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Western Railroad Discussion > Hi-Viz fallout continues.


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Date: 06/02/22 11:06
Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: Pacific5th

Guys are still resigning like crazy. Yesterday I guess over 100 left system wide but most were people that failed to return after recall. New hire classes are not going well with some busy terminals hardly able to fill a class and in most terminals 1/3 to a 1/2 are quiting before they are finished. One termianl in the NW division had so many quit there class is down to 3 after the first or second week. I've heard several say they will quit if they are forced to other terminals. 

With Hi-Viz if you got in trouble by taking to many days off and went investigation and lost you were "punished" with 10 days off. I guess as of right now that's off the table. To many we're taking there 10 days off further hurting man power so now 10 days on paper is it. Also they are now trying to buy back summer weeks of vacation. So far everyone I've talked with those weeks is saying no way. But the company made some BS changes to the policy hoping that would fix it. Nope. At this point I expect a system wide meltdown this summer. The southern Transcon is already a mess, Seattle/Tacoma is a crap show and many others are heading that way.

Oh and employee moral is the lowest I have seen across most departments including Train Masters I've talked to. Everyone in TY&E is chronically fatigued and pissed off. Doing a favor is out of the question. It's all very sad.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/02/22 11:13 by Pacific5th.



Date: 06/02/22 11:08
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: Bob3985

Where are you located?
 

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 06/02/22 11:12
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: dan

watch them lobby to go to a 1 person crew, claiming emergency conditions



Date: 06/02/22 11:13
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: Bob3985

My friend says that, if in Fort Worth take note, you might make more net income with a higher operating ratio versus less net income with a lower operating ratio.
Driving off business drives off overworked employees.
Think about it?

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 06/02/22 11:17
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: SD45X

Now offering to buy out vacations with a $2500 a week bonus, but you can't layoff that week. Pretty penny to make if you don't want to see home😜 Get your reg pay, vac pay and bonus pay per week🤔😍 Ka-ching 
Sorta getting desperate.
I hear California is losing help as well.



Date: 06/02/22 11:34
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: trainjunkie

It was hilarious at the end of May watching the meltdown when so many TY&E hit their 276 Federal hour cap. Trains tied down everywhere for crews. Who didn't see that coming?

I didn't even really try to hit the cap and I ended the month with 250 on-duty hours. That doesn't include time off at the AFHT hotel either boys and girls. 

VP of Transportation Matt Garland claims we work 40 hours a week and make $137,000.00 a year. God the "college boys" in Ft. Worthless are out of touch.

On top of that the chickens are coming home to roost on the mechanical side after all the PSR cuts they made there. The number of power failures and other mechanical problems causing service interruptions is staggering. Their whole stupid plan is imploding.

Or is it?



Date: 06/02/22 11:44
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: DevalDragon

I've always found it ironic they punish you by marking off by giving you more time off.

What a backwards ass system.



Date: 06/02/22 11:55
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: MacBeau

Years ago a good friend took an administrative position six months before retiring from public education here in California. His first week he was required by state ed code to suspend a sophomore with a solid C+ grade average for ditching two days a week. The kid looked at my friend and asked incredulously, "So for not coming to school I don't have to come for a week?" Point being "backwards ass systems" are endemic to our society. Why should BNSF get a pass? Thanks for shaking that memory free.
—Mac

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've always found it ironic they punish you by
> marking off by giving you more time off.
>
> What a backwards ass system.



Date: 06/02/22 13:26
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: TAW

DevalDragon Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I've always found it ironic they punish you by
> marking off by giving you more time off.
>
> What a backwards ass system.

It's like kicking a kid out of school for ditching school. BNSF's masterminds are in good company.

TAW



Date: 06/02/22 13:40
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: TractiveEffort

There is (arguably) a difference between "time off" and "time off without pay".



Date: 06/02/22 13:57
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: TAW

Back in he 80s, in kinder, gentler times (I never thought I'd say that!), I had a relief Chief job: One Pacific Division, two Spokane Division, and two Portland Division.

With three export grain terminals in Kalama-Longview, one in Vancouver, two in Portland, plus the usual autos. pigs, and commercial freight, the Portland division was the busiest of the three. There was almost never a problem with crew availability on the Pacific and Spokane without any stupid rules. The pace of work wasn't bad, folks could ask ahead of time for time off and get it. The long, double end pools and the predictability of a 250 mile crew district on one side and 170ish on the other made life easier.

The Portland Division was always hopping. 100 mile trips Portland-Wishram and Wishram-Pasco made for lots of doubling and sometimes tripling or quadrupling the road. Nobody was ever forced to work.

My routine was to spend an hour or so figuring out what there was to run, as accurate as possible. Then I'd call up the board man. We'd go through crews in town, how many vacancies in each (three man train crews and a crew that was in town at the home terminal might be short a person or two), how many on the extra board, how many yard vacancies. By that time I knew if extra yard engines were needed in Portland and Vancouver and we'd figure them in. Being a local guy and not an algorithm, the caller knew all the crews, their habits, and what they might or might not be open to doing. Being local, and knowing all the crew folks, the caller anticipated laying off for school functions, anniversaries, birthdays, and such. Then we'd spend a half hour or so planning folks to vacancies. Among the things the caller knew about the guys was who was the richest man in the graveyard and who had turned and burned so much he was going to lay off. We would then jocky people against vacancies with the normally available and the money at all costs guys to run the most important trains. That wasn't necessarily just the hotshots. I already knew what had to get out of Portland and Vancouver to get what was coming in and the yard jobs needed to make it all work. Then we matched folks who would come available to trains. Then finally, the least important trains would get the folks who laid off and were expected back. Sometimes, if the conductor was off and neither brakeman was qualified, we'd take a conductor from the next turn and fill it from its crew. Knowing in advance, we would take a conductor-qualified guy from a yard job and replace him from the board.

The calller called the guys affected by our chess board moves and notified them in plenty of time what was going to happen so they wouldn't have to figure it out from the lineup. Most folks knew what they were doing 8-12 hours ahead.

When the smoke cleared, there wasn't much "holding for crew." so nobody took exception. Knowing what we could and couldn't run and when, I could tell the yardmaster to not waste his engine time on this or that train that couldn't run.

All that led to me using four engineers as a crew on 92 between Wishram and Pasco and 23 Pasco to Wishram one night. All the train service guys were burned out and the caller knew four engineers who wanted to make the trip. He told them to work out who was on what job among themselves. Management either didn't notice what I did or knew better than to say anything to me.

It took a lot of work, but the crews who wanted time off got time off. The yardmasters were happy because there was no surprise of missing somebody on a switch job or not being able to get the extra job for the next shift. The morning report was not full of trains holding for crew, so management never noticed and never noticed the guys who wanted time off being off.

It worked so much better than hi-vis.

TAW



Date: 06/02/22 14:14
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: MC6853

TractiveEffort Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> There is (arguably) a difference between "time
> off" and "time off without pay".


I don't disagree but if I had only 3 days off a month, that difference would matter much, much less to me...



Date: 06/02/22 15:07
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: oneblock

BNSF must not be as desperate as the NS yet. Some districts are getting $2500 vacation buybacks. $1500 a month attendance bonus. Make two months in a row get an extra $1500.



Date: 06/02/22 15:13
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: Pacific5th

oneblock Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BNSF must not be as desperate as the NS yet. Some
> districts are getting $2500 vacation buybacks.
> $1500 a month attendance bonus. Make two months in
> a row get an extra $1500.

system wide vacation buy backs at $2500, 7,500-15,000 hiring bonuses and it's still not working. Word is out.



Date: 06/02/22 16:33
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: ProAmtrak

It's gonna keep getting worse if they don't go back to their old policy, it worked, thing is find the idiots who were abusing it!

Posted from Android



Date: 06/02/22 18:18
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: santafe199

You would think SOMEBODY upstairs at Fort Worth would be smart enough to knock off this bullshit insanity before it’s too late. Oops, too late… ☠️

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/02/22 18:23
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: railstiesballast

I was told by Andy Anderson, at the time the Chief Dispatcher on the SP's Tucson Division, about how this played out in WWII.
Train order operators begged for a day or two off and were consistently told "no, you have to work".
So they would intentionally make a no-risk error in writing out a clearance for a passing train, such as putting down the wrong date.
The train crews would stop their train, back up the RR while things were investigated and the problem was solved by giving the TO operator 7 days off.
Worked like a charm except they had to inflict pain on the operation.
Some things never change I guess....



Date: 06/02/22 18:30
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: portlander

santafe199 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You would think SOMEBODY upstairs at Fort Worth
> would be smart enough to knock off this bullshit
> insanity before it’s too late. Oops, too late…
> ☠️
>
> Posted from iPhone

If only they were in the middle of contract negotiations and could do something to make a change!



Date: 06/02/22 18:44
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: Milw_E70

They have various westbound California bound traffic parked all the way out to Kansas now. The company is going to offer $15k+ incentives for people to temporarily relocate and work out of Barstow for six months. I've been told that the systemwide injury frequency ratio is the highest it's ever been in company history.



Date: 06/02/22 19:48
Re: Hi-Viz fallout continues.
Author: dendroica

It would cost them how many dollars to reverse their stupid attendance policy, vs. how many dollars in hiring and vacation-buyback bonuses and system meltdowns?

At this point it certainly seems like someone at the top is playing a petty power game vs. trying to maximize shareholder returns.



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