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Rail News: Labor

BMWED, BLET survey members to determine rail security vulnerabilities


The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen division of the Teamsters Rail Conference are polling members to identify security risks and promote safety.

As part of a "Safe Rails Secure America" campaign, the unions' officials plan to collect survey data to gain insights "regarding the actual state of security and preparedness of our nation's rail transportation network," according to a letter distributed to BMWED members by President Freddie Simpson.

The unions will use the information to lobby for improved railroad security and preparedness, including "protection of rail employees and the public from deliberate acts of terrorism," Simpson wrote.

"The Bush administration has ignored FBI warnings about the possibility of future attacks on commuter and freight rail lines, and has left railroad security up to their friends in private industry," he said. "Because of our craft's geographical dispersion across virtually every mile of railroad track and every rail yard in America, members … are uniquely positioned to identify many of the security vulnerabilities of our industry."

Union officers are asking members to complete a Safe Rails survey and return it by April 1. Because the campaign hasn't been sanctioned by railroads, members should complete the survey while off railroad property and off duty, Simpson said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/9/2005