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The president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO is calling on the Surface Transportation Board to address "deteriorating service quality" provided by some of the Class Is.
In an April 11 letter to STB Chairman Martin Oberman, TTD President Greg Regan echoed issues raised by the National Grain Feed Association regarding service disruptions its members have faced with Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway Co. and Norfolk Southern Railway.
Regan joined the NGFA in placing blame for the service problems on the railroads' job cuts as part of their precision scheduled railroading (PSR) operating models.
"In particular, NGFA cites that a lack of available crews has resulted in long delays," Regan wrote. "This should come as no surprise, as the carriers have spent the last several years slashing tens of thousands of jobs across every craft, without regard to the impact this would have on the provision, quality or frequency of service."
Regan also outlined concerns about the railroads' "draconian attendance policies that force operating employees to work past the point of fatigue or to report to work while sick."
Last week, the STB announced it will hold a public hearing April 26-27 on recent rail service problems and recovery efforts involving several Class Is.