FRA Denies UP Waiver Request

FRA Denies UP Waiver Request
December 20, 2004 -In a letter dated December 17, 2004, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) advised the Union Pacific Railroad that it was denying the railroad’s request for a waiver of various Federal regulations to permit run through trains from Mexico into the United States at Laredo, Texas.

Carmen Division President Rich Johnson testified before the FRA concerning the safety issues during the public hearing on the UP’s request for the waiver. Due in large part to Brother Johnson’s testimony and TCU’s Legislative and Legal Departments’ efforts the FRA agreed and cited the UP’s failure to demonstrate that the granting of the request would be consistent with safety issues that had been raised. This was one of the main issues that TCU had brought to the attention of Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN). Congressman Oberstar wrote a letter to the FRA, in which he was joined by 22 other members of the House, opposing granting the waiver request based on safety concerns. In addition, TCU joined other AFL-CIO/TTD unions in bringing this matter to the attention of Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.

While this is a victory for our Carmen members working in Laredo, TCU will be carefully monitoring the situation as the FRA left the door open for the UP to re-file the waiver request when it addresses the safety concerns raised by the FRA. (click here to read FRA’s letter to UP)

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