New hours of service regulations
went into effect in July 2009.
Although the Rail Safety Improvement
Act of 2008 contemplated implementing agreements to be in
place in order to coordinate the new law with governing
agreement rules, the carriers have largely resisted doing
This means that the new regulations
became effective without modification of collective
bargaining agreements on most properties.
Instead, the carriers filed a
lawsuit asking a federal court to permit them to violate
existing collective bargaining agreements with the UTU and
General chairpersons have kept the
door open to negotiations as the carriers gain experience
with the new regulations, and it is still contemplated that
the carriers will come to the negotiating table and
implementing agreements will be achieved.
UTU officers at all levels of the
organization are communicating and sharing their
experiences, concerns, ideas and recommendations for
appropriate handling of the carriers' violations or abuse of
the new regulations.
The UTU, jointly with the BLET, has
commented on the Federal Railroad Administration's interim
interpretation of the new hours of service regulations.
While we continue work to produce a
safe and equitable outcome, members should contact their
state legislative directors for additional information on
interpretation of the new regulations; and their local or
general chairpersons for information on filing claims for
violations of their respective collective bargaining