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Railroaders' Nostalgia > Santa Fe Strike, September 1982


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Date: 02/01/23 17:27
Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Alco251

BLE and Santa Fe management were at odds over something that led to a strike in September, 1982. I can't recall all the details but I did manage to get a shot of Santa Fe Special Agent Bill Townley (l) keeping an eye on three BLE pickets in San Bernardino, Calif. Can anybody identify these guys?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/23 18:11 by Alco251.




Date: 02/01/23 18:55
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: WAF

Strike rotated around. SP went out, BN, CNW



Date: 02/02/23 06:04
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: atsfer

If I remember correctly, the strike was over ATSF running a short crew train in violation of labor agreements so the strike lasted until the train reached its destination....management at that time was more dysfunctional than normal.



Date: 02/02/23 11:50
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Notch7

Actually it was a four day nationwide strike by the BLE.  As I remember, early in the strike some picket lines had to come down because of improperly phrased signs.  On my part of the Southern we had the signs right.  Afer the strike I temporaily became the local chairman for the next 35 years.



Date: 02/02/23 12:49
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Westbound

When that strike hit SP, Union strike headquarters were set up in the Jack London Inn hotel in Oakland, CA, right in front of where the SP’s double track ran, running in the street. I worked as a brakeman and every time we passed by (15 mph speed restriction), 4 or 5 guys would come running out to the sidewalk to look us over and (we guessed) make sure company officers were running the trains, not people hired from elsewhere.

We were effective, but like a windup clock, we were running down and the work was not getting done. But we took special care of certain good customers. As an example, when we switched Hunt Foods in Hayward, their plant manager met us at the dock and we were careful to place each boxcar in the spot desired.



Date: 02/02/23 13:52
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: ts1457

Notch7 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Actually it was a four day nationwide strike by
> the BLE.  As I remember, early in the strike some
> picket lines had to come down because of
> improperly phrased signs.  On my part of the
> Southern we had the signs right.  Afer the strike
> I temporaily became the local chairman for the
> next 35 years.

Yes, BLE Strike, but I understood it to be a selective strike.
 



Date: 02/02/23 16:41
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Notch7

ts1457 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yes, BLE Strike, but I understood it to be a
> selective strike.

The BLE of the that time did not belive in selective or "whipsaw" strikes unless it was a railroad involved in on-property negotiations.  When the strike vote was taken, it was to be a nationwide strike with the only major freight carrier being excluded  - Conrail which was under seperate negotiations at the time.  We were enjoined from striking in July with a 60-day cooling off period, so we struck in Sept.  We were put back to work through emergency legislation.  Other rail unions of the time did utilize selective strikes (BRAC and UTU).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/02/23 16:41 by Notch7.



Date: 02/02/23 17:11
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: ts1457

Notch7 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The BLE of the that time did not belive in
> selective or "whipsaw" strikes unless it was a
> railroad involved in on-property negotiations. 
> When the strike vote was taken, it was to be a
> nationwide strike with the only major freight
> carrier being excluded  - Conrail which was under
> seperate negotiations at the time.  We were
> enjoined from striking in July with a 60-day
> cooling off period, so we struck in Sept.  We
> were put back to work through emergency
> legislation.  Other rail unions of the time did
> utilize selective strikes (BRAC and UTU).

I guess Conrail operating affected my memory.

Though I don't recall the specifics of one of the items BLE wanted in the contract, I think it was something which would have negatively affected the UTU. But when it came to honoring the picket line, that presented no problem with them.



Date: 02/02/23 18:06
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Alco251

Alco251 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BLE and Santa Fe management were at odds over
> something that led to a strike in September, 1982.
> I can't recall all the details but I did manage to
> get a shot of Santa Fe Special Agent Bill Townley
> (l) keeping an eye on three BLE pickets in San
> Bernardino, Calif. Can anybody identify these
> guys?

Picket on the left is Bill Rodgers, who later went to Amtrak and retired from Metrolink.
Engineer in the middle is Mike Castaneda, who later went to PHL.
Engineer on the right is Bill McKissack. 



Date: 02/02/23 18:19
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Notch7

As I recall these were the main issues prompting the near nationwide strike vote for the BLE in 1982:

The proposed agreement had a federal Study Commission to recommend changes to our work rules with respect to how we were paid, our arbitraries, and the scope of our assignments.  I recall it being binding in nature, and the strike moratorium in the agreement may have prevented striking over imposed changes.

The BLE wanted a craft differential for the engineer.  At the time we knew that on-property crew consist agreements would probably happen before the next round of negotiations.  We knew that would result in reduced crew pay for the remaining trainmen.  The BLE asked for a 15% differential.  Again the strike moratorium would affect any self help over wage differential until the next negotiating round.

On some, if not all properties, the BLE had wanted to negotiate parity for all road overmiles.



Date: 02/03/23 09:30
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: ts1457

Notch7 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As I recall these were the main issues prompting
> the near nationwide strike vote for the BLE in
> 1982: ...

Appreciate your recollection.



Date: 02/09/23 13:56
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: sfbrkmn

The SF strike concerning management staff running an intermodal train from Chicago became a stoppage covering of four days in 5/86

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/09/23 15:40
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: ts1457

sfbrkmn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The SF strike concerning management staff running
> an intermodal train from Chicago became a stoppage
> covering of four days in 5/86

Management had to have known that the incident would cause a strike. Why did they do it?



Date: 02/13/23 20:53
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Drknow

Cause railroad management.

Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/27/23 08:43
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Quakerengr

35 year "Temporary Assignment"  Great work there Notch7!.  Thanks for your efforts for the Brothers and Sisters.

PWM



Date: 02/28/23 17:19
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Notch7

Quakerengr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 35 year "Temporary Assignment"  Great work there
> Notch7!.  Thanks for your efforts for the
> Brothers and Sisters.
Thanks for your kind comment.  LOL, I needed a local chairman I could count on too.  I still help out my BLET Division by consulting, doing labor council work, and attending each meeting.  I also continue to put on the large Charlotte (NC) Labor Day Parade.



Date: 03/09/23 21:08
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: Drknow

Notch7 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Quakerengr Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > 35 year "Temporary Assignment"  Great work
> there
> > Notch7!.  Thanks for your efforts for the
> > Brothers and Sisters.
> Thanks for your kind comment.  LOL, I needed a
> local chairman I could count on too.  I still
> help out my BLET Division by consulting, doing
> labor council work, and attending each meeting. 
> I also continue to put on the large Charlotte (NC)
> Labor Day Parade.

Thanks for your dedication and service to the brotherhood.

In solidarity.
Regards

Posted from iPhone



Date: 03/13/23 02:57
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: railscenes

This discussion should create a separate thread. The person asking who is in the photo is referring to a strike only by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. It didn’t involve the UTU trainmen, switchmen or conductors. I vaguely recall there might have been some cross over issues because the BLE wanted a cut off the trainmen’s pay because the BLE thought they also were required to do more work while sitting at the locomotive controls because the train crew size was reduced🤣. Surprisingly on the ATSF they got a bonus for every trip the engineer worked with a short train crew. Go figure?
During the BLE strike I was off duty on a short trip with my family to Chicago that we had taken Amtrak/ATSF Chief to Chicago. So to get home and not cross the picket line we rode a bus back to Chillicothe, IL.
LATER, or some other time, there was a brief strike when the ATSF management served notice on the UTU to eliminate all train crew members and ignored all negotiations then ran the “Road-railer” without any trainmen nor conductors from Chicago. We (UTU) shut the ATSF down. Then the federal mediation process required the ATSF to negotiate in good faith with our union the UTU.
So most of us conductors ended up with a large productivity package at retirement, tax free if in a 401K, and not one penny went to the BLE members. I still maintain that package in investments along with my RR Retirement. I’m not rich but retired at age 60 at 42 years paid up 15 years ago.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 04/10/23 12:17
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: engineerinvirginia

On CSX Engineers get short crew pay on jobs of a kind that existed when the penalty was first awarded. That is any job that when established had a fireman...jobs created without one don't get that pay. Note that it's not specific job, but types of jobs. Yard, Local, Divisional....etc...so long as they originally had a fireman. Don't if this specific strike was looking for that money too or just some coin from the loss of trainmen. Which BTW...if we lose our Condcutors we are going to be coming for more coin. 



Date: 07/01/23 20:15
Re: Santa Fe Strike, September 1982
Author: sfbrkmn

That was the May ‘86 stoppage on SF only that lasted four days

Posted from iPhone



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