Employed as: Conductor, for 10-20 years
Posted: 10 April 2018
You are absolutely 100% right. It goes for the bulletins and notices as
well. If just amazes me the amount of ignorant people who work in our
field who don't know a thing about the rules because they are just too
damn lazy to read the rules and keep up on new bulletins. The notices
are just as important but since we don't have to carry them people
think that means they are mostly irrelevant and not necessary to read.
How these people get through the school is beyond me.
As for the union agreements, reading the entire agreement would take an
entire dya and the unions are notorious for negotiating side letters and
not letting the members know about it. They expect members to find all
the information on their local websites or get it from their LC's.
It's a shame that half the LC's don't communicate these changes like
they should. When I was a VLC I stuck my nose into everything the union
was doing. I believed it was my right and I had a right to know
everything they were doing. The members pay their hard earned money to
the unions to do a service for them. It seemed as time went on the
Unions got this idea that the members worked for them and were there to
make sure they got a pay check. Many times I raised hell because the GC
offices and International were not transparent enough. I eventually was
told that my attitude was no longer appreciated and that I need to step
away from my VLC position. I wish I had accumulated some inside info at
the time to blow the whistle on them but never got lucky enough. I feel
for all members. I understand all of their frustrations. I do not
however feel sorry for anyone who does not pick up their agreement and
read it first hand before spouting off rumors and false information to
another member. There is no place in the RR for laziness when it comes
to your protection under your union agreement! Just pick up the books
and read them and if you don't understand something talk to your LC.
We all know that sometimes it is hard to get ahold of them and some are
notorious for not returning your text or calls. The railroads have made
sure that this is a problem. There should be a Union office in every
terminal that has a rep in it 24 hours a day. Someone you can go to at
any time. Will never happen. That would give the members too much power
and knowledge. If you cant get ahold of your reps then blast the GC
offices with calls and emails. Send your questions to the International
if you have to. Just don't sit on your butts and do nothing then
complain because you were told the wrong info and got yourself in
trouble or were made look like a fool!