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Who We Are

The CR/SAA CSX North GCA comprises 13 Local Divisions representing over 700 members of the BLET as follows:

-Division 1 (Detroit, Michigan) CR/SAA

-Division 3(Cleveland, Ohio) CSX

-Division 46(Selkirk,New York) CSX

-Division 63 (West Springfield, Mass.) CSX

-Division 157 (Jersey City, NJ) CR/SAA

-Division 169 (Dewitt (E.Syracuse) NY) CSX

-Division 227 (Massena/Watertown, NY) CSX

-Division 235 (Union City, NJ) CSX

-Division 382 (Buffalo, NY) CSX

-Division 387(Camden, NJ) CR/SAA

-Division 421 (Buffalo, NY) CSX

-Division 439 (Boston, Mass.) CSX

-Division 601(NJCT) CR/SAA

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Educational memo 13-05 RCO
Updated On: Jun 04, 2016

 BLET 421 Educational memo #13-05

Remote Control Operations.

As many of you know, the issue of remote control was decided a few years back in Special Board of Adjustment (SBA) 1141 (copy attached) who’s Arbitrator Gil Vernon decided that the Trainman craft would operate remote control operations (RCO) on US Railroads where such remote control operations were not in operation already.

Vernon based his decision largely on the fact that the RCO operating the “box” was not that much unlike a groundsman giving signals to an engineer either via hand or radio. He further reasoned that the “box” issued commands to the computer control on the engine and that it was the computer that controlled the engine/locomotive, and thusly that the computer had replaced the engineers traditional duties as the computer responded to the inaudible radio commands from the RCO box.

One issue Vernon did also address was an RCO assignment reverting to “conventional operation” where one RCO controlling the locomotive responds to and operates the locomotive based on the audible “radio direction from another RCO on the ground” (SBA 1141 pgs 34-35). Vernon opinioned that such “conventional operation” was impermissible unless there was an equipment failure or other such emergency, because receiving the radio commands and operating the locomotive based on those commands placed that RCO operator“in the shoes of the engineer”.

While there are no Carrier operating rules that prohibit such operation as explained above, our members and those that operate the RCO have a duty to uphold the parameters of the Board Award regarding RCO. To do otherwise negates the value of such arbitration no matter which side of the cab you’re on. While RCO operations are here and apparently are here to stay despite their drawbacks both operationally and safety wise, again we as union members have an obligation to ourselves and our fellow employees to operate them within the parameters of our respective contracts and awards related to our contracts.

This being said, if an RCO job should be heard reverting to conventional operation as explained above your respective Local Chairman needs to notified of such an occurrence with the date time, radio channel, job symbol involved etc….If such occurrences continue time claims may ensue.

As a side note, considering the past history of RCO in this area and the subsequent semi-settlement of claims regarding RCO it is unfathomable that RCO’s should be operated in the manner described above. However recent events have shown otherwise, thus the brief history lesson on RCO operations and the Arbitration award that dictated how they should and should not be utilized.

Attachments –SBA1141 Vernon award


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More Information:
Article 4
Article 4
Article 40 Marking off LOI 041609
December 18, 2017
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