From the President

30 November 2008


     I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  Looking forward to the rest of the holiday season it is my duty to remind you all that it is Adopt A Family time.  We had three submissions at the last union meeting.  As you can imagine, they are indicative to the hard times we are in.  Fortunately we have not felt the same degree of hardship alot of our fellow brothers and sisters are feeling.  It is on that note that I ask you to dig deep and help out those in need this Christmas season.  We are already getting in donations from folks and businesses that we have never had dealings with.  The word spreads when good people do good things.  Jeff Murray is putting together a description of the families we are sponsoring this year and their stories.  I will post it on the bulletin board as soon as it is done.  In the meantime, set aside that extra money and watch for the snowmen on the tree at work.  Jeff has done a tremeandous job at keeping the freight pool tight this year.  I know everyone did extra well finacially.  If I broke all my preivious records I am sure you all did.  Let's face it I'm not the workaholic I used to be.  You can drop money contributions in the red BLET drop box or give them to one of your elected officers.  We will see to it that Mike Mathis gets it to add to the pot.  Thanks for all you do and have a blessed holiday season.




26 July 2008


Brothers and Sisters,


     As all of you should know by now, we are war once again with the management of CSX (the new old NS).  Just in the last thirty days we have defended charges for 9 members.  The unthinkable crimes are working safely but allegedly not saying the words "all track" in a already longwinded speach to backup, moving a cut of cars while not hearing the words all track, performing union business and not wearing the right kind of clothes, performing union business and allowing a fellow brother to not wear the right kind of clothes, and last but certainly not least, for standing next to a cut of cars while cut away and not tying them down.  These freaks are drunk on power.  For those that haven't heard because you were out of the country or something like that........get in the game!  If you work in the yard, walk your entire cut of cars before pulling to ensure that no handbrakes are applied.  Protect all shoves.  If you are concerned of the clearances for protecting shoves, walk the tracks and allow the engineer to move several feet at a time when you are stopped and in the clear of obstacles.  Our new division manager Bob Frulla said that "we will work safe and by the rules, productivity is secondary".  Give him and those that subscribe to that bs exactly what they demand!  According to our new fearless leader Jamie Berry road crews are working by the rules and yard crews...not so much.  Quits are gone fellows.  If you want to keep your jobs and avoid the ridiculous trials give them what they say they want.  Follow their rules, all of them, and experience what your road brothers already know.....empowering yourself in their rules feels good, very good.





27 June 2008


Brothers and Sisters,


   This news was so big I had to write you about it.  Our friend and fallen brother Mark Singleton had his day in court.  We recieved the verdict of his arbitration case yesterday.......sustained with all back pay attached to his estate.  For all of you who knew of this case, you will join with me in celebration because this not only righted a terrible wrong but opened the door for the subsequent civil suit that is to follow.  Mark may have been a rather new member to the rolls of this division before his termination and subsequent death, but he was the fighter we are known to be.  I'll never forget what he said to me the day of the hearing.  The carrier had called me to state that they may have made an error in his charge and was wanting him to take a waiver to return to service.  I told Mark before the hearing and he stated that "anything less than removing the charge and they can kiss my ass".  We fought and made a hell of a case and they did as usual, they brought an elephant gun to a mouse hunt.  Gery Williams and Mike Pendergrass couldn't wait to exact revenge on the guy that had the "golf ball" injury.  I met with Mark a couple of days before he died and we had dinner with a lawyer friend of his to design the arbitration/civil case that would ensue.  Yesterday, the first stage of vengeance was served and we got to taste it.  Mark set the bar high for the fighters in all of us.  He challenged us to fight the good fight no matter the consequences.  He did it.  Now it continues in all of us.  Mark knew that the carrier could not afford to fire everyone and that their discipline policy, when excessive or not justified could not stand the test if we were courageous enough to make them follow through with it.  We are again at war with the new management that wishes us to see them as "good ol' boys" that we can trust.  Gery Williams once told me while he carried out the gustopo justice his term was noted for, "don't take it personal it is just business".   Mark's legacy lives on in the members who belong to this division.  You are the embassadors of the business Gery spoke of.  Get the insurance, pump up the pride, and wear your badge of membership with honor because we are a united team that fights and lives and dies together.                 






11 June 2008

Brothers and Sisters,


   In an attempt to breathe new life into a much needed and viable resource we are BACK!  I appologize for the much overdue update to this site but hopefully we can make it right by bringing you as up to date information on here as we can as often as needed.  As you all know in March of 2008 we began broadcasting our monthly meetings via the internet.  It is catching on.  This was agreed and voted on to better serve you by making it as easy to become involved in the union process as possible.  We understand that many of you live far away or are about to get called and can't committ to a three hour meeting.  Now you can connect via Yahoo Messenger and be invited into the meeting.  Be advised that as specified by the National Office we can not discuss sensitive information or vote over the net.  If you choose to link up with us please understand that we cannot allow your vote to count on anything voted on during the meeting.Other than that please join us in person as often as you can.  If you can't, feel free to join us on the web!  No matter what you decide remember this one important thought:  "We are only as strong collectively as our weakest link".  DO YOUR PART..........GET INVOLVED!





From The Secretary - Treasurer



17 June 2008
Well, unfortunately it's that time again for all of our dues to go up by the new contract that was effective 1 July 2007. What is really going up is the National dues portion that we all pay every 1st check of the month. For this year the amount specified by the National agreement is 4% effective 1 July 2008. To put it in real money terms even I can understand, it means that everyone will see an increase of $1.00 on their Union dues deduction on the 1st check in July 2008. By the time you read this, I will have made the necessary adjustments to our division payroll deduction register for all brothers and sisters of Division 34. Consequently, engineers will now pay $95.95 monthly, and trainmen will pay $58.95 monthly.
Also, in late May 2008, I had the extreme pleasure to award Randy Gilliam, and his wife a check for $500.00 on behalf of Division 34 to defray travel expenses to Milwaukee and the Harley-Davidson museum, in order for him to observe his special inscribed rivet that was placed for him by CSX( it's a long story) there on the museum grounds. The Division also gave Randy and his wife a couple's membership to the museum so they can enjoy it anytime at their leisure. Don't forget about
him, as he was in good spirits and would enjoy a phone call from any of us just to say hi! as he was a long time member of our division.     10000 New Hampshire Ave.Silver Spring, MD20903                                       phone 301-431-6400  fax 301-434-0371






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