Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Dear Railroad Conference Organizing Committee:

The Resolution that we adopted at last Thursday's meeting is attached. Please forward and otherwise circulate to organizations that may be willing to "endorse" the conferences. As we discussed, endorsement is a bit vague, but in general terms, it means at minimum that the organization supports the concept and the efforts of what we are doing, and will encourage its membership to participate.

Many organizations -- including most union locals -- meet once a month. This means that if we get this out there to explain what we are doing and why asap, we can have a number of organizations take up the question at their December  meetings. It would be great to go into the New Year with a number of endorsing organizations to give us some momentum going forward.  Thanks!

Ron Kaminkow
RWU General Secretary

Hi folks,

Please consider asking your organization to endorse this upcoming conference. Endorsement means you are in general agreement with the goals of the conference and will encourage your membership to participate.

For more information and conference specifics, you can communicate directly with Ron Kaminkow, General Secretary, Railroad Workers United.

Dan Leahy

Conference: “The Future of Railroads: Safety, Workers, Community & the Environment”

Whereas, railroads are an invaluable national asset that must be managed wisely, efficiently and safely; and 
Whereas, railway workers, pedestrians, motorists, trackside communities, and society at large have a vested interest in railroad safety and in insuring that railroad companies live up to their full potential to operate responsibly and safely; and

Whereas, a series of disastrous train derailments in recent months has alarmed and outraged the public because of the potential danger to communities from railroad operations; and

Whereas, railroad carriers have all too often failed to provide a safe workplace environment for their employees, refusing to address safety sensitive issues including but not limited to:  crew fatigue; adequate off duty time for crew members; fair and just availability policies; accurate reliable "train line-ups"; sufficient staffing levels; safe train crew size; proper and adequate training of new employees; and establishing minimum standards of rail operational experience as a qualification requirement for federal certification, and
Whereas, railroad is a critical part of a sustainable transportation infrastructure with a history of serving communities and invigorating regional economies in the US and around the globe, where much of it is electrified, providing a yet cleaner and more efficient method to move passengers and freight; and  [continued]
Whereas, in our democracy the most effective way for the people to be heard is to unite around common interests and goals; and 
Whereas, railroad workers, community members, environmental organizations, emergency responders, shippers, governmental entities and the general public should unite around our common interests to insure safe railroad operations that meet the needs of and operate in the best interests of the public;

Therefore, Be it Resolved that Railroad Workers United and the Backbone Campaign do hereby commit to jointly sponsor a series of conferences to be entitled, “The Future of Rail: Safety, Workers, Community and the Environment”; and

Be it further Resolved that we extend an invitation to labor, community, governmental, environmental organizations and other interested parties to join us and participate in this endeavor; and
Be it further resolved that, provided these initial conferences on the West Coast prove successful, we seek to expand these events to other towns and cities across North America; and

Be it Further Resolved that the objective of these conferences is to bring together and educate railroad workers, the general public and interested parties to better understand and coalesce around our common interests of safety and security on American railroads; and

Be it finally resolved that the ultimate goal of these conferences is to forge an alliance of railroad workers, community members, interest groups, and the public that will develop the influence necessary to mandate that the rail industry become responsive to the needs and wishes of the American people for whom they serve.

Adopted by the Conference Organizing Committee 11/21/14

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