August 2014
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Also In This Issue National Electrical
401(k) Plan

Saving for retirement read_more

Final NLC Graduation
Biggest IBEW class
its last read_more

Telecom Advances Prompt New Skills read_more

Supreme Court Decision
5-4 split on agency fees read_more

Inspired Training
in Suriname

Campaign to improve
safety read_more

New Jack Daniel's Cooperage
Making inroads in
anti-union Ala. read_more

G.E.'s Atlanta Repair Shop
Overhauling turbines with excellence read_more

North of 49°
Toronto Program Connects At-Risk Youth with Construction Careers read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Un programme ontarien connecte les jeunes à risque avec des carrières dans le domaine de la construction read_more





  Cover Photo

Rail Worker Rights Leaving
19th Century Behind:

Whistleblower Protections Force a Change in Antiquated Safety Culture

CSX Transportation's Selkirk repair shop is a massive, loud throwback to America's industrial past. Diesel locomotives, some weighing 180 tons, driven by 6,000-horsepower 20-cylinder engines, are torn apart and rebuilt beneath its soaring pigeon-filled rafters. A dozen, sometimes twice that number, are swarmed by teams of electricians, welders, carmen, machinists and sheet metal workers.

J.J. Giuliano has been local chairman of the Selkirk unit of Albany, N.Y., Local 770 since 2003. Keeping his members safe is Giuliano's top priority, and along with the leaders of the other trades at Selkirk, he sat on the shop's safety committee.

"For 10 years we made recommendations to management and for 10 years not one of them was funded by the company," Giuliano said. "I stayed on because I wanted to look out for my guys. But at a certain point we were letting the company get away with avoiding solving safety problems."

In September 2013, Giuliano was done with the charade. He sent a letter to the plant superintendent telling him that he was quitting the committee. He listed 21 safety violations that threatened the health of IBEW members, public safety or both that had repeatedly been brought to the company's attention and never fixed. They included everything from managers green-lighting locomotives for use without testing safety equipment to requiring workers to repair trains covered in pigeon feces but refusing to provide, or even allow the use of, protective clothing.

"When local management decides to act as though safety is a priority, this organization will re-evaluate its position in this matter," he wrote. "Until that time, should it ever come, our concerns will be brought elsewhere."

Giuliano handed over the letter on a Friday and posted a copy of it on the local's glass-enclosed bulletin board. Two and half hours into his next workday, Giuliano was cited for violating safety rules and was suspended for five days. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Hill: EPA Plan: All Pain,
No Gain read_more
Chilia: What Money
Can't Buy read_more

TransitionsRicky Oakland;
Darrin Golden;
Jim Tomaseski:
Dave Mullen;
Ann Miller;
Dennis Phelps read_more

CircuitsInd. City Council to Public Workers: Bye Bye, Collective Bargaining read_more

Organizing WireFla. Comcast Sales
Reps Unite for Better Conditions, Pay read_more

LettersWhose Side Are They On?; A Shocking Letter;
Calling Out Congress;
The Future is Theirs;
An IBEW Inheritance;
Shout-Out read_more

In MemoriamJune 2014 read_more

Who We AreThe $200 Freedom
Machine read_more