Frank N. Wilner, Contributing Editor

Frank N. Wilner, Contributing Editor

Frank N. Wilner is author of six books, including, Amtrak: Past, Present, Future; Understanding the Railway Labor Act; and, Railroad Mergers: History, Analysis, Insight. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics and labor relations from Virginia Tech. He has been assistant vice president, policy, for the Association of American Railroads; a White House appointed chief of staff at the Surface Transportation Board; and director of public relations for the United Transportation Union. He is a past president of the Association of Transportation Law Professionals. Wilner drafted the railroad section of the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Change (Volumes I and II), which were policy blueprints for the two Reagan Administrations; and was a guest columnist for the Cato Institute’s Regulation magazine.

As United Airlines is learning, the grabbing by the arms of a fare-paying, law-abiding 69-year-old passenger, and forcibly dragging him through the aisle for removal from an aircraft for no reason other than United having overbooked the Chicago-Louisville flight and wishing to put a more favored fanny in the seat, is a public relations nightmare—and not to be treated as any less offensive than the preferred method of body-part grabbing by the current President of the United States.

The Mexicans are coming. The Mexicans are coming—and within verbal-indignities-hurling distance of President Donald J. Trump’s Palm Beach, Fla., Mar-a-Lago “Winter White House.”

Thursday, 16 March 2017 10:22

Who will Trump nominate? Perhaps …

Two months into the Trump Administration, the Washington Post says his nomination process, leading to Senate confirmation, is moving more slowly than any in history. The New York Times describes “dust piling up in key offices … critical power centers in [Trump’s] government devoid of leadership.”

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 15:43

Labor’s double-down bet on Trump

With collective bargaining between 13 labor unions and the nation’s Class I freight railroads (plus some regionals and short lines) over wages, benefits and work rules in its third fitful year, the National Mediation Board (NMB) could declare an impasse as early as late 2017.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017 23:36

Rusty Spike Award for Dow’s hypocrisy

Some three decades ago, the Association of American Railroads bestowed Rusty Spike Awards to recognize hypocritical posturing by those seeking legislative or regulatory advantage at the expense of railroads.

Monday, 13 February 2017 18:33

Congress: A noisy hall with a nightly brawl

With early indications that the Trump Administration is a political version of the Jerry Springer show, expect an atypical legislative session, with the Republican majority sometimes in open conflict with a Republican President who is unpredictable, impetuous, lacking previous government experience and quick to take vengeance on those critical of him.

Thursday, 02 February 2017 09:09

STB, FRA judicial ally under attack

If Judge Neil Gorsuch is Senate-confirmed to the Supreme Court, federal regulatory agencies such as the Surface Transportation Board (STB) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) could be closer to losing a handy, trusted and effective judicial ally in their interpretations of the statutes they administer.

Monday, 30 January 2017 07:11

Did STB capitulate to Trump and Lenin?

Expediency over principle describes a unanimous vote Jan. 27 by the three Surface Transportation Board (STB) members—Acting Chairman Ann Begeman, a Republican, and Democrats Dan Elliott and Deb Miller.

Monday, 23 January 2017 11:17

STB's Begeman: Head, heart in conflict

News item: Republican Ann Dawn Begeman, 52, was confirmed by the Senate in December to a second term—expiring Dec. 31, 2020—on the five-person Surface Transportation Board (STB). Expect her to be named STB Chairman by President Trump, succeeding Democrat Dan Elliott, who was President Obama’s choice as Chairman.

Saturday, 17 December 2016 17:34

What’s in a name? Don’t ask Amtrak

Notwithstanding this era of fake news, there remain stories you just cannot make up—instances where truth is, indeed, stranger than fiction.

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