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(Trains)   BNSF workers about to strike. With a 37.1% profit margin, I wonder if the whole series of laws that exist to make it nearly impossible for their workers to strike plays a role here   (trains.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Rail transport, Trade union, railroad's new attendance policies, BNSF Railway, Layoff, Weekend, Locomotive, railroad's new attendance policy  
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895 clicks; posted to Business » on 24 Jan 2022 at 11:55 PM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



37 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-01-25 12:03:39 AM  
Plot twist: the union is not protesting against that corporation, they just want to go bowling.
 
2022-01-25 1:02:37 AM  
Isn't BNSF still a privately owned company controlled by Warren Buffett?

See the thing here then is that unlike a publicly traded corp with shareholders that have to be given maximum profit returned to them lest the shareholders sue and win, a private corp can decide that the owner is fine with breaking even or taking a continual loss in one division while making more than enough to offset it elsewhere.

So this would boil down directly to a billionaire, or the people he pays to run this company for him, directly being dicks to the employees solely for their own profit, as opposed to being dicks because they have to be due to the other shareholders requiring it.
 
2022-01-25 1:05:54 AM  
So I read the article that says that they want to change a policy which the union says is a bad idea. Yet they don't explain what the change actually is. Ah journalism!
 
2022-01-25 1:24:11 AM  
Id better sign up soon, i only have 7 views left on trains.com.
 
2022-01-25 1:34:10 AM  

Representative of the unwashed masses: So I read the article that says that they want to change a policy which the union says is a bad idea. Yet they don't explain what the change actually is. Ah journalism!


It's explained in the comments.  The TL;DR version was that BNSF is trying to screw them out of taking time off, including vacation and sick time because they want them on available on call all the time.
 
2022-01-25 1:48:11 AM  

null: Isn't BNSF still a privately owned company controlled by Warren Buffett?


You do understand that Buffett was the CEO of the publicly traded Berkshire Hathaway, and that he stepped down as CEO a few years ago.
 
2022-01-25 3:02:41 AM  

Representative of the unwashed masses: So I read the article that says that they want to change a policy which the union says is a bad idea. Yet they don't explain what the change actually is. Ah journalism!


If you havnt noticed, most unions take their communication ideas from fqux news and use hyperbole, grand yet vague claims, and never, EVER provide concrete details on anything
 
2022-01-25 3:51:38 AM  
"That new [BNSF] attendance policy is a point system that gives railroaders 30 attendance points.
Each day of the week is worth a certain amount of points. To take a day off, railroaders lose the point value assigned to that day of the week. If railroaders run out of points, they are disciplined. Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days."
 
2022-01-25 4:53:38 AM  
Yeah, but who needs days off?  Conductors and/or engineers pulling tons of hazardous materials through your town at 50 mph with no sleep because they've worked 12+ hour shifts for the last 14 days straight to make up for the points they got for taking a shift off to go to their kid's ballet recital, that sounds like a perfectly safe situation.  I hope they strike.  It's not like there are scabs that can drive a train.
 
2022-01-25 5:49:18 AM  

soy chai latte: It's not like there are scabs that can drive a train.


Hey! I have plenty of childhood experience with my Lionel set!
 
2022-01-25 6:14:39 AM  

null: Isn't BNSF still a privately owned company controlled by Warren Buffett?

See the thing here then is that unlike a publicly traded corp with shareholders that have to be given maximum profit returned to them lest the shareholders sue and win, a private corp can decide that the owner is fine with breaking even or taking a continual loss in one division while making more than enough to offset it elsewhere.

So this would boil down directly to a billionaire, or the people he pays to run this company for him, directly being dicks to the employees solely for their own profit, as opposed to being dicks because they have to be due to the other shareholders requiring it.


Dickish behavior by Railroad Management long predates Buffett. They have always considered the Rank and File to be expendable.
 
2022-01-25 6:56:37 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "That new [BNSF] attendance policy is a point system that gives railroaders 30 attendance points.
Each day of the week is worth a certain amount of points. To take a day off, railroaders lose the point value assigned to that day of the week. If railroaders run out of points, they are disciplined. Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days."


Sounds safe
 
2022-01-25 7:40:41 AM  

soy chai latte: I hope they strike.  It's not like there are scabs that can drive a train.


Railroad workers aren't really allowed to strike. They have to go to a government arbitration board and follow their remediation process to the end before they can do that.

And if the remediation board says that the dispute isn't worth striking about? Then any strike is illegal and the President can send in the national guard to bust skulls like it's still the 1870s.
 
2022-01-25 8:17:47 AM  

radbaron: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "That new [BNSF] attendance policy is a point system that gives railroaders 30 attendance points.
Each day of the week is worth a certain amount of points. To take a day off, railroaders lose the point value assigned to that day of the week. If railroaders run out of points, they are disciplined. Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days."

Sounds safe



It gets worse
 
2022-01-25 8:22:13 AM  

soy chai latte: Yeah, but who needs days off?  Conductors and/or engineers pulling tons of hazardous materials through your town at 50 mph with no sleep because they've worked 12+ hour shifts for the last 14 days straight to make up for the points they got for taking a shift off to go to their kid's ballet recital, that sounds like a perfectly safe situation.  I hope they strike.  It's not like there are scabs that can drive a train.


There are. Supervisors and other non union personnel are trained and required to pass the same qualifications as a union Engineer before the contract deadline.

Also, a point system is common in most petrochemical manufacturing and manufacturing facilities. Union and non union.
 
2022-01-25 8:43:40 AM  

Scythed: soy chai latte: I hope they strike.  It's not like there are scabs that can drive a train.

Railroad workers aren't really allowed to strike. They have to go to a government arbitration board and follow their remediation process to the end before they can do that.

And if the remediation board says that the dispute isn't worth striking about? Then any strike is illegal and the President can send in the national guard to bust skulls like it's still the 1870s.


I will never understand the concept of an "illegal work stoppage."

I mean, labor laws pretty much only govern the conduct of employers, not employees. How can it be illegal to opt out something that was never legally mandatory?
 
2022-01-25 9:03:38 AM  

Representative of the unwashed masses: So I read the article that says that they want to change a policy which the union says is a bad idea. Yet they don't explain what the change actually is. Ah journalism!


I mean, it is "Trains" magazine.
 
2022-01-25 9:22:15 AM  
The union says the so-called "Hi-Viz" policy penalizes employees almost any time they take a day off for almost any reason.

So, another employer that doesn't understand that paid time off is an earned benefit for the employee and is owed to them? Sounds typical.
 
2022-01-25 9:25:51 AM  

Scythed: Railroad workers aren't really allowed to strike. They have to go to a government arbitration board and follow their remediation process to the end before they can do that.


Ask the Long Island Railroad how that works for them. It's like clockwork that they strike every 4 years. They get threatened with injunctions and still strike. They get told the fine for striking is like $50,000 a day and they still strike. They go on strike a couple weeks, things get hectic, they get a new contract agreed and ratified, and they go back to work and never pay the fines and never get in trouble for striking.
 
2022-01-25 9:30:16 AM  

radbaron: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "That new [BNSF] attendance policy is a point system that gives railroaders 30 attendance points.
Each day of the week is worth a certain amount of points. To take a day off, railroaders lose the point value assigned to that day of the week. If railroaders run out of points, they are disciplined. Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days."

Sounds safe


One of my friends used to work for a railroad. On his first day at work, he was told "Always remember, on a railroad, there are no small accidents. Be aware of your situation at all times."
 
2022-01-25 10:19:21 AM  
There has never been a time where the workers have more leverage, and not taking advantage of the situation to improve their working conditions would be utterly foolish.

Whoever decided that now is the perfect time to foist an attendance policy that sucks on their already desperately-needed staff should be tossed out on their ass. But they won't, they'll likely get a bonus.
 
2022-01-25 10:39:28 AM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: radbaron: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "That new [BNSF] attendance policy is a point system that gives railroaders 30 attendance points.
Each day of the week is worth a certain amount of points. To take a day off, railroaders lose the point value assigned to that day of the week. If railroaders run out of points, they are disciplined. Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days."

Sounds safe


It gets worse


Check out the sweet benefits we offer... you can't use them but they are pretty sweet to look at..
 
2022-01-25 11:11:12 AM  

wildcardjack: null: Isn't BNSF still a privately owned company controlled by Warren Buffett?

You do understand that Buffett was the CEO of the publicly traded Berkshire Hathaway, and that he stepped down as CEO a few years ago.


BNSF is 100% owned by Berkshire Hathaway.  Berkshire Hathaway is a publicly traded company.  Warren Buffett is currently chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and owner of about 30% of it's stock (based on voting power) and 16.5% (based on economic interest).  (He has not stepped down as CEO.)
 
2022-01-25 12:02:16 PM  
When they can't strike, they can do a lot of little things short of sabotage. Forgot to entirely fill a form, exaggerate a repair ticket, safety issues delay rollout of trains. If the cops and paramedics can do this, they can too.
 
2022-01-25 3:20:16 PM  

Al Tsheimers: On his first day at work, he was told "Always remember, on a railroad, there are no small accidents. Be aware of your situation at all times."


My grandfather was a railroader. Ironically, CB&Q (later merged with GN to become BN) and he retired before the merger with ATSF to become BNSF. In 38 years, his advice about the rules book was: "All of these rules are written in the blood of people who have been injured or killed as the reason why the rules exist."
 
2022-01-25 3:21:14 PM  

Mokmo: When they can't strike, they can do a lot of little things short of sabotage. Forgot to entirely fill a form, exaggerate a repair ticket, safety issues delay rollout of trains. If the cops and paramedics can do this, they can too.


I remember when United pilots were blocked from striking in the 1990s. As repayment, all the pilots would do full-throttle takeoffs and leave the slats and flaps deployed during climbout. Fuel consumption shot up 40% in one month.
 
2022-01-25 3:22:55 PM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days.


Makes me wonder if that's rigged against them. Someone goes in to bang out that two-week straight stretch and on day 12-14 they mysteriously don't get called in to work so it breaks their streak.
 
2022-01-25 3:40:13 PM  

mrmopar5287: Al Tsheimers: On his first day at work, he was told "Always remember, on a railroad, there are no small accidents. Be aware of your situation at all times."

My grandfather was a railroader. Ironically, CB&Q (later merged with GN to become BN) and he retired before the merger with ATSF to become BNSF. In 38 years, his advice about the rules book was: "All of these rules are written in the blood of people who have been injured or killed as the reason why the rules exist."


I'm just impressed that you have trains that actually work, instead of meth'd up truck drivers screaming around the country side.

/RIP snail rail...
//bugger that RIP the sar...
 
2022-01-25 3:45:09 PM  
BNSF Railway is asking a federal judge to block a potential strike by two unions began polling workers about a possible strike over the railroad's new attendance policies, the Associated Press reports.

Anyone else smelling burnt toast?
 
2022-01-25 3:54:09 PM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "That new [BNSF] attendance policy is a point system that gives railroaders 30 attendance points for their entire careers.
Each day of the week is worth a certain amount of points. To take a day off, railroaders lose the point value assigned to that day of the week. If railroaders run out of points, they are disciplined. Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days."


You forgot to include the most insane part of all.
 
2022-01-25 3:58:43 PM  

quo vadimus: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "That new [BNSF] attendance policy is a point system that gives railroaders 30 attendance points for their entire careers.
Each day of the week is worth a certain amount of points. To take a day off, railroaders lose the point value assigned to that day of the week. If railroaders run out of points, they are disciplined. Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days."

You forgot to include the most insane part of all.


Yep, no rolling time period where it ever resets.

At my job, sick leave restriction (put on people for misuse of SL) is for 5 months. After 5 months there has to be a review - if no review or no extension of the restriction for cause, the restriction is automatically lifted.
 
2022-01-25 5:16:34 PM  

Boomstickz: I'm just impressed that you have trains that actually work


The rail network in the USA is very widespread and very efficient for shipping.

i.pinimg.comView Full Size
 
2022-01-25 5:17:03 PM  
soundingmaps.comView Full Size
 
2022-01-25 8:03:57 PM  

quo vadimus: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: "That new [BNSF] attendance policy is a point system that gives railroaders 30 attendance points for their entire careers.
Each day of the week is worth a certain amount of points. To take a day off, railroaders lose the point value assigned to that day of the week. If railroaders run out of points, they are disciplined. Points can be earned back by working 14 straight days."

You forgot to include the most insane part of all.


Well, I didn't forget, it just wasn't in the quote so I posted a separate link that included that bit.

But yeah, the policy means that *at best* pretty much everyone (in an industry where lack of alertness is dangerous) has to pull two weeks without a day off on a regular basis.

/and holidays cost the most points
 
2022-01-25 8:54:52 PM  

mrmopar5287: [soundingmaps.com image 850x477]


that's out of date by now for sure. Canadian Pacific bought out Kansas Southern recently and will be the only single rail company to operate in Mexico-USA-Canada
 
2022-01-25 10:03:38 PM  

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: and holidays cost the most points


As they should. Everyone can't have the holidays off at the same time.
 
2022-01-25 10:40:16 PM  

mrmopar5287: Monkeyfark Ridiculous: and holidays cost the most points

As they should. Everyone can't have the holidays off at the same time.


There are ways to roster holidays other than telling employees "If you want to spend Christmas and New Year's with your family this year, it'll cost you half of your lifetime supply of days off."
 
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