Old 03-03-2005, 03:22 AM   #1
Ween
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Default BNSF dispatcher walkout

Anyone have any more info on this (as opposed to what the AP says)?
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:23 AM   #2
Pat Lorenz
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i was hearing about that, i was looking on the railroadforums site, it didnt give clear info though.
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Old 03-03-2005, 01:45 PM   #3
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Around 4:30 yesterday, they went on strike in Texas. I was railfanning on the BNSF at a Metra station, when an announcement comes on the loadspeaker..."Attention Metra commuters waiting ANY inbound or outbound train, all service has been halted due to a BNSF dispatcher strike." Trains started moving again around 5, as an injunction was ordered and the dispatchers had to go back to work.

There were delays of up to an hour on Metra BNSF yesterday.
http://www.metrarail.com/Service_Updates/ It appears the dispatchers are back now.

I'm guessing any trains on BNSF, including Amtrak and any commuter railroads, had to stop or slow down while the dispatchers were out.
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Old 03-03-2005, 08:02 PM   #4
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Just found this article: http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/02bnsf.html

'“I’m a little pissed off at the dispatchers. They could have been nice and given us more warning,” said Ed Banas, of Downers Grove.'

Well, the whole point of the protest was to cause as much confusion and frustration as possible. That's what a protest does. The dispatchers weren't going to say "Oh, in a week we're gonna stop working, so don't try to take the train."

'Colette Ruich, also of Lagrange, added, “[Metra] should have tried to get the word out to the tens of thousands of people who ride these trains. I’m offended.”'

Metra had no idea what was going on, they were relying on BNSF to give them updates, and from the article, it doesn't sound like BNSF had much info, either. How is Metra supposed to tell everyone who rides their train on that line? Call each and every one?

One person at the station where I was railfanning said, "Why can't they keep their trains on time?! Every day there's some delay!" Well, all I can say is that he is an idiot. Metra's OTP is like 95% or higher, and this event wasn't even their fault.
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Old 03-03-2005, 10:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy at station
Why can't they keep their trains on time?! Every day there's some delay!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe
Well, all I can say is that he is an idiot.
As is most of the general public.
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:13 AM   #6
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Does anyone know how many of the dispatchers walked out? I've seen numbers in the news media ranging from 50 to 200, so I was just wondering. I distinctly remember hearing the usual BNSF dispatchers on my scanner here in central Minnesota during the time the walkout happened, so not all of the dispatchers were actually invovled in the walkout, as some news sources have reported.

Mitch Wahlsten
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Old 03-05-2005, 12:21 PM   #7
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The whole shift walked out for about 90 minutes. The issue was a contract dispute concerning personal days. Some desks were kept running with management personnel.
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Old 03-06-2005, 04:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: BNSF Dispatcher Walkout

For those that may be interested in what the ATDA says about the job action against the BNSF, below is a press release issued by the union:

"March 3, 2005"

"PRESS RELEASE"

"Yesterday afternoon the ATDA withdrew its services on the BNSF Railway as a result of the BNSF’s illegal and unilateral change in the Agreement between the parties in direct violation of the Railway Labor Act. As a result, all train dispatchers who were working in the BNSF’s Network Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas walked off the job, after ensuring all safe measures were taken with regard to train movement."

"In the last round of collective bargaining, the BNSF sought changes to the Agreement pertaining to the granting of paid leave, specifically comp time. Those changes were rejected by the ATDA and were not contained in the subsequently reached Agreement. However, on January 1, 2005, the BNSF made a decision to unilaterally implement those changes without obtaining the Union’s consent."

"ATDA representatives held numerous discussions with BNSF in which they advised the company representatives that BNSF’s actions violated the company’s obligations under the Railway Labor Act. “Although the BNSF was given ample opportunity to correct its illegal actions, the Railroad refused to do so,” said ATDA President McCann."

"The train dispatchers returned to work at approximately 6:00 P.M. last night when BNSF agreed to revert back to the status quo that was in effect prior to January 1, 2005, while a federal court determines how the dispute between the parties should be resolved."

Also, for those that would like to learn more about this AFL-CIO affiliated union, here is a link to their "about us" web page:

http://atdd.homestead.com/atddpg1.html#anchor_12920

Also here is a link to a thread on Trainorders.Com about the subject, some of the posts are written by BNSF dispatchers.

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,881115


Jim - Lawton, NV MP 236
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