SMART Transportation Division

On July 6, Metra Board Chair Romayne C. Brown and CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski joined Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and Rockford, Ill., elected officials to announce that the commuter railroad will operate state-supported passenger rail service to Rockford starting in late 2027. (Photograph and Caption Details Courtesy of Metra, via Twitter)

Chicago-Rockford Passenger Rail Service Returns

Partners Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Metra and Union Pacific (UP) will restore Chicago-Rockford, Ill., passenger rail service in late 2027. The Rebuild Illinois* capital plan includes $275 million for the project,

SMART-TD Says “No”; BLET Ratifies (UPDATED Nov. 22)

Conductors and yard workers represented by the Transportation Division of International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD)—who constitute almost the full 30% of unionized rail employees bargaining over

Railroads Prepping for Strike Action: AAR (UPDATED)

The six Class I freight railroads participating in national bargaining will begin taking steps as early as Sept. 12 to manage and secure shipments of hazardous and security-sensitive materials “in light of the possibility of a rail labor strike,” the Association of American Railroads (AAR) said the evening of Sept. 9. The SMART-Transportation Division (TD) and Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen spoke out on embargoes* on Sept. 11.

IBEW Reaches Tentative Agreement With NCCC

Two weeks after Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250 issued its recommendations on the stalled contract negotiations between 12 rail labor unions and the carriers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced on Sept. 1 that it has reached a tentative agreement with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee (NCCC), which represents most U.S. Class I freight railroads in national collective bargaining.

SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson

SMART-TD’s Ferguson to Members: PEB Recommendations a First Step, ‘Be Patient’

The recommendations of Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) 250 regarding wages, benefits and work rules are “a vast improvement over the carriers’ previous proposals,” SMART Transportation Division President Jeremy R. Ferguson said in an Aug. 18 statement, but they “do not go far enough to provide our members with the quality of life that they have earned, and that both they and their families deserve.”

BLET, SMART-TD Weigh In on PEB 250

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) President Dennis Pierce and SMART Transportation Division (SMART-TD) President Jeremy Ferguson on Aug. 1 released a joint statement to their members, providing an update on the hearings of Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) No. 250, which within weeks is slated to make non-binding recommendations in the now more than 2-1/2 year-old dispute between most major railroads (and many smaller ones) and their 12 labor unions, including BLET and SMART-TD.

Three Unions Ratify Agreements With CP

Employees on Canadian Pacific’s Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern (DM&E) South; Central Maine & Quebec (CMQ) U.S. and Central Maine & Quebec Canada subsidiaries have ratified collective bargaining agreements.