What has the union done for me and why is it important to me? - 6/19/2017

What has the union done for me and why is it important to me?

                Members, the nature of our society today brings into question; Why do I pay union dues? What are they even doing to help me?

Well, let’s start with a few basics. All of us here in the yard are given overtime pay after 8. We all enjoy 11 paid holidays a year. We all enjoy an accrued paid vacation that is allotted based on seniority. We enjoy medical coverage that is rivaled by congress. We have a right to a hearing before discipline can be assessed. The railroad cannot unjustly fire an employee without allowing the employee a fair hearing where the member is represented by ANYONE of their choosing. I did not know that before going to the San Antonio convention. ANYONE can represent you in a discipline hearing, your mom, your attorney, you can even get Trump to represent you after he is done with his Russian hearings.

                So why, you ask, don’t we hire attorneys to represent us with discipline. Well other than it bankrupting YOUR union, an attorney is only beneficial to employees facing an Administrative hearing. An attorney would be sand bagged by the way a discipline hearing is conducted. There are NO RULES. The hearing is conducted by the hearing officer, but the hearing is owned by you. The carrier is required to present all evidence FOR AND AGAINST the principle. They are also required to provide a fair and unbiased hearing officer to conduct the hearing. We all know that not many hearing officers are fair and unbiased. So you need dedicated people who know your industry in your corner having your back.

                You have a collective bargaining agreement for each property. This property falls under the IGN agreement, and we have members who fall under parts of the T&P agreement. This agreement is mutually beneficial for both the carrier and the organization. These are the rules that govern the way we work on our property. If the carrier violates your agreement, you have a RIGHT to file a claim, and appeal that claim all the way to a PLB.

                Well, you say, I hardly ever get anything paid and when I do its pennies on the dollar. THE POINT OF A CLAIM IS NOT TO BENEFIT ONE MEMBER FINANCIALLY! Is it nice to get something extra on your check, yes. Is that what a local chairman strives to do, yes. But if pushing the claim all the way to the point it may have an unfavorable outcome at a board, it is the GCA’s responsibility to consider the outcome for all the members and if so deemed, withdraw that claim. As I said before, the point of the claim is not for YOUR financial benefit, it is for the protection of the agreement, which in turn protects every member. We previously had a bunch of claims regarding lockers that was a joint task between myself and Local Chairman Daniel Holak. After two years we got $50 dollars a claim per 100 mile claim. Well that’s s…. you say. Yes sir that is s…., and the outcome would be s…. if the purpose was to financially benefit those members who filed time claims. The AWESOME outcome is that a little over one month after the claims were filed, there were lockers on the hill. Drainage in yard claims, another joint task between myself and Daniel Holak. Well, we haven’t seen any money from that yet you say. No we haven’t, I have received word that in July there are 3,000 claims on the first docket to be mediated. That is an idea of the volume of claims through our GCA. We haven’t seen any money from the Drainage in yard claims, what we did see was 2 years ago equipment digging ditches, and refurbishing underground drainage to alleviate the issue. That is the power of your non-service time claim. It gets a knee jerk reaction out of the carrier because it is a potential financial liability. Without your union, the carrier wouldn’t care if lockers were on the hill, hot water in the south bowl shanty, flood waters in the bowl, tie bundles in the walkway, one seat on locomotives, whether or not you had a meal period. The carrier wouldn’t care about your working environment. Well, you say, there are government regulations that also govern some of these things. Yes sir there are. And they were instituted because of unions. A union’s first priority is the safety of its members.

                Many members do not even use the most important position in the local to their benefit. The Legislative Rep. Many people have no idea what he does. He is given equal grounds as a superintendent when he is addressing safety concerns for his members. He cannot receive repercussions for vigilantly protecting his member’s safety as long as he is not vulgar or abusive. In other non-union facilities if an employee attempted this he would be fired on the spot. I just found out that if a safety concern is addressed on the safety hotline the FRA says that it is confidential. In other words the carrier does not have to produce it to a legal representative. That is why it is important to utilize your Legislative Rep. Through his paper trail you can produce an evidence of negligence. I was told this by the DLC Coordinator Anthony Petru.

                The only way these rights and protections work and stay strong is by the participation of the members. It is so important for each member to educate themselves. Attend a local meeting, visit the local website, the general committee website, and the national website and stay abreast on their rights and issues that affect their industry. Without your participation this union will fail. There are many passionate officers, but their power is only bestowed on them by the participation their members have in the local. We talk about uniting, about solidarity, about a brotherhood. Ask yourself, if we decided to strike tomorrow, how many people would be on the picket line? Probably the same faces you see at union meetings. If tomorrow we lost our closed shop agreement, how many members do you think would stop paying dues? That is a battle going on NOW. Well, Nick, even if I stop paying dues the union would still have to represent me. Yes sir they do. Sad fact though, you need money to get things done. Whether on Capitol Hill, or in the freight house hearing room. And the minute we start bleeding our treasury will mark the end of the labor movement in this country. That’s how big this is. That’s how important you are. You are part of a movement that has been going on since the early 19th century. Don’t be the generation that killed it. Be the generation that stoked the fire and overcame insurmountable odds to put the power back in the hand of the working class. Hold your head up proud when you say you’re a member of a union, cause you know your defending not only the rights of union workers but also all those people who talk bad about unions have you to thank for what rights they do have.

/s/ Nick Stone

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2017 HOLIDAYS - 2/20/2017

2017 HOLIDAYS

JANUARY 1 (SUNDAY) - NEW YEAR'S DAY OBSERVED JANUARY 2 (MONDAY)

FEBRUARY 20 (MONDAY) - WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY (PRESIDENT'S DAY)

APRIL 14 (FRIDAY) - GOOD FRIDAY

MAY 29 (MONDAY) - MEMORIAL DAY

JULY 4 (TUESDAY) - INDEPENDENCE DAY

SEPTEMBER 4 (MONDAY) - LABOR DAY

NOVEMBER 23 (THURSDAY) - THANKSGIVING DAY

NOVEMBER 24 (FRIDAY) - DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING

DECEMBER 24 (SUNDAY) - CHRISTMAS EVE

DECEMBER 25 (MONDAY) - CHRISTMAS DAY

SECEMBER 31 (SUNDAY) - NEW YEAR'S EVE

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CALL PAYROLL FOR W2 IF RETIRED OR DISMISSED - 2/19/2017

IF YOU ARE RETIRED OR DISMISSED FROM SERVICE AND DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO A UPRR COMPUTER TO OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR W2 FORM, THEN YOU WILL NEED TO CALL PAYROLL.

 

CALL (402) 544-4729, USE OPTION 2, THEN OPTION 1.

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UTU Political Action Committee - 1/17/2017

UTU Political Action Committee


Give like your job depends on it…because it does.


The United Transportation Union’s Political Action Committee (UTU PAC) is an investment in the future.

UTU members, active and retired, need and deserve good government and sympathetic legislators. That’s because, compared with others, our jobs, pensions and futures are more directly affected by the actions of state and national lawmakers.

We in the UTU must work for and help candidates whom we feel are capable and knowledgeable and who recognize the problems that affect airline, bus, rail and transit workers.

The best way to help elect representatives that understand the concerns of UTU members is by contributing to the UTU PAC.

The best way to have a voice in matters that affect your finances and your family is by contributing to the UTU PAC.

You joined your fellow workers for the fraternal benefits of UTU membership, so why not join them to help elect compassionate state and national lawmakers?

The UTU PAC is federally registered. By law, the UTU PAC relies solely on voluntary contributions from UTU members. Contributions to the UTU PAC are then used to provide financial assistance to the campaigns of federal and state candidates who will work to pass legislation that protects and promotes air, bus, rail and transit issues of importance to UTU members.

UTU PAC contributions can be started or increased anytime, and they are deducted automatically from your paycheck.

UTU PAC contributions also may be made on a one-time basis by check, anytime, by active members, retirees, and all individuals who seek a more responsive government.

UTU PAC contributes to qualified state and national political candidates, regardless of party affiliation.

UTU PAC protects the interests of active and retired members and safeguards laws, working conditions and pension rights.

UTU PAC has well-organized advisory committees in 49 states and the District of Columbia, and an office in Washington, D.C.

UTU PAC has more than 28,000 members across the country. They welcome your support and investment in the future of our great nation.

To obtain a UTU PAC donation form, or receive more information on the UTU PAC, send email to wmiller@smart-union.org.

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THE SPLITTING OF THE HOUSTON HUB AS OF JANUARY 2017 - 1/17/2017

The New York Dock notice the carrier served in early 2013 splitting the Houston HUB into two different Hubs has come to an impasse.

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1969 United Transportation Union "Progress Through Unity" Token Medallion!  NEVER FORGET!

UTU COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL- LABOR HISTORY WAS MADE ON JANUARY 1, 1969, WHEN FOUR OPERATIING RAILROAD UNIONS JOINED TO FORM THE UNITED TRANSPORTATION UNION.  AFTER NEARLY 100 YEARS, MEMBERS OF THE BROTHERHOOD OF RAILROAD TRAINMEN, BROTHERHOOD OF LOCOMOTIVE FIREMEAN AND ENGINEMEN, SWITCHMEN'S UNION OF NORTH AMERICA AND THE ORDER OF RAILWAY CONDUCTORS AND BRAKEMEN JOINED TO FORM THE LARGEST RAIL OPERATING UNION IN NORTH AMERICA.  TO COMMEMORATE THIS EVENT, A MEDALLION HAS BEEN DESIGNED HIGHLIGHTING THE EVENT FOR POSTERITY.  ON THE FACE OF THE MEDAL ARE IMPRESSIONS OF THE CHIEF EXECUTIVES OF THE FOUR FOUNDING UNIONS - THE MEN WHO ARE RECOGNIZED AS THE UNITY ARCHITECTS.  IMPRESSIONS OF CHARLES LUNA, H.E. GILBERT, C.F. LANE AND N.P. SPIERS, SHOWING THE ORIGINAL DATES OF THE FOUNDING OF THEIR RESPECTIVE UNIONS ARE SHOWN.  ON THE REVERSE SIDE ARE STARS DENOTING EACH OF THE STATES AND PROVINCES IN WHICH UTU MEMBERS LABOR AND LIVE.  THE MEDAL IS CONSIDERED UNIQUE BECAUSE OF ITS ORIGINAL DESIGN.    CHARLES LUNA- PRESIDENT

MOTTO:  STRENGTH IN UNITY

VISION:  TO BE THE LOCAL THAT BEST UNDERSTANDS AND SATISIFIES THE MEMBERS NEEDS.  WE WILL EARN OUR MEMBERS' ENTHUSIASM THROUGH CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT DRIVEN BY INTEGRITY, HONESTY, AND TEAMWORK.  

MISSION:  THE MISSION OF LOCAL 1892 IS TO BE THE POSITIVE DIFFERENCE MAKER IN THE LIVES OF THE MEMBERS TROUGH PROFESSIONAL DUE DILIGENCE, ENCOURAGING AND SUPPORTING OUR AGREEMENTS AS WE BECOME MORE CONFIDENT AND COMPETENT WHILE MAINTAINING A HIGHER STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE.

BANDING TOGETHER IN FRATERNITY AND SORORITY HAS BEEN THE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE OPERATING UNIONS THAT FORMED UTU IN 1969.  LOCAL 1892 IS CONTINUING TO BAND TOGETHER TO ACCOMPLISH FRATERNITY AND SORORITY.

BE PROUD THAT YOU BELONG TO THE BEST UNION IN NORTH AMERICA, WITH THE BEST AND MOST LUCRATIVE AGREEMENTS, BEST RECORD POLICING THOSE AGREEMENTS, AND THE MOST EFFECTIVE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT IN THE COUNTRY.

THE LOCAL COMMITTEE OF ADJUSTMENT IS DOING IT'S VERY BEST TO NEGOTIATE ON YOUR BEHALF, UTILIZING THE UTU RESOURCES AND EXPERT ADVICE.  THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL WE HAVE IS AN ENGAGED AND SUPPORTIVE MEMBERSHIP.  STAND BY YOUR LCA AS THEY BARGAIN ON YOUR BEHALF.  THEY'RE DOING WHATEVER IT TAKES.  THEY HOPE AND TRUST YOU ARE TOO.


2017

TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL LOCAL:
COMMUNICATION
COOPERATION
CONTINUITY
COMPASSION

LOCAL 1892 MONTHLY MEETING SCHEDULE

JANUARY 16, 2017 - 7PM

FEBRUARY 20, 2017 - 7PM - - - FEBRUARY 27, 2017 - 7PM

MARCH 20, 2017 - 7PM

APRIL 17, 2017 - 7PM --- 180 DAY PASS UP (SADIE HAWKINS)

MAY 15, 2017 - 7PM

JUNE 19, 2017 - 7PM

JULY 17, 2017 - 7PM

AUGUST 21, 2017 - 7PM

SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 - 7PM 

OCTOBER 16, 2017 - 7PM  --- 180 DAY PASS UP (SADIE HAWKINS)

NOVEMBER 20, 2017 - 7PM

DECEMBER 18, 2017 - 7PM

MAKE SURE YOU MAILING ADDRESS IS CURRENT WITH THE SECRETARY/TREASURER

MEETINGS ARE HELD ON THE 3RD MONDAY EACH MONTH, UNLESS A LEGAL HOLIDAY FALLS ON 3RD MONDAY.

LOCATION: HOUSTON SHEET METAL WORKERS LOCAL 54, 900 W.34th Street, Houston, Texas 77018

Call Jim Boehm with vacation issues.

Call Nick Stone with the collective process for handling both merit (pay) and discipline claims.

CALL DANIEL HOLAK IF YOU HAVE A MANAGER ISSUE, FTX ISSUE, BEEN COACHED ON A RULE OR HAVE BEEN CHARGED.

GO TO CONTACTS FOR PHONE NUMBERS.

 

PICTURED LEFT TO RIGHT:

JAMES BUSHONG, ROBERT MALDONADO, KEITH GREEN, RONNIE MARTIN, DANIEL HOLAK, JAMES SOLOMON, NICK STONE, JOHN VOYLES.  RONNIE MARTIN NO LONGER PRESIDENT.