KCSR Petitions FRA to Perform Mechanical Inspections in Mexico

The Kansas City Southern Railway Company (KCSR) has petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to allow Class III air brake tests currently required by FRA to be performed at the U.S. / Mexican border by American inspectors to be instead performed by Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) at one of KCSM’s inspection locations in Mexico by Mexican inspectors. KCSR maintains that changing the location of the Class III test from the border will reduce damage due to theft and vandalism while decreasing traffic risks to the local community.

The Brotherhood Railway Carman (BRC) opposes KCSR’s petition because the requested relief could endanger the safety of both railroad workers and the general public. Most importantly, KCSR’s proposal does not satisfy the requirements set forth in section 416 of the Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008. The requirements are not satisfied because there is no information confirming that FRA has been granted jurisdiction by the Mexican government to conduct on-site inspections at KCSM’s yards. Without this jurisdiction, FRA cannot ensure that both the Mexican inspection locations and the actual inspections comply with the laws and regulations of the U.S. Waiver cannot not be granted under these conditions.

BRC is working with the rest of rail labor to do whatever it takes stop KCSR’s proposal. But we need your help as well. You can comment yourself. It’s easy to do, just go to https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=FRA-2007-28700 , in the Kansas City Southern Railway click on “Comment Now” to leave a comment on the docket. You can write one yourself or you may use a draft comment available here . You may also reach out your National Representative for further information.

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TCU Convention Begins Today

July 23rd – Carmen Convention

Carmen Elections Show Pride & Unity

Newly elected Carmen Division Officers – Carmen Division President Rich Johnson, Assistant General President Don Grissom, General Vice-President Carl Lakin, Carmen Executive Board Chairman Kevin Loftin and Carmen Board members Robert Keppen and Darren Trieber.

In an show of strength and unity, TCU National President Bob Scardelletti nominated Carmen Division General President Rich Johnson to another term.

President Scardelletti presented a gavel to Carmen President Johnson and stated how the strength of the Carmen division helped President Scardelletti win his first Presidential election in 1991.

“I am proud to say that, at every convention since 1991, Carmen delegates have stood with me,” said Scardelletti

“You help me maintain the confidence I need to keep our union strong.”

“You got my back and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“We have come a long way together and the journey will continue. I promise I will always be there for you.”

In true unity and solidarity Rich Johnson and Assistant General President Don Grissom were elected unopposed by acclamation. Every Carmen Division General officer was elected to office by acclamation.

Rich Johnson said, “I promise to do everything in my power to maintain and increase our membership, improve our wages and benefits and demand fairness at the bargaining table. I will take whatever steps are necessary to secure the best possible future for our members.”

The unity displayed today clearly showed how strong the Carmen Division has become. That strength will flow into the TCU Regular Convention beginning today.

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FRA Denies AAR’s Request to Extend Off-Air Time

In a follow-up to the TCU article published March 8th 2018:

The Association of American Railroads (AAR), on behalf of itself and its member railroads, recently petitioned the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for a waiver of compliance from Federal railroad safety regulations which require brake tests to be performed on a train when it has been off-air for four hours.  AAR specifically requested that the four-hour off-air restriction be replaced by a 24-hour off-air restriction. 
The Brotherhood Railway Carman (BRC) joined with four other rail unions to oppose AAR’s petition for waiver because the requested relief could endanger the safety of both railroad workers and the general public.  TCU is pleased to announce that the FRA’s Railroad Safety Board (Board) reviewed AAR’s waiver petition and “concluded that granting the requested relief would not be in the public interest or consistent with railroad safety.”  In making this decision, the Board noted that “AAR’s request amounted to a request for a regulatory change which would be more appropriately addressed through the rule-making process” and that the lack of supporting data failed “to capture the wide variety of operating conditions experienced over seasons and time periods by representative train sets operating in the United States.” In the absence of “more detailed data demonstrating that safety would not be compromised,” the Board concluded the waiver request was not justified. 
“This is a big win for rail labor,” said Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division General President Rich Johnson.  “The Board made the right decision; a decision which will promote the safety of all railroad employees and the general public as well.” 

Click here to view the decision letter from the FRA

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