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(Chicago Sun-Times)   "We've all dozed off driving a train," says the president of the CTA's union in the wake of last week's derailment at O'Hare   (suntimes.com) divider line 58
    More: Scary, CTA, O'Hare Airport, Amalgamated Transit Union, a.m. Monday, O'Hare International Airport  
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2991 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Mar 2014 at 3:18 PM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-29 12:00:33 PM  
The kind of working hours they're describing are just asking for trouble.

I've had to pull strange hours on short notice for long weeks, but then I work at a desk, not driving a train.
 
2014-03-29 12:27:42 PM  
Two dozing incidents in two months "sounds bad. It sounds horrible in the public's eyes,'' Kelly said. "Each individual is different, and it all depends on what's going on. Come on. We've all dozed off driving a train [or a car]. There's a difference between dozing and falling asleep, in my opinion.''

NO.  NO we all haven't.  Amtrak even has an alerter switch the engineer has to hit every 30 seconds to make sure their engineers don't doze off.
 
2014-03-29 12:36:26 PM  
You're not helping!

We've all dozed off driving a train [or a car]. There's a difference between dozing and falling asleep, in my opinion.''

No we haven't and no there's not.
 
2014-03-29 02:31:51 PM  
Unions are their own worst enemy.

Seriously, don't they have anyone from public relations talks to these folks before they go in front of the press?
 
2014-03-29 03:02:56 PM  
{Superfriends Batman voice}
Soon you'll be PULLING trains...in Jail!
{/Superfriends Batman voice}
 
2014-03-29 03:19:36 PM  
I haven't.

Walker: You're not helping!

We've all dozed off driving a train [or a car]. There's a difference between dozing and falling asleep, in my opinion.''

No we haven't and no there's not.


This guy is an idiot! Don't they have a legal team to advise him to STFU? He obviously has no common sense.
 
2014-03-29 03:22:24 PM  
Yeah, when your drunk or hung over that tends to happen.
 
2014-03-29 03:22:53 PM  
The CTA has to have cut about 75% of their work force in the past 20 years. When I was in Chicago going to college (mid-90's), every train had a "driver", plus another person collecting tokens/transfers and operating the doors. They also had actual ticket/token booths with real people. now they've cut the booths (for automated machines), and I'm pretty sure the driver is the only person on each train.
 
2014-03-29 03:23:23 PM  
That's what the COCAINE is for, idjit!

/humming tune
 
2014-03-29 03:24:21 PM  
The answer to the problem is automatic trains.
 
2014-03-29 03:27:42 PM  
I was dozing while playing Train Sim 2014. Nobody died except the people on the platform I slammed into doing 150 mph.

Everybody's done it!
 
2014-03-29 03:27:48 PM  
He who has never dozed off driving a train, let him cast the first stone
 
2014-03-29 03:28:46 PM  

ISO15693: He who has never dozed off driving a train, let him cast the first stone


*slings a rock*
 
2014-03-29 03:29:03 PM  
I'm impressed by the lapse in judgement that would prompt one to make such a statement.
 
2014-03-29 03:29:32 PM  
Driving a train is about as boring as sitting and trying to be actively involved in watching a windows loading bar. At least when you're driving a car you have to steer. On a train you just fraking sit there and do nothing when you're at cruising speed.
 
2014-03-29 03:31:35 PM  

generallyso: I'm impressed by the lapse in judgement that would prompt one to make such a statement.


Maybe he's in love with her.
 
2014-03-29 03:32:28 PM  

TheOther: That's what the COCAINE is for, idjit!

/humming tune


Casey Jones, you'd better watch your speed.
 
2014-03-29 03:37:09 PM  
My brother's wife said she did dozens of times while conducting the trains
 
2014-03-29 03:39:34 PM  

Russ1642: Driving a train is about as boring as sitting and trying to be actively involved in watching a windows loading bar. At least when you're driving a car you have to steer. On a train you just fraking sit there and do nothing when you're at cruising speed.


Every now and then in Arizona some monster cargo needs to make its way on the highway for hundreds of miles at speeds of 3 - 10 mph. But even with all the police escorts, lights, coffee and donuts, I can't imagine many more painful experiences than driving hundreds of miles through desert at 3 - 10 mph.

http://www.kpho.com/story/25099635/520-ton-oversize-load-slowly-make s- its-way-through-az

A recent example. Must be lighter than the last one they pulled through here since they are being quoted of making 10 mph.
 
2014-03-29 03:39:49 PM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Unions are their own worst enemy.

Seriously, don't they have anyone from public relations talks to these folks before they go in front of the press?


Well, since the dude is union, I'm sure that makes it all ok.  The union will fight for his right to take a few zzzs at work.
 
2014-03-29 03:42:00 PM  

generallyso: I'm impressed by the lapse in judgement that would prompt one to make such a statement.


"We've all dozed off while giving a Press Conference." responded the president of the CTA's union.
 
2014-03-29 03:44:20 PM  

glassa: IamKaiserSoze!!!: Unions are their own worst enemy.

Seriously, don't they have anyone from public relations talks to these folks before they go in front of the press?

Well, since the dude is union, I'm sure that makes it all ok.  The union will fight for his right to take a few zzzs at work.


Yeah, I'm pro-union as a whole, but I'll be pissed off if the union starts actively fighting attempts to fire her, especially since it's the union's job to make sure she is not being overworked.
 
2014-03-29 03:44:54 PM  
Worked for metro north
 
2014-03-29 03:53:46 PM  

efgeise: Yeah, I'm pro-union as a whole, but I'll be pissed off if the union starts actively fighting attempts to fire her, especially since it's the union's job to make sure she is not being overworked.


Some unions operate kind of like lawyers representing their clients. They are obligated to represent their members in the employee in the discipline process.
 
2014-03-29 03:55:36 PM  
I'VE never dozed off driving a train, unless you count my HO model as a kid.

Now driving a car, I've dozed off many times....
 
2014-03-29 03:56:52 PM  
That's what you get for not smoking meth.

/and people wonder why we have a meth problem
 
2014-03-29 03:58:27 PM  
Sounds like we need to get rid of the unions and hire people who don't fall asleep while driving a train.
 
2014-03-29 04:00:35 PM  

DrewCurtisJr: efgeise: Yeah, I'm pro-union as a whole, but I'll be pissed off if the union starts actively fighting attempts to fire her, especially since it's the union's job to make sure she is not being overworked.

Some unions operate kind of like lawyers representing their clients. They are obligated to represent their members in the employee in the discipline process.


Which I do agree with, to a point. It's just borderline unethical to defend someone who confessed to falling asleep whilst operating a fast moving vehicle which ended up derailing and injuring people.

Plus, the union isn't apparently doing its job correctly, if the drivers are being so overworked that they are prone to fall asleep like that.
 
2014-03-29 04:15:27 PM  
 Someone fell asleep driving a train? What's the problem?  It's not like you have to steer the thing. Besides, those airplane pilots fall asleep all the time, and think of all the things they have to do to keep an airliner in the sky.  (Old douchebag trick, when in trouble, throw somebody else under the bus or train.)
 
2014-03-29 04:16:34 PM  
Come on. We've all dozed off driving a train [or a car]. There's a difference between dozing and falling asleep, in my opinion.'"

Uh, no, never. Says something about the culture there, eh?
 
2014-03-29 04:23:18 PM  

efgeise: Which I do agree with, to a point. It's just borderline unethical to defend someone who confessed to falling asleep whilst operating a fast moving vehicle which ended up derailing and injuring people.


Like I said, they are obligated to defend her interests. It would be unethical to put someone who is dangerous behind the controls of the train but if that is the case hopeful that will come out in the process.

efgeise: Plus, the union isn't apparently doing its job correctly, if the drivers are being so overworked that they are prone to fall asleep like that.


The article says the driver had 18 hours off prior to that shift and she volunteered for some of the double shift work. This is a tactic do deflect blame from the union member and try to blame management. It is pretty common to say "What the real problem is we need to hire more workers."
 
2014-03-29 04:31:33 PM  
We have driverless trains in ATL. Maybe O'Hare would like to look into those after this?
 
2014-03-29 04:35:46 PM  

ManRay: We have driverless trains in ATL. Maybe O'Hare would like to look into those after this?


Union town, so rational thoughts are not allowed.
 
2014-03-29 04:38:52 PM  

Derwood: The CTA has to have cut about 75% of their work force in the past 20 years. When I was in Chicago going to college (mid-90's), every train had a "driver", plus another person collecting tokens/transfers and operating the doors. They also had actual ticket/token booths with real people. now they've cut the booths (for automated machines), and I'm pretty sure the driver is the only person on each train.


Which would be a valid point regarding falling asleep in this case if  ticket boot operators and door operators were also driving the train. . But they were not they were merely replace by technology.


Now are the drivers working unsafer hours?  If so how much of this Over Time (Extra board) is something the employees/union actual want?

I have worked some places where the employee thought OT was a right and they had it built into their household budget.  They got extremely pissed when the OT was not available.



Judging form the way things were run back in2012 the Union wanted all the OT they could get.


Runaway overtime spending at CTA

"Some people at CTA are picky about the type of work they do and the hours they work," said Hubbard, a rail service supervisor. "Not me. Overtime is something I sought, and I took any piece of work available."


It paid off - and will keep paying off for Hubbard into the future. Not only did she receive more than $436,000 in overtime pay since 2005, but her pension checks will balloon by more than $46,000 each year because of a unique perk long ago negotiated into CTA contracts."

"Hubbard, a 26-year CTA employee, stands to receive an annual pension of $87,310 instead of a pension totaling $40,459 resulting solely from her base salary, CTA records show"

Among all the public agencies in Illinois, only at the CTA can employees boost their pensions with overtime - a practice that has been in place since at least 1965, according to CTA officials.

"Thanks to overtime, the top-earning bus operator received a total of $132,268 in 2010, which included $68,877 in overtime to more than double his base pay of $59,580, records indicate."

"The existing contract also requires that CTA ironworkers be driven around by Teamsters, who receive the "me-too" overtime wage when the ironworkers are on overtime even if the driver hasn't yet worked 40 hours. The chauffeurs each received an average of more than $43,000 in overtime in 2010, records show."

"Senior bus and rail operators who have first choice over picking their schedules often take advantage of additional overtime opportunities that require little or no work, officials said

For instance, employees with seniority frequently volunteer for the "extraboard," which is a list of hundreds of bus and train operators who are on paid standby to fill in for employees who call in sick."
 
2014-03-29 04:55:49 PM  

hasty ambush: Derwood: The CTA has to have cut about 75% of their work force in the past 20 years. When I was in Chicago going to college (mid-90's), every train had a "driver", plus another person collecting tokens/transfers and operating the doors. They also had actual ticket/token booths with real people. now they've cut the booths (for automated machines), and I'm pretty sure the driver is the only person on each train.

Which would be a valid point regarding falling asleep in this case if  ticket boot operators and door operators were also driving the train. . But they were not they were merely replace by technology.



The point is that it doesn't surprise me that they are overworking the drivers considering they've cut so much labor. Clearly they could hire more drivers and have everyone work less hours, but that would make sense
 
2014-03-29 04:58:41 PM  
Not really surprised. The company I work for also operates a bus line (tour buses). The drivers work literally insane hours, often over federal limits. I do not at all understand why none of the buses have yet crashed in a firey blaze and made the news. The drivers are chronically sleep deprived.

Now, in the CTA case a union should have prevented this. Perhaps they were so ineffective at getting pay that the employees wanted longer hours - I know my company offered to pay for every hour but at very low rates, which the employees turned down (they now have unpaid breaks between runs, which is a big part of why the company hasn't been caught yet). Obviously this was a ploy to get the employees to voluntarily stick the shaft up their asses, and obviously it worked.
 
2014-03-29 04:59:23 PM  
If you pay a worker double because of overtime, you could also hire another worker and get more hours out of your money.

/but that would be a rational approach
 
2014-03-29 05:00:06 PM  
"Hubbard, a 26-year CTA employee, stands to receive an annual pension of $87,310 instead of a pension totaling $40,459 resulting solely from her base salary, CTA records show"

Among all the public agencies in Illinois, only at the CTA can employees boost their pensions with overtime - a practice that has been in place since at least 1965, according to CTA officials.


You know what, I'm okay with this - I mean, driving CTA busses is very hard and sometimes even dangerous work... if they were able to negotiate a sweet retirement, they earned it.
 
2014-03-29 05:01:18 PM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Seriously, don't they have anyone from public relations talks to these folks before they go in front of the press?


Well, they used to, but ...he got a job offer he couldn't refuse...
 
2014-03-29 05:12:57 PM  

efgeise: glassa: IamKaiserSoze!!!: Unions are their own worst enemy.

Seriously, don't they have anyone from public relations talks to these folks before they go in front of the press?

Well, since the dude is union, I'm sure that makes it all ok.  The union will fight for his right to take a few zzzs at work.

Yeah, I'm pro-union as a whole, but I'll be pissed off if the union starts actively fighting attempts to fire her, especially since it's the union's job to make sure she is not being overworked.


In the comments section it states she was off for 18 hours before her shift.
 
2014-03-29 05:30:42 PM  

hasty ambush: If so how much of this Over Time (Extra board) is something the employees/union actual want?


If it's something employees are motivated to do but has the potential to be dangerous, it's management's duty to mitigate that risk. Just like we expect in any other situation -- if there's a door that leads to certain death, it must be locked and labeled.

I understand the situation is complicated because access to overtime is a point of negotiation with the union/employees, and I'm sure there's plenty of blame to go around. But the fact remains that management could enforce maximum work periods and minimum rest periods, just like most other transport employers do (sometimes as a matter of law).
 
2014-03-29 05:39:21 PM  

generallyso: I'm impressed by the lapse in judgement that would prompt one to make such a statement.


It happens at work.  People here in my office make 100k and they literally biatch about having to do any work, because, well a year from now, the contract might end.   I can't comment on race and sex.  Any normal person would be sucking any dick to get such a high paying job requiring no job skills.
 
2014-03-29 05:46:25 PM  

IamKaiserSoze!!!: Unions are their own worst enemy.

Seriously, don't they have anyone from public relations talks to these folks before they go in front of the press?


Unions are the reason these rail cars aren't driven by computers.   Like the monorail at Disney.
 
2014-03-29 05:46:46 PM  

zimbomba63: ManRay: We have driverless trains in ATL. Maybe O'Hare would like to look into those after this?

Union town, so rational thoughts are not allowed.


No. The train line runs to many stops above and below ground. Some of which are close to 100 years old if not more. While some can be retrofitted to allow automated trains fairly easily and cheaply, others would be very expensive and may require completely rebuilding the station.

So it seems that your mind isn't the one that allows rational thoughts when there is a chance to bash unions.
 
2014-03-29 05:51:33 PM  

hasty ambush: "The existing contract also requires that CTA ironworkers be driven around by Teamsters, who receive the "me-too" overtime wage when the ironworkers are on overtime even if the driver hasn't yet worked 40 hours.


WTF is this shiat.

A city council, working for the best interest of the city, agreed to this?
 
2014-03-29 05:55:16 PM  

Nutsac_Jim: A city council, working for the best interest of the city, agreed to this?


img.fark.net
 
2014-03-29 06:20:54 PM  
I dozed off driving a train once. The guy behind me went ahead and took his turn before I could wake up.
 
2014-03-29 06:46:55 PM  
I haven't, but I know what's going on my bucket list.
 
2014-03-29 06:53:48 PM  
The worlds smallest violin is playing for your 55.7 hour work week.
 
2014-03-29 07:24:13 PM  

jaylabs: The worlds smallest violin is playing for your 55.7 hour work week.


LOL +1

Some people just can't handle actual work, I guess this is why someone created "Welfare".
 
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