Railroad union fighting new BNSF railroad attendance rules

Omaha, Nebraska (AP) — The two largest unions of BNSF Railway have expressed concern about the new attendance policy that came into force on Tuesday.

A union representing 17,000 BNSF workers told the Secretary of Transportation this week. Federal judge blocks Their ability to solve problems last week.

Officials said Tuesday that they were monitoring the conflict but did not promise immediate action to the locomotive engineer and trainer brotherhood and the transport sector of the International Sheet Metal, Aviation, Railroad and Transport Union.

The union also asked the judge to put the new rules on hold while the proceedings were in progress, but the policy was allowed to come into effect.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport said that the disagreement between BNSF and its unions complies with the Railroad Labor Act, which “has long guaranteed a swift and orderly resolution of disputes between businesses and unions” without disrupting commercial transactions. Said that. The judge said the law in deciding the union did not allow strikes, as this is likely to be seen as a minor issue that must be resolved through arbitration or negotiations.

BNSF said Tuesday that it had tweaked the new attendance rules in response to employee concerns, but did not elaborate on what changes were made. Union officials say these changes are not well underway and policies could encourage additional resignations that exacerbate ongoing supply chain problems.

Railroad states that new policies are needed to secure the workers needed to operate trains, and BNSF says the new system will allow employees to take their place more clearly than the old system. It says it can be grasped.

The union is worried about illness during a pandemic, and BNSF’s new attendance policy imposes penalties on union employees who have taken leave to help represent fellow employees at disciplinary hearings, and by federal law. He states that he will impose penalties on workers for taking a protected family vacation.

BNSF’s policy is “effectively forcing COVID-19-positive engineers who are afraid of work to avoid testing or to avoid staying at home to stop the spread,” the BLET union said in a court document. Stated.

The union also said it would unreasonably reduce the number of days workers could rest due to fatigue and other concerns from the current 84 days a year to 22 days under the new policy. The union said railroad workers are basically waiting 24 hours a day, and train schedules are unpredictable, so they can be called after just a few hours of breaks.

BNSF, based in Fort Worth, Texas, states that new attendance rules require employees to take vacations for vacations and meet non-work obligations.

BNSF is one of the largest railroads in the United States, operating 32,500 miles (52,300 kilometers) of railroad tracks in 28 western states.