endless time
> in a hotel hundreds of miles from your family on
> those days.
>
> An employee who takes every other Friday off and
> no other days ever would be fired in 3 months.
> Most employees get 26 “consistent and
> reliable” days off in that same period.
>
> These are the kinds of working conditions that
> caused us to unionize in the first place.

Yes, it's going to come to a head....judges are going to declare it a "minor issue" and thereby try to force arbitration....but implemantion is getting untenable....when we have enough people being hurt by these medeval "policies' there might well be wildcat actions and blue flue. I'm not saying we should, I'm not naming a date....but that may be what it takes. 



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