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3/21/2005



Rail News: Labor

NS/union committee continues to seek best work-rest solutions



Norfolk Southern Railway transportation and labor relations officials continue to work with general chairmen from two rail labor unions to improve work-rest policies for train and engine-service (T&E) employees, according to NS’ March newsletter.

In 1999, NS officials formed a work-rest committee with Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and United Transportation Union representatives. During the past six years, the committee has developed and implemented a number of initiatives, including assigned rest days, additional undisturbed home rest, improved lodging and more reliable taxi services.

More recently, the committee restructured several traditional “first-in, first-out” pool operations so NS managers can assign jobs with specific starting times and eliminate phoned-in work orders.

“With the Thoroughbred Operating Plan, we have an opportunity to create a lot of assignments where employees can show up for work at a specific time with no more sitting by the phone waiting for a call,” said Bob Bartle, NS general manager-Northern Region.

Committee members also are testing a starting time change from midnight to between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. so T&E workers can get another night’s sleep following rest days.

“It’s vitally important to safety and service that our T&E employees have adequate rest … especially with the significant increases in all lines of business,” said Wayne Mason, NS general manager-Eastern Region.


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