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Season 4, Episode 174

TCU/IAM fighting for rail safety and more Carmen on the railways



Guest Name:

Dave Arouca

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National Legislative Director for the Transportation Communications Union/International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Dave Arouca, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about rail safety under the Precision Scheduled Railroading model. Arouca also discussed the landmark hearing on freight commerce and the push for new railroad regulatory rules.

The TCU/IAM is an independent branch of the Machinists Union, representing several different crafts of the railroad industry. One of the more critical crafts is the Carmen who conduct the safety inspections on the rail line and cars. Since the implementation of Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), the revolutionary operating model has proven to be anything but reliable. There have been many issues with precision and timeliness, and that has greatly degraded the service for customers, Arouca said.

There was a landmark hearing held regarding the freight commerce in the shipping industry earlier this year. The hearing focused on the crisis impacting the supply chain. The railroads had trimmed workforce and limited teams of workers on the lines and doing safety checks. In the previous couple of years, there's been nearly 40 percent decrease in headcount, which is unheard of in any industry. Arouca points to a documentary called “Fault Lines” that explains why the rail lines are cutting the workers doing safety checks.

Currently two Ohio senators are leading the push for a new regulatory bill that would increase constraints on the railroad industry. They are just shy of securing the needed votes for passing through the House of Representatives, Arouca said. With more public support and solidarity, he feels that could create enough push to get the bill through the House. Getting the bill through the Senate is another concern, but Arouca has faith that if they can get it through the House, the Senate will be easier.

To hear more on rail safety, please listen to the show above.


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Auto Workers, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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