Article 233 of 6897 articles posted under "Denied Claims"


Name: HR 1748 Safe Freight act 
Employed as: Conductor, for 10-20 years
Posted: 21 March 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I would like to begin by recognizing those of you who, in the face of
this global COVID-19 pandemic, are continuing to serve the millions of
Americans who depend on us and the services we provide every day.

If not for our bus operators, passenger and transit workers, families
without alternate means of transportation might not have access to
basic necessities such as food, cleaning supplies and medical
attention, while essential staff in urban areas might not be able to
report to work. If not for our freight rail crews operating around the
clock, many of the vital goods and supplies our communities and
healthcare professionals so desperately need and depend on would arrive
late, or perhaps not at all.

It is impossible to overstate the fact that your dedication,
professionalism, and skills support the very backbone of our country
during this moment of crisis. Not only do we feel a duty to provide for
ourselves and our loved ones through this difficult and uncertain time,
but we are bound by our moral obligation to provide essential goods and
services that our nation must have to endure, and later recover, from
this ordeal.

Unfortunately, we have already received confirmed reports that some of
our members have tested positive for COVID-19. Our thoughts and prayers
are with those members, and their loved ones, who have either tested
positive or are in quarantine. If you or someone you know is having
difficulty dealing with the stress or anxiety brought on by this virus,
we want you to know that Optum has established a no-cost, 24/7,
emotional support help line at 1-866-342-6892. Please share this
information accordingly.

It is unconscionable that in the wake of a national emergency, some of
our carriers have refused to suspend draconian attendance policies that
compel us to report for duty when we, or members of our household, are
symptomatic. Many of those same carriers are neglecting to provide the
proper cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment, and workplace
sterilization that would undoubtedly save lives. Their actions, or lack
thereof, are reminiscent of the railroad companies’ safety policies of
more than a century ago, where they viewed such matters as the workers’
responsibility to fend for themselves, and they made the bare minimum
effort by issuing stern, authoritarian warnings. We firmly believe
history will not look kindly on these carriers. The good news is a few
carriers are actually leading the way and setting the bar at
“unbelievable levels,” as reported by Long Island Railroad General
Chairperson Anthony Simon. We hope others will soon follow.

As a result of the above, and as you can see in links to correspondence
provided below, we have turned to our lawmakers and regulatory agencies
with authority to mandate the workplace protections we so desperately
expect and deserve. In his letter dated March 11, 2020, Ronald Batory,
Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, claims that, “FRA
has been monitoring this issue closely and confers regularly on its
impacts with railroad service providers….” [emphasis added]. Further,
Mr. Batory advised that… “[t]he Administration has taken a
whole-of-government approach which has paved the way for a
whole-of-America response….” If you find this response as abhorrent as
we do, then perhaps you may join us in seeking further clarification
from Mr. Batory by calling his office at (202) 493-6014.

On March 18, 2020, we made similar demands on behalf of our bus members
in a letter addressed to Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. While we have yet to
receive a response from Mr. Martinez, it may help if we call his office
at (202) 366-4000 and voice our concerns.

Our National Legislative Department, in conjunction with the
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO and other rail labor
Organizations, have been on Capitol Hill relentlessly demanding many of
these same protections. Through this conduit, we are doing everything we
can to ensure that Congress will not overlook the rail industry and its
employees when legislation is introduced to provide relief to those
affected by COVID-19. Likewise, our General Committees of Adjustment
and State Legislative Boards have been working tirelessly to apply
similar pressure to individual carriers, state and local lawmakers, and
regulatory agencies.

To assist our Legislative Department and General Committees in their
efforts, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your
representatives. It is more important than ever to draw their attention
to the fact that our employers and policymakers are relinquishing their
duties to act as responsible corporate citizens and government
agencies. If you are not already aware, you may find your
representatives’ contact information by simply entering your address
and zip code in the “Find Your Elected Officials” field at the bottom
of the following webpage:

In addition to the above efforts, we have participated in numerous
conference calls and meetings to directly address and escalate these
matters with members of management, Congress, and regulatory
authorities. As you might imagine, the discourse in some of these
conversations would not be appropriate for sharing verbatim.
Nonetheless, you should rest assured they know exactly where we stand,
and what we expect.

Now more than ever, I am honored and humbled to serve as your
President. I have an immense sense of pride and respect for all of you
who continue to place yourselves in harm’s way, doing what many are not
capable of doing. Please accept this letter as my personal commitment
that your union will not cease or slow its efforts until we procure the
workplace safety and security we deserve.

As things develop, we will be posting updates to our website and social
media pages, and sending email communications directly to those of you
who subscribe.

With optimism that our collective perseverance and courage will guide
us through this trying time, and with my sincerest gratitude for your
continued support, I remain

Fraternally yours,

 The safe freight act   Stay strong stay healthy keep the two person
crew alive and going

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