Labor News

Global: Meet the Coalition Building a Global Union Movement Against Capitalism

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: In These Times
Categories: Labor News

A NYC Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy

Current News - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 11:44

A NYC Driver’s Suicide Reveals the Dark Side of the Gig Economy
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/06/nyregion/livery-driver-taxi-uber.html

Big City
By GINIA BELLAFANTE FEB. 6, 2018
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Photo

Doug Schifter, a New York livery driver, said he killed himself to illuminate how ride hailing services have devastated taxi workers financially.Creditvia Black Car News
Last spring, Bhairavi Desai, a middle-aged woman without a driver’s license and thus an unlikely leader for thousands of mostly male drivers in the world’s largest market for hired vehicles, delivered emotional testimony in front of New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission about the mounting existential difficulties in her field.

The executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, Ms. Desai had been a labor activist for 21 years but she had never seen anything like the despair she was witnessing now — the bankruptcies, foreclosures and eviction notices plaguing drivers who were calling her with questions about how to navigate homelessness and paralyzing depression.

“Half my heart is just crushed,’’ she said, “and the other half is on fire.”

The economic hardship that Uber and its competitors had inflicted on conventional drivers in New York and London and other cities had become overwhelming. For decades there had been no more than approximately 12,000 to 13,000 taxis in New York but now there were myriad new ways to avoid public transportation, in some cases with ride-hailing services like Via that charged little more than $5 to travel in Manhattan. In 2013, there were 47,000 for-hire vehicles in the city. Now there were more than 100,000, approximately two-thirds of them affiliated with Uber.

While Uber has sold that “disruption” as positive for riders, for many taxi workers, it has been devastating. Between 2013 and 2016, the gross

Tags: taxi workerssuicideUber
Categories: Labor News

The UK RMT On Privatization Of Rail, The Attacks On Workers & The Fightback In The UK with Mark Carden RMT Ass. Gen. Secretary

Current News - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 02:48

The UK RMT On Privatization Of Rail, The Attacks On Workers & The Fightback In The UK with Mark Carden RMT Ass. Gen. Secretary
https://youtu.be/TXQEZNyoAsk
Mark Carden, the Assistant General Secretary of the British Rail, Maritime and Transport Union RMT discusses the result of privatization in rail and the attacks on workers in transportation including the health and safety dangers of privatization. He also discusses the growing attacks on working people including the National Health Service and the growing anger in the working class in the UK. This interview was done on February 5, 2018 at the offices of the RMT in London.
Additional media:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZOY7s131js
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-jh0WNiXy8
For more information on the RMT
www.rmt.org.uk/home/
Production of the Labor Video Project
www.laborvideo.org

Tags: RMTRail Privatizationcapitalismoutsourcinghealth and safety
Categories: Labor News

NTSB: Amtrak engineer sounded horn, applied emergency brake in S.C. crash

Current News - Tue, 02/06/2018 - 02:46

NTSB: Amtrak engineer sounded horn, applied emergency brake in S.C. crash

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/ntsb-amtrak-eng...

FILE PHOTO: Emergency responders are at the scene after an Amtrak passenger train collided with a freight train and derailed in Cayce, South Carolina, U.S., February 4, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill/File Photo (Randall Hill/Reuters)
By Lori Aratani and Ashley Halsey III February 5 at 7:30 PM Email the author
The engineer of an Amtrak train sounded his horn for three seconds and eventually hit the emergency brake, slowing the train to 50 mph before it slammed head-on into a freight train near Columbia, S.C., federal investigators said Monday.

The impact of the crash early Sunday was so intense that it moved the empty CSX freight train 15 feet from where it was parked on tracks adjacent to the main rail line, according to Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the crash. The Amtrak train’s conductor and engineer were killed, and 116 others were hospitalized.

Sunday’s crash in Cayce, S.C., about four miles south of Columbia, was the third high-profile incident involving an Amtrak train in less than two months. Last Wednesday, an Amtrak train carrying GOP lawmakers to their annual retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck outside Crozet, Va. No lawmakers were seriously injured, but a passenger in the truck was killed.

The crashes have renewed concern about whether enough is being done to equip railroads with an automatic braking system known as positive train control, which Sumwalt and others say could have prevented Sunday’s fatal crash and one that occurred in December, just outside Seattle.

PTC originally was supposed to be in place by the end of 2015, but after a push by the rail industry, Congress postponed the deadline until the end of this year, with the possibility that it could be extended to the end of 2020.

Authorities investigate the scene of a fatal Amtrak train crash in Cayce, South Carolina, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018. At least two were killed and dozens injured. (Tim Dominick/The State via AP) (Tim Dominick/AP)
[NTSB investigators focus on why switch was set in the wrong position]

Last month, however, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao sent letters warning railroad industry leaders that they must meet the end-of-year deadline.

On Monday, members of the Association of American Railroads, which lobbies for the freight industry, said its members will meet the deadline.

“The railroads are very far along,” said Michael J. Rush, senior vice president of the Association of American Railroads. “All of the (seven major railroads) are going to make it by (December) 2018.”

What “making it” means will vary. The law passed by Congress puts a December deadline on hardware installation, acquisition of the mandated radio spectrum and training of employees in its use.

The law also requires that 50 percent of the system be switched on by December. If the railroads comply with that deadline they will then be required to complete the balance of the system by the end of 2020.

In the briefing with reporters on Monday, Sumwalt said the information about the Amtrak train’s speed and the engineer’s actions comes from the data recorder, which was retrieved from the wreckage. Investigators were hopeful that the front-facing video camera retrieved from the train’s locomotive Sunday would offer them more insight into what happened before the crash. However, it was discovered that the recording ended a few seconds before the crash. A forensics team in Washington is working on the footage, he said. The train hit a top speed of 57 mph before the engineer began to slow it; the speed limit in the corridor is 59.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt presents the ongoing investigation to the media during a press conference at SC Emergency Management Division in Cayce, South Carolina, on February 4, 2018. Two Amtrak employees were killed and more than 100 other people were injured early Sunday when a passenger train carrying 147 people hit a CSX freight train in South Carolina, authorities said. / AFP PHOTO / Logan CyrusLOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images (Logan Cyrus/AFP/Getty Images)
About seven seconds before the end of the recording, the train’s horn was activated for three seconds.

“A lot has been done, and a lot needs to be done,” Sumwalt said. “But I’m confident that our investigator will be able to piece this together.”

He said investigators are expected to remain in Cayce though the weekend.

Amtrak 91, traveling on tracks owned and maintained by freight railway giant CSX, was supposed to pass over the switch to continue onto the main-line tracks. Instead, it was directed onto a portion of track known as “siding,” which was occupied by the parked CSX train, Sumwalt said.

Sumwalt said officials have confirmed that a signal outage along the rail corridor meant that trains had to be manually directed through the area. He said the outage occurred because of upgrades tied to the installation of PTC. Investigators also are focusing on why a railroad switch was locked in the wrong position, sending the Amtrak train off the main line and onto the side track.

Sumwalt said NTSB investigators have also been able to interview four CSX crew members, including the engineer, conductor and the dispatcher who would have been responsible for directing the Amtrak train because of a signal outage along the rail line.

Sumwalt could not say whether the Amtrak engineer’s actions before the collision indicated that he knew the train had detoured off the main line and onto the side track.

[Chao: Rail industry must meet 2018 deadline for installing PTC]

Amtrak trains have PTC equipment, but the freight railroads on which Amtrak trains travel, including the one involved in Sunday’s crash, must install and activate transponders along their rail beds for the system to work.

According to Sumwalt, the Amtrak train was headed south on the main track, as directed by dispatchers with CSX. The empty freight train, which had unloaded its cargo of automobiles, was parked on a side track adjacent to the main line. When the Amtrak train moved past the area, it hit a switch that moved it to the side track where it crashed into the freight train.

Installing PTC is an expensive challenge for the railroads, requiring that hardware be added in 25,000 locomotives and sensors be placed along the railway beds. The payoff, safety advocates say, is that it will help prevent collisions and derailments.

Rush said Monday, that PTC has been implemented on 56 percent of required route miles. He added that 78 percent of locomotives have been equipped with the technology. PTC has also been installed on 72 percent of the track segments required by law.

In addition, 87 percent of railroad employees have been trained in the system.

When the industry appealed to Congress for relief from the looming deadline in 2015, it said it had already invested more than $6.5 billion, anticipated a total price tag of $10.6 billion and needed additional time to put the system in place.

The NTSB says it has investigated 146 rail incidents since 1969 that positive train control could have prevented. The toll in those incidents is 291 people killed and 6,574 injured.

But industry groups have disputed the contention that PTC would prevent most rail crashes.

PTC could prevent only about 4 percent of incidents, said the Association of American Railroads’ Rush. “There are lots and lots of other accidents that are not PTC preventable.”

Tags: Amtrak wreckhealth and safety
Categories: Labor News

Algeria: International unions press Algerian government to respect trade union rights

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
Categories: Labor News

Australia: Andrew Casey speaking for solidarity with Iranian unions

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Tony Brown
Categories: Labor News

UK DPD courier who was fined for day off to see doctor dies from diabetes

Current News - Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:33

UK DPD courier who was fined for day off to see doctor dies from diabetes
“How can modern Britain allow workers who are dedicated to their job to be driven to an early grave by such appalling exploitation?” said Field. “DPD have been told time and again that their punitive regime is totally unjust, particularly as their workers are labelled ‘self-employed’. Such mistreatment of workers smacks of sweated labour from the Victorian era.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/05/courier-who-was-fined-f...
Don Lane’s widow says he was afraid of getting fined if he did not ensure his round was covered
Robert Booth
Mon 5 Feb 2018 07.27 GMT

18k
Ruth Lane with Don
A courier for the parcel giant DPD who was fined for attending a medical appointment to treat his diabetes collapsed and died of the disease, it has emerged. Don Lane, 53, from Christchurch in Dorset, missed appointments with specialists because he felt under pressure to cover his round and faced DPD’s £150 daily penalties if he did not find cover, his widow has told the Guardian.

DPD delivers parcels for Marks & Spencer, Amazon and John Lewis but only pays couriers per parcel delivered. It treats them as self-employed franchisees and they receive no sick or holiday pay. The company’s system of charging drivers if they cannot cover their round has been described as appalling by the chairman of the House of Commons’ work and pensions committee, Frank Field.

Lane had collapsed twice, including once into a diabetic coma while at the wheel of his DPD van during deliveries, when the company fined him in July after he went to see a specialist about eye damage caused by diabetes. He collapsed again in September and finally in late December having worked through illness during the Christmas rush. He died at the Royal Bournemouth hospital on 4 January, leaving behind a widow, Ruth, and a 22-year-old son. He had worked for DPD for 19 years.

Ruth Lane
Ruth Lane, the widow of Don Lane, who was a courier with DPD at its Bournemouth depot. Photograph: Richard Crease/BNPS
Ruth Lane told the Guardian: “There was a constant threat of a fine. They had to deliver the parcels to tight slots and the pressure to get them done was huge. He was putting the company before his own health. He wasn’t able to do his parcels first and make the hospital appointments, so he would cancel on the day.

“He collapsed in January 2017 and they knew that because they collected his van. It was after that Don cancelled three appointments. DPD had a duty of care to make sure he got to those appointments, but they failed in it.” She added that in March her husband had told her: “I think I am going to die.”

Lane’s death comes as concern mounts at the human cost of the gig economy, which accounts for 1.1 million people, many working as couriers and minicab drivers. It is likely to increase pressure on the government to make meaningful reforms to employment law in a delayed announcement on modern working practices expected this week.

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Trade unions last night said the government must crack down on bogus self-employment. The TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said: “The insecure work free-for-all has to end … this will be a real test of Theresa May’s government. Does she even have a domestic agenda any more?”

DPD, one of the most successful firms operating in the gig economy, made over £100m profit after tax in 2016. Both it and Hermes, another parcel company relying on self-employed couriers, are facing employment tribunal claims from people who believe they should be treated as employed.

Field described Lane’s death as “a new low for the gig economy” and called on Theresa May to urgently introduce new legislation to protect “this small army of workers at the bottom of the pile … who are being badly exploited”.

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Lane disputed the £150 charge in July, insisting that he had told his bosses about the appointment months earlier. According to correspondence seen by the Guardian, he told his manager: “I have cancelled so many appointments because I couldn’t make the time to get there that the renal department have stopped treating me. I had to go.”

His DPD area manager replied: “I fail to understand why a full day off was required and as such do not see that the breach [the £150 fine] should be rescinded.”

During the appointment, doctors found Lane’s blood pressure and cholesterol were high, he had anaemia and rising levels of creatine in his kidneys, a warning sign of renal failure. In September 2017 he collapsed into another diabetic coma.

In the days before he died, he was feeling sick and vomiting blood, Ruth said, adding that he told her: “I really don’t want to work, but I have to.”. “They are like employees, not self-employed,” she said.

A colleague, who asked not to be named for fear that DPD would terminate his contract, said: “Don was falling apart, but they wouldn’t take it easy on him. They push drivers till they break. I definitely think they contributed to this. They knew Don was diabetic. They should have looked after him more.”

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DPD said in a statement that it was “profoundly sorry” that it had charged Lane, but cited “confusion” at the time. “Don attended his appointment, but it isn’t clear why he was then charged, when the charge hadn’t been been applied at any other time,” it said. “We got it wrong on that occasion.”

Lane first collapsed on 27 December 2016 and Ruth texted his manager to say: “he knows he has to come into work tomorrow as he’ll get charged”. On that occasion, the manager responded that “he has no worries about being charged”.

“In relation to Don’s poor health at the end of December 2016 and into January 2017, we refute the claim that he was under pressure and threatened with a £150 charge,” DPD said. It said that it monitored Lane’s health during 2017 but did not know that he had suffered another diabetic coma in September. It said he had a quiet rural route with a relatively small number of deliveries, which suited him “as it was convenient for his hospital appointments”.

“In the runup to Christmas, it is normal in the industry for drivers to work additional days at the weekend and Don was working his normal route,” DPD said. “We weren’t made aware that Don was feeling sick and vomiting up some blood at this time. We were shocked and hugely saddened by Don’s death and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.”

DPD said its drivers “do not have to provide the service personally, and drivers have the option of providing a substitute driver in the event of sickness. Don was aware of the need to provide a substitute.” It said if a driver cannot find a substitute, it tries to reallocate the route among other drivers.

DPD uses around 5,000 self-employed couriers. They are under pressure to deliver parcels to restricted time slots, must wear a uniform, hire a DPD liveried van and not work for any other courier company. MPs and unions have argued that these strict conditions mean they are bogusly self-employed and should be treated as employed workers. Courier companies using self-employed drivers, including ParcelForce and UK Mail, have also sparked anger by levying fines if rounds are not covered.

DPD said that it charged fines in 4.6% of the cases where couriers did not provide a service, but declined to say how much it raised because this information was “operationally sensitive”.

“How can modern Britain allow workers who are dedicated to their job to be driven to an early grave by such appalling exploitation?” said Field. “DPD have been told time and again that their punitive regime is totally unjust, particularly as their workers are labelled ‘self-employed’. Such mistreatment of workers smacks of sweated labour from the Victorian era.”

Tags: killing workersstress on the jobhealthcarecourier
Categories: Labor News

Chicago ATU Contract Discussion 2018 going on a contract/strike campaign to force the Chicago Transit Authority to accept a better contract.

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 21:15

Chicago ATU Contract Discussion 2018
going on a contract/strike campaign to force the Chicago Transit Authority to accept a better contract.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phk34Cs9HrU&feature=youtu.be
\
Erek Slater
Uploaded on Feb 4, 2018
This video is a discussion of the Feb. 8th 2018 ratification vote for Amalgamated Transit Unions 241 and 308 in Chicago. Erek Slater, an executive board member for ATU Local 241, outlines a third option for coworkers: going on a contract/strike campaign to force the Chicago Transit Authority to accept a better contract. The views expressed in this video do not reflect the official positions of ATU or CTA. This video is for ATU members to view only.

Please send factual corrections, questions and ideas to trasitworkersunite@gmail.com or eslater@atu241chicago.org

Tags: ATU 241ATU 308contract campaignright to strike
Categories: Labor News

Algeria: ITUC and GUFs Protest against Trial of Independent Trade Unions

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Turkey: ITUC Denounces Arrests of Medical Association Members

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Seattle School union busting bus contractor First Student is no stranger to labor disputes

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:01

Seattle School union busting bus contractor First Student is no stranger to labor disputes
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/seattles-contractor-...
Originally published February 4, 2018 at 6:00 am Updated February 3, 2018 at 5:03 pm
Striking bus drivers for Seattle Public School’s including Ed Dornbach, center (blue jacket) and Larry Smith, right, picket at the First Student bus facility on the corner of Lake City Way Northwest at Northeast 137th Street on Thursday. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)
Striking bus drivers for Seattle Public School’s including Ed Dornbach, center (blue jacket) and Larry Smith, right, picket at the First Student bus facility on the corner of Lake City Way Northwest at Northeast 137th Street on Thursday. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)
Seattle’s strike, which has left families of some 12,000 students scrambling to find ways to get their children to school, will likely surpass Montreal’s and continue into next week.

By Paige Cornwell
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle isn’t the first city to find its school district caught between its striking bus drivers and their employer, First Student. In the past month alone, drivers in Southern California and Montreal, Canada, have launched strikes against the giant bus company over contract disputes.

Both strikes ended Wednesday, one day before Seattle’s began.

Like Seattle Public Schools, several districts in those areas were left without bus service. The Southern California strike ended after two weeks, while the Montreal drivers staged a two-day strike.

Seattle’s strike, which has left families of some 12,000 students scrambling to find ways to get their children to school, likely will surpass Montreal’s and continue into next week. First Student and Teamsters Local 174, which represents the 400 bus drivers, appear far from an agreement. Both sides have said they want to return to the negotiating table, but no talks were scheduled through the weekend.

First Student is the largest school-bus contractor in North America, with more than 50,500 employees who drive 44,00 buses in more than 1,000 school districts. It’s a division of FirstGroup, a company based in England that has revenue of about $7 billion a year, according to the company.

The company is no stranger to labor disputes and other issues.

“It doesn’t surprise us at all that First Student would have all these problems,” Teamsters spokeswoman Jamie Fleming said. “Their business model is based on paying their employees as little as possible with no benefits.”

First Student has maintained that it provides competitive pay and health benefits for its drivers.

“During this difficult time, we are doing everything we can to provide as much service as possible to Seattle Public Schools families,” First Student said in a statement Friday. “We know how important our work is, so any driver who wants to continue to work can certainly do so. First Student remains available and willing to take a call from the union at any time.”

The union members in Southern California who drive buses for the Alhambra, Glendale and Pasadena school districts wanted better pay and health benefits, and had concerns about poor working conditions. Teamsters Local 572, which represents drivers in all three districts, rejected two offers from First Student and then decided to strike, according to the Pasadena Star-News. About 3,000 students in those districts take the bus.

A First Student spokesman told the Pasadena Star-News that the company offered to cover 60 percent of employees’ health care premiums.

In Seattle, the company currently gives full- and part-time drivers up to $1,900 in annual stipends to pay for health premiums. The company’s current offer would pay 80 percent of the premiums for full- and part-time employees as well as 80 percent for the dependents of full-time employees. The union has rejected the offer but hasn’t said publicly what it wants to get. The sides are also at odds over retirement benefits.

In Montreal, 330 school-bus drivers went on strike after negotiations stalled with Autobus Transco, which is owned by First Student. The drivers, represented by a Quebec union, wanted a pay increase and a three-year contract, while the company wanted a five-year contract.

The strike affected about 15,000 Montreal students.

Steilacoom, Pierce County, bus drivers went on strike against First Student in May 2017 to protest their hourly pay of $12.75, which they said wasn’t a livable wage. The drivers, represented by Teamsters Local 313, were only on strike for four hours before the two sides came to an agreement that workers would receive an average of $5 more per hour, the union said. Classes were delayed by two hours.

In addition to the strikes, other districts across the nation have decided to go with another bus provider over concerns about driver behavior, late arrivals and old equipment.

The Shawnee Mission School District in suburban Kansas City, Kansas, for example, changed bus companies last year after concerns about late arrivals. The district documented more than 600 cases in one school year where drivers were late or didn’t pick up students at all, The Kansas City Star reported.

Seattle school district officials have said they had no choice but to hire First Student because it was the only company to bid when its previous contract expired last year. The school district agreed to a three-year contract, worth $27 million a year, through 2020.

Paige Cornwell: 206-464-2530 or pcornwell@seattletimes.com; on Twitter @pgcornwell.

Tags: First Studentunion bustingoutsourcing
Categories: Labor News

Seattle School union busting bus contractor First Student is no stranger to labor disputes

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 10:01

Seattle School union busting bus contractor First Student is no stranger to labor disputes
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/seattles-contractor-...
Originally published February 4, 2018 at 6:00 am Updated February 3, 2018 at 5:03 pm
Striking bus drivers for Seattle Public School’s including Ed Dornbach, center (blue jacket) and Larry Smith, right, picket at the First Student bus facility on the corner of Lake City Way Northwest at Northeast 137th Street on Thursday. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)
Striking bus drivers for Seattle Public School’s including Ed Dornbach, center (blue jacket) and Larry Smith, right, picket at the First Student bus facility on the corner of Lake City Way Northwest at Northeast 137th Street on Thursday. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)
Seattle’s strike, which has left families of some 12,000 students scrambling to find ways to get their children to school, will likely surpass Montreal’s and continue into next week.

By Paige Cornwell
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seattle isn’t the first city to find its school district caught between its striking bus drivers and their employer, First Student. In the past month alone, drivers in Southern California and Montreal, Canada, have launched strikes against the giant bus company over contract disputes.

Both strikes ended Wednesday, one day before Seattle’s began.

Like Seattle Public Schools, several districts in those areas were left without bus service. The Southern California strike ended after two weeks, while the Montreal drivers staged a two-day strike.

Seattle’s strike, which has left families of some 12,000 students scrambling to find ways to get their children to school, likely will surpass Montreal’s and continue into next week. First Student and Teamsters Local 174, which represents the 400 bus drivers, appear far from an agreement. Both sides have said they want to return to the negotiating table, but no talks were scheduled through the weekend.

First Student is the largest school-bus contractor in North America, with more than 50,500 employees who drive 44,00 buses in more than 1,000 school districts. It’s a division of FirstGroup, a company based in England that has revenue of about $7 billion a year, according to the company.

The company is no stranger to labor disputes and other issues.

“It doesn’t surprise us at all that First Student would have all these problems,” Teamsters spokeswoman Jamie Fleming said. “Their business model is based on paying their employees as little as possible with no benefits.”

First Student has maintained that it provides competitive pay and health benefits for its drivers.

“During this difficult time, we are doing everything we can to provide as much service as possible to Seattle Public Schools families,” First Student said in a statement Friday. “We know how important our work is, so any driver who wants to continue to work can certainly do so. First Student remains available and willing to take a call from the union at any time.”

The union members in Southern California who drive buses for the Alhambra, Glendale and Pasadena school districts wanted better pay and health benefits, and had concerns about poor working conditions. Teamsters Local 572, which represents drivers in all three districts, rejected two offers from First Student and then decided to strike, according to the Pasadena Star-News. About 3,000 students in those districts take the bus.

A First Student spokesman told the Pasadena Star-News that the company offered to cover 60 percent of employees’ health care premiums.

In Seattle, the company currently gives full- and part-time drivers up to $1,900 in annual stipends to pay for health premiums. The company’s current offer would pay 80 percent of the premiums for full- and part-time employees as well as 80 percent for the dependents of full-time employees. The union has rejected the offer but hasn’t said publicly what it wants to get. The sides are also at odds over retirement benefits.

In Montreal, 330 school-bus drivers went on strike after negotiations stalled with Autobus Transco, which is owned by First Student. The drivers, represented by a Quebec union, wanted a pay increase and a three-year contract, while the company wanted a five-year contract.

The strike affected about 15,000 Montreal students.

Steilacoom, Pierce County, bus drivers went on strike against First Student in May 2017 to protest their hourly pay of $12.75, which they said wasn’t a livable wage. The drivers, represented by Teamsters Local 313, were only on strike for four hours before the two sides came to an agreement that workers would receive an average of $5 more per hour, the union said. Classes were delayed by two hours.

In addition to the strikes, other districts across the nation have decided to go with another bus provider over concerns about driver behavior, late arrivals and old equipment.

The Shawnee Mission School District in suburban Kansas City, Kansas, for example, changed bus companies last year after concerns about late arrivals. The district documented more than 600 cases in one school year where drivers were late or didn’t pick up students at all, The Kansas City Star reported.

Seattle school district officials have said they had no choice but to hire First Student because it was the only company to bid when its previous contract expired last year. The school district agreed to a three-year contract, worth $27 million a year, through 2020.

Paige Cornwell: 206-464-2530 or pcornwell@seattletimes.com; on Twitter @pgcornwell.

Tags: First Studentunion bustingoutsourcing
Categories: Labor News

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 09:00

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/04/us/amtrak-crash-south-carolina.html?h...
By YONETTE JOSEPH, ANNE-SOPHIE BOLON and CHRISTINA CARON
FEB. 4, 2018

U.S. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER 00:34
Fatal Train Collision in South Carolina

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring at least 116 others. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date February 4, 2018. Photo by Tim Dominick/The State, via Associated Press... Watch in Times Video »

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 116 others and spilling thousands of gallons of fuel, according to officials.

Amtrak said its train, which was carrying eight crew members and 139 passengers, collided with a CSX train near Cayce, S.C., outside Columbia, around 2:35 a.m.

Both of the people who died were Amtrak employees, Gov. Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Sunday morning.

Drone footage of the crash broadcast by WLTX showed the site of the collision.

The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.

The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”

“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.

In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.

It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.

The cause of the crash on Sunday was not immediately clear. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was beginning an investigation into the collision.

The train, operating Amtrak’s Silver Star service, originated at Pennsylvania Station in New York and was bound for Miami. The Lexington Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter that the crash occurred near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Road, close to Pine Ridge, S.C.

Charell Star of Maplewood, N.J., said that her mother, Lynn Winston, had decided to take the train home to Florida after a visit because she thought it would be safer than flying.

Ms. Winston, 57, was in one of the sleeper cars when the crash happened.

“She got knocked out of bed and the luggage fell on top of her,” Ms. Star said. “She’s in good spirits but she’s pretty banged up.”

Officials said that 116 of the Amtrak passengers were transferred to local hospitals and the uninjured had been taken to a Red Cross reception site at Pine Ridge Middle School. The CSX train did not have any passengers on board, Mr. McMaster said.

“We know that they are shaken up quite a bit,” Capt. Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

Three Palmetto Health hospitals in Columbia received patients from the collision, the organization said in a statement on Sunday, including 60 adults and two children.

By The New York Times
“Based on the patients’ conditions, we expect most of the patients to be evaluated, treated and released but some are still being evaluated,” the statement said.

Mr. Cahill said a hazardous materials team had been called to the site because roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel had spilled as a result of the collision.

“We were able to secure two leaks of fuel from the trains,” he said, adding there was “no threat to the public at this time.”

“This is not our first train derailment,” said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, citing a fatal derailment in January 2005. A 42-car freight train operated by Norfolk Southern crashed into a smaller train near Granitteville, S.C., killing eight people, injuring more than 200 and leaking chlorine gas.

“It’s unfortunate that we have two fatalities,” he said of the crash on Sunday. “Our hearts are with those families right now.”

Senator Tim E. Scott, Republican of South Carolina, also expressed his condolences on Twitter to the families of those killed and those injured.

Derek Pettaway, a passenger on the train, told CNN that he had been asleep at the time of the crash, but that officials reacted swiftly and passengers were led off quickly.

“Nobody was panicking, people were in shock more than anything,” he said, according to The State’s website.

He said it was too dark to see much, but most of the cars he glimpsed ended up off the tracks but upright.

Amtrak has had a number of high-profile crashes and derailments over the years, leading to criticism from consumer advocates and government officials. Federal Railroad Administration statistics have shown that in recent years the agency has had an average of about two derailments a month, accounting for about one-quarter of all the accidents it reports.

Most derailments, however, have rarely caused more than minor injuries.

Amtrak maintains that it has been a “safe and reliable transporter of more than 30 million passengers” and that it has a strong safety record. However, after a 2016 episode in Pennsylvania in which a train hit a piece of track equipment and derailed, killing two, it said in a statement, “We need to assess how we can get better.”

Amtrak has also installed technology known as positive train control on parts of its rail network in the Northeast Corridor after passenger trains traveling well above the speed limit derailed, leaving a trail of death and injuries.

In the Amtrak crash in Virginia on Wednesday, two passengers from the truck were injured — one seriously — and hospitalized. Two members of the train’s crew and at least two passengers, including Representative Jason Lewis, Republican of Minnesota, were also hospitalized with minor injuries.

Republicans had chartered the train to carry them from Washington to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the party was holding its annual policy retreat. Several lawmakers who were on the train estimated that more than half of the Republican members of the House and Senate, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, were on board, and that many were accompanied by their spouses.

In December, a passenger train on a newly opened Amtrak routejumped the tracks on an overpass south of Tacoma, Wash., slamming rail cars into a busy highway, killing at least three people and injuring about 100 others.

In 2015, an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring more than 200. A Pennsylvania judge dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Amtrak engineer, saying it appeared to be an accident and not the result of criminal negligence.

Tags: Amtrak wreckhealth and safety
Categories: Labor News

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 09:00

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/04/us/amtrak-crash-south-carolina.html?h...
By YONETTE JOSEPH, ANNE-SOPHIE BOLON and CHRISTINA CARON
FEB. 4, 2018

U.S. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER 00:34
Fatal Train Collision in South Carolina

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring at least 116 others. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date February 4, 2018. Photo by Tim Dominick/The State, via Associated Press... Watch in Times Video »

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 116 others and spilling thousands of gallons of fuel, according to officials.

Amtrak said its train, which was carrying eight crew members and 139 passengers, collided with a CSX train near Cayce, S.C., outside Columbia, around 2:35 a.m.

Both of the people who died were Amtrak employees, Gov. Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Sunday morning.

Drone footage of the crash broadcast by WLTX showed the site of the collision.

The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.

The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”

“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.

In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.

It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.

The cause of the crash on Sunday was not immediately clear. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was beginning an investigation into the collision.

The train, operating Amtrak’s Silver Star service, originated at Pennsylvania Station in New York and was bound for Miami. The Lexington Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter that the crash occurred near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Road, close to Pine Ridge, S.C.

Charell Star of Maplewood, N.J., said that her mother, Lynn Winston, had decided to take the train home to Florida after a visit because she thought it would be safer than flying.

Ms. Winston, 57, was in one of the sleeper cars when the crash happened.

“She got knocked out of bed and the luggage fell on top of her,” Ms. Star said. “She’s in good spirits but she’s pretty banged up.”

Officials said that 116 of the Amtrak passengers were transferred to local hospitals and the uninjured had been taken to a Red Cross reception site at Pine Ridge Middle School. The CSX train did not have any passengers on board, Mr. McMaster said.

“We know that they are shaken up quite a bit,” Capt. Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

Three Palmetto Health hospitals in Columbia received patients from the collision, the organization said in a statement on Sunday, including 60 adults and two children.

By The New York Times
“Based on the patients’ conditions, we expect most of the patients to be evaluated, treated and released but some are still being evaluated,” the statement said.

Mr. Cahill said a hazardous materials team had been called to the site because roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel had spilled as a result of the collision.

“We were able to secure two leaks of fuel from the trains,” he said, adding there was “no threat to the public at this time.”

“This is not our first train derailment,” said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, citing a fatal derailment in January 2005. A 42-car freight train operated by Norfolk Southern crashed into a smaller train near Granitteville, S.C., killing eight people, injuring more than 200 and leaking chlorine gas.

“It’s unfortunate that we have two fatalities,” he said of the crash on Sunday. “Our hearts are with those families right now.”

Senator Tim E. Scott, Republican of South Carolina, also expressed his condolences on Twitter to the families of those killed and those injured.

Derek Pettaway, a passenger on the train, told CNN that he had been asleep at the time of the crash, but that officials reacted swiftly and passengers were led off quickly.

“Nobody was panicking, people were in shock more than anything,” he said, according to The State’s website.

He said it was too dark to see much, but most of the cars he glimpsed ended up off the tracks but upright.

Amtrak has had a number of high-profile crashes and derailments over the years, leading to criticism from consumer advocates and government officials. Federal Railroad Administration statistics have shown that in recent years the agency has had an average of about two derailments a month, accounting for about one-quarter of all the accidents it reports.

Most derailments, however, have rarely caused more than minor injuries.

Amtrak maintains that it has been a “safe and reliable transporter of more than 30 million passengers” and that it has a strong safety record. However, after a 2016 episode in Pennsylvania in which a train hit a piece of track equipment and derailed, killing two, it said in a statement, “We need to assess how we can get better.”

Amtrak has also installed technology known as positive train control on parts of its rail network in the Northeast Corridor after passenger trains traveling well above the speed limit derailed, leaving a trail of death and injuries.

In the Amtrak crash in Virginia on Wednesday, two passengers from the truck were injured — one seriously — and hospitalized. Two members of the train’s crew and at least two passengers, including Representative Jason Lewis, Republican of Minnesota, were also hospitalized with minor injuries.

Republicans had chartered the train to carry them from Washington to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the party was holding its annual policy retreat. Several lawmakers who were on the train estimated that more than half of the Republican members of the House and Senate, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, were on board, and that many were accompanied by their spouses.

In December, a passenger train on a newly opened Amtrak routejumped the tracks on an overpass south of Tacoma, Wash., slamming rail cars into a busy highway, killing at least three people and injuring about 100 others.

In 2015, an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring more than 200. A Pennsylvania judge dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Amtrak engineer, saying it appeared to be an accident and not the result of criminal negligence.

Tags: Amtrak wreckhealth and safety
Categories: Labor News

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 09:00

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/04/us/amtrak-crash-south-carolina.html?h...
By YONETTE JOSEPH, ANNE-SOPHIE BOLON and CHRISTINA CARON
FEB. 4, 2018

U.S. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER 00:34
Fatal Train Collision in South Carolina

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring at least 116 others. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date February 4, 2018. Photo by Tim Dominick/The State, via Associated Press... Watch in Times Video »

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 116 others and spilling thousands of gallons of fuel, according to officials.

Amtrak said its train, which was carrying eight crew members and 139 passengers, collided with a CSX train near Cayce, S.C., outside Columbia, around 2:35 a.m.

Both of the people who died were Amtrak employees, Gov. Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Sunday morning.

Drone footage of the crash broadcast by WLTX showed the site of the collision.

The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.

The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”

“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.

In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.

It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.

The cause of the crash on Sunday was not immediately clear. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was beginning an investigation into the collision.

The train, operating Amtrak’s Silver Star service, originated at Pennsylvania Station in New York and was bound for Miami. The Lexington Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter that the crash occurred near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Road, close to Pine Ridge, S.C.

Charell Star of Maplewood, N.J., said that her mother, Lynn Winston, had decided to take the train home to Florida after a visit because she thought it would be safer than flying.

Ms. Winston, 57, was in one of the sleeper cars when the crash happened.

“She got knocked out of bed and the luggage fell on top of her,” Ms. Star said. “She’s in good spirits but she’s pretty banged up.”

Officials said that 116 of the Amtrak passengers were transferred to local hospitals and the uninjured had been taken to a Red Cross reception site at Pine Ridge Middle School. The CSX train did not have any passengers on board, Mr. McMaster said.

“We know that they are shaken up quite a bit,” Capt. Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

Three Palmetto Health hospitals in Columbia received patients from the collision, the organization said in a statement on Sunday, including 60 adults and two children.

By The New York Times
“Based on the patients’ conditions, we expect most of the patients to be evaluated, treated and released but some are still being evaluated,” the statement said.

Mr. Cahill said a hazardous materials team had been called to the site because roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel had spilled as a result of the collision.

“We were able to secure two leaks of fuel from the trains,” he said, adding there was “no threat to the public at this time.”

“This is not our first train derailment,” said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, citing a fatal derailment in January 2005. A 42-car freight train operated by Norfolk Southern crashed into a smaller train near Granitteville, S.C., killing eight people, injuring more than 200 and leaking chlorine gas.

“It’s unfortunate that we have two fatalities,” he said of the crash on Sunday. “Our hearts are with those families right now.”

Senator Tim E. Scott, Republican of South Carolina, also expressed his condolences on Twitter to the families of those killed and those injured.

Derek Pettaway, a passenger on the train, told CNN that he had been asleep at the time of the crash, but that officials reacted swiftly and passengers were led off quickly.

“Nobody was panicking, people were in shock more than anything,” he said, according to The State’s website.

He said it was too dark to see much, but most of the cars he glimpsed ended up off the tracks but upright.

Amtrak has had a number of high-profile crashes and derailments over the years, leading to criticism from consumer advocates and government officials. Federal Railroad Administration statistics have shown that in recent years the agency has had an average of about two derailments a month, accounting for about one-quarter of all the accidents it reports.

Most derailments, however, have rarely caused more than minor injuries.

Amtrak maintains that it has been a “safe and reliable transporter of more than 30 million passengers” and that it has a strong safety record. However, after a 2016 episode in Pennsylvania in which a train hit a piece of track equipment and derailed, killing two, it said in a statement, “We need to assess how we can get better.”

Amtrak has also installed technology known as positive train control on parts of its rail network in the Northeast Corridor after passenger trains traveling well above the speed limit derailed, leaving a trail of death and injuries.

In the Amtrak crash in Virginia on Wednesday, two passengers from the truck were injured — one seriously — and hospitalized. Two members of the train’s crew and at least two passengers, including Representative Jason Lewis, Republican of Minnesota, were also hospitalized with minor injuries.

Republicans had chartered the train to carry them from Washington to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the party was holding its annual policy retreat. Several lawmakers who were on the train estimated that more than half of the Republican members of the House and Senate, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, were on board, and that many were accompanied by their spouses.

In December, a passenger train on a newly opened Amtrak routejumped the tracks on an overpass south of Tacoma, Wash., slamming rail cars into a busy highway, killing at least three people and injuring about 100 others.

In 2015, an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring more than 200. A Pennsylvania judge dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Amtrak engineer, saying it appeared to be an accident and not the result of criminal negligence.

Tags: Amtrak wreckhealth and safety
Categories: Labor News

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 09:00

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/04/us/amtrak-crash-south-carolina.html?h...
By YONETTE JOSEPH, ANNE-SOPHIE BOLON and CHRISTINA CARON
FEB. 4, 2018

U.S. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER 00:34
Fatal Train Collision in South Carolina

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring at least 116 others. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date February 4, 2018. Photo by Tim Dominick/The State, via Associated Press... Watch in Times Video »

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 116 others and spilling thousands of gallons of fuel, according to officials.

Amtrak said its train, which was carrying eight crew members and 139 passengers, collided with a CSX train near Cayce, S.C., outside Columbia, around 2:35 a.m.

Both of the people who died were Amtrak employees, Gov. Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Sunday morning.

Drone footage of the crash broadcast by WLTX showed the site of the collision.

The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.

The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”

“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.

In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.

It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.

The cause of the crash on Sunday was not immediately clear. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was beginning an investigation into the collision.

The train, operating Amtrak’s Silver Star service, originated at Pennsylvania Station in New York and was bound for Miami. The Lexington Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter that the crash occurred near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Road, close to Pine Ridge, S.C.

Charell Star of Maplewood, N.J., said that her mother, Lynn Winston, had decided to take the train home to Florida after a visit because she thought it would be safer than flying.

Ms. Winston, 57, was in one of the sleeper cars when the crash happened.

“She got knocked out of bed and the luggage fell on top of her,” Ms. Star said. “She’s in good spirits but she’s pretty banged up.”

Officials said that 116 of the Amtrak passengers were transferred to local hospitals and the uninjured had been taken to a Red Cross reception site at Pine Ridge Middle School. The CSX train did not have any passengers on board, Mr. McMaster said.

“We know that they are shaken up quite a bit,” Capt. Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

Three Palmetto Health hospitals in Columbia received patients from the collision, the organization said in a statement on Sunday, including 60 adults and two children.

By The New York Times
“Based on the patients’ conditions, we expect most of the patients to be evaluated, treated and released but some are still being evaluated,” the statement said.

Mr. Cahill said a hazardous materials team had been called to the site because roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel had spilled as a result of the collision.

“We were able to secure two leaks of fuel from the trains,” he said, adding there was “no threat to the public at this time.”

“This is not our first train derailment,” said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, citing a fatal derailment in January 2005. A 42-car freight train operated by Norfolk Southern crashed into a smaller train near Granitteville, S.C., killing eight people, injuring more than 200 and leaking chlorine gas.

“It’s unfortunate that we have two fatalities,” he said of the crash on Sunday. “Our hearts are with those families right now.”

Senator Tim E. Scott, Republican of South Carolina, also expressed his condolences on Twitter to the families of those killed and those injured.

Derek Pettaway, a passenger on the train, told CNN that he had been asleep at the time of the crash, but that officials reacted swiftly and passengers were led off quickly.

“Nobody was panicking, people were in shock more than anything,” he said, according to The State’s website.

He said it was too dark to see much, but most of the cars he glimpsed ended up off the tracks but upright.

Amtrak has had a number of high-profile crashes and derailments over the years, leading to criticism from consumer advocates and government officials. Federal Railroad Administration statistics have shown that in recent years the agency has had an average of about two derailments a month, accounting for about one-quarter of all the accidents it reports.

Most derailments, however, have rarely caused more than minor injuries.

Amtrak maintains that it has been a “safe and reliable transporter of more than 30 million passengers” and that it has a strong safety record. However, after a 2016 episode in Pennsylvania in which a train hit a piece of track equipment and derailed, killing two, it said in a statement, “We need to assess how we can get better.”

Amtrak has also installed technology known as positive train control on parts of its rail network in the Northeast Corridor after passenger trains traveling well above the speed limit derailed, leaving a trail of death and injuries.

In the Amtrak crash in Virginia on Wednesday, two passengers from the truck were injured — one seriously — and hospitalized. Two members of the train’s crew and at least two passengers, including Representative Jason Lewis, Republican of Minnesota, were also hospitalized with minor injuries.

Republicans had chartered the train to carry them from Washington to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the party was holding its annual policy retreat. Several lawmakers who were on the train estimated that more than half of the Republican members of the House and Senate, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, were on board, and that many were accompanied by their spouses.

In December, a passenger train on a newly opened Amtrak routejumped the tracks on an overpass south of Tacoma, Wash., slamming rail cars into a busy highway, killing at least three people and injuring about 100 others.

In 2015, an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring more than 200. A Pennsylvania judge dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Amtrak engineer, saying it appeared to be an accident and not the result of criminal negligence.

Tags: Amtrak wreckhealth and safety
Categories: Labor News

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 09:00

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/04/us/amtrak-crash-south-carolina.html?h...
By YONETTE JOSEPH, ANNE-SOPHIE BOLON and CHRISTINA CARON
FEB. 4, 2018

U.S. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER 00:34
Fatal Train Collision in South Carolina

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring at least 116 others. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date February 4, 2018. Photo by Tim Dominick/The State, via Associated Press... Watch in Times Video »

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 116 others and spilling thousands of gallons of fuel, according to officials.

Amtrak said its train, which was carrying eight crew members and 139 passengers, collided with a CSX train near Cayce, S.C., outside Columbia, around 2:35 a.m.

Both of the people who died were Amtrak employees, Gov. Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Sunday morning.

Drone footage of the crash broadcast by WLTX showed the site of the collision.

The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.

The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”

“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.

In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.

It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.

The cause of the crash on Sunday was not immediately clear. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was beginning an investigation into the collision.

The train, operating Amtrak’s Silver Star service, originated at Pennsylvania Station in New York and was bound for Miami. The Lexington Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter that the crash occurred near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Road, close to Pine Ridge, S.C.

Charell Star of Maplewood, N.J., said that her mother, Lynn Winston, had decided to take the train home to Florida after a visit because she thought it would be safer than flying.

Ms. Winston, 57, was in one of the sleeper cars when the crash happened.

“She got knocked out of bed and the luggage fell on top of her,” Ms. Star said. “She’s in good spirits but she’s pretty banged up.”

Officials said that 116 of the Amtrak passengers were transferred to local hospitals and the uninjured had been taken to a Red Cross reception site at Pine Ridge Middle School. The CSX train did not have any passengers on board, Mr. McMaster said.

“We know that they are shaken up quite a bit,” Capt. Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

Three Palmetto Health hospitals in Columbia received patients from the collision, the organization said in a statement on Sunday, including 60 adults and two children.

By The New York Times
“Based on the patients’ conditions, we expect most of the patients to be evaluated, treated and released but some are still being evaluated,” the statement said.

Mr. Cahill said a hazardous materials team had been called to the site because roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel had spilled as a result of the collision.

“We were able to secure two leaks of fuel from the trains,” he said, adding there was “no threat to the public at this time.”

“This is not our first train derailment,” said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, citing a fatal derailment in January 2005. A 42-car freight train operated by Norfolk Southern crashed into a smaller train near Granitteville, S.C., killing eight people, injuring more than 200 and leaking chlorine gas.

“It’s unfortunate that we have two fatalities,” he said of the crash on Sunday. “Our hearts are with those families right now.”

Senator Tim E. Scott, Republican of South Carolina, also expressed his condolences on Twitter to the families of those killed and those injured.

Derek Pettaway, a passenger on the train, told CNN that he had been asleep at the time of the crash, but that officials reacted swiftly and passengers were led off quickly.

“Nobody was panicking, people were in shock more than anything,” he said, according to The State’s website.

He said it was too dark to see much, but most of the cars he glimpsed ended up off the tracks but upright.

Amtrak has had a number of high-profile crashes and derailments over the years, leading to criticism from consumer advocates and government officials. Federal Railroad Administration statistics have shown that in recent years the agency has had an average of about two derailments a month, accounting for about one-quarter of all the accidents it reports.

Most derailments, however, have rarely caused more than minor injuries.

Amtrak maintains that it has been a “safe and reliable transporter of more than 30 million passengers” and that it has a strong safety record. However, after a 2016 episode in Pennsylvania in which a train hit a piece of track equipment and derailed, killing two, it said in a statement, “We need to assess how we can get better.”

Amtrak has also installed technology known as positive train control on parts of its rail network in the Northeast Corridor after passenger trains traveling well above the speed limit derailed, leaving a trail of death and injuries.

In the Amtrak crash in Virginia on Wednesday, two passengers from the truck were injured — one seriously — and hospitalized. Two members of the train’s crew and at least two passengers, including Representative Jason Lewis, Republican of Minnesota, were also hospitalized with minor injuries.

Republicans had chartered the train to carry them from Washington to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the party was holding its annual policy retreat. Several lawmakers who were on the train estimated that more than half of the Republican members of the House and Senate, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, were on board, and that many were accompanied by their spouses.

In December, a passenger train on a newly opened Amtrak routejumped the tracks on an overpass south of Tacoma, Wash., slamming rail cars into a busy highway, killing at least three people and injuring about 100 others.

In 2015, an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring more than 200. A Pennsylvania judge dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Amtrak engineer, saying it appeared to be an accident and not the result of criminal negligence.

Tags: Amtrak wreckhealth and safety
Categories: Labor News

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others

Current News - Sun, 02/04/2018 - 08:59

Amtrak Train Collision Kills at Least 2 and Injures 116 Others
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/04/us/amtrak-crash-south-carolina.html?h...
By YONETTE JOSEPH, ANNE-SOPHIE BOLON and CHRISTINA CARON
FEB. 4, 2018

U.S. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER 00:34
Fatal Train Collision in South Carolina

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring at least 116 others. By AINARA TIEFENTHÄLER on Publish Date February 4, 2018. Photo by Tim Dominick/The State, via Associated Press... Watch in Times Video »

An Amtrak train traveling from New York to Miami collided with a freight train early Sunday, killing at least two people, injuring at least 116 others and spilling thousands of gallons of fuel, according to officials.

Amtrak said its train, which was carrying eight crew members and 139 passengers, collided with a CSX train near Cayce, S.C., outside Columbia, around 2:35 a.m.

Both of the people who died were Amtrak employees, Gov. Henry McMaster said at a news conference on Sunday morning.

Drone footage of the crash broadcast by WLTX showed the site of the collision.

The CSX train was stationary, Mr. McMaster said, and appeared to be on the correct track. “It appears that Amtrak was on the wrong track,” he said.

The first engine of the freight train was torn up, he said, and the engine of the Amtrak train, Train 91, was “barely recognizable.”

“It’s a horrible thing to see — to understand the force that this involved,” Mr. McMaster said.

In a statement earlier Sunday morning, Amtrak said the lead engine and some of the passenger cars had derailed.

It was the second major crash involving an Amtrak train in less than a week. On Wednesday, a train carrying Republican members of Congress to a retreat in West Virginia hit a garbage truck in rural Virginia, killing a passenger in the truck.

The cause of the crash on Sunday was not immediately clear. The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that it was beginning an investigation into the collision.

The train, operating Amtrak’s Silver Star service, originated at Pennsylvania Station in New York and was bound for Miami. The Lexington Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter that the crash occurred near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Road, close to Pine Ridge, S.C.

Charell Star of Maplewood, N.J., said that her mother, Lynn Winston, had decided to take the train home to Florida after a visit because she thought it would be safer than flying.

Ms. Winston, 57, was in one of the sleeper cars when the crash happened.

“She got knocked out of bed and the luggage fell on top of her,” Ms. Star said. “She’s in good spirits but she’s pretty banged up.”

Officials said that 116 of the Amtrak passengers were transferred to local hospitals and the uninjured had been taken to a Red Cross reception site at Pine Ridge Middle School. The CSX train did not have any passengers on board, Mr. McMaster said.

“We know that they are shaken up quite a bit,” Capt. Adam Myrick of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said.

Three Palmetto Health hospitals in Columbia received patients from the collision, the organization said in a statement on Sunday, including 60 adults and two children.

By The New York Times
“Based on the patients’ conditions, we expect most of the patients to be evaluated, treated and released but some are still being evaluated,” the statement said.

Mr. Cahill said a hazardous materials team had been called to the site because roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel had spilled as a result of the collision.

“We were able to secure two leaks of fuel from the trains,” he said, adding there was “no threat to the public at this time.”

“This is not our first train derailment,” said Derrec Becker of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, citing a fatal derailment in January 2005. A 42-car freight train operated by Norfolk Southern crashed into a smaller train near Granitteville, S.C., killing eight people, injuring more than 200 and leaking chlorine gas.

“It’s unfortunate that we have two fatalities,” he said of the crash on Sunday. “Our hearts are with those families right now.”

Senator Tim E. Scott, Republican of South Carolina, also expressed his condolences on Twitter to the families of those killed and those injured.

Derek Pettaway, a passenger on the train, told CNN that he had been asleep at the time of the crash, but that officials reacted swiftly and passengers were led off quickly.

“Nobody was panicking, people were in shock more than anything,” he said, according to The State’s website.

He said it was too dark to see much, but most of the cars he glimpsed ended up off the tracks but upright.

Amtrak has had a number of high-profile crashes and derailments over the years, leading to criticism from consumer advocates and government officials. Federal Railroad Administration statistics have shown that in recent years the agency has had an average of about two derailments a month, accounting for about one-quarter of all the accidents it reports.

Most derailments, however, have rarely caused more than minor injuries.

Amtrak maintains that it has been a “safe and reliable transporter of more than 30 million passengers” and that it has a strong safety record. However, after a 2016 episode in Pennsylvania in which a train hit a piece of track equipment and derailed, killing two, it said in a statement, “We need to assess how we can get better.”

Amtrak has also installed technology known as positive train control on parts of its rail network in the Northeast Corridor after passenger trains traveling well above the speed limit derailed, leaving a trail of death and injuries.

In the Amtrak crash in Virginia on Wednesday, two passengers from the truck were injured — one seriously — and hospitalized. Two members of the train’s crew and at least two passengers, including Representative Jason Lewis, Republican of Minnesota, were also hospitalized with minor injuries.

Republicans had chartered the train to carry them from Washington to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the party was holding its annual policy retreat. Several lawmakers who were on the train estimated that more than half of the Republican members of the House and Senate, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, were on board, and that many were accompanied by their spouses.

In December, a passenger train on a newly opened Amtrak routejumped the tracks on an overpass south of Tacoma, Wash., slamming rail cars into a busy highway, killing at least three people and injuring about 100 others.

In 2015, an Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia, killing eight people and injuring more than 200. A Pennsylvania judge dismissed involuntary manslaughter charges against the Amtrak engineer, saying it appeared to be an accident and not the result of criminal negligence.

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