Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen local 56

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Congressional Reps Send Letter to Jay Walder Regarding Safety Issues and Lay-offs
On August 16, 2010 there was a letter sent by five of our Long Island Congressional Representatives: Steve Isreal, Timothy Bishop, Peter King, Carolyn McCarthy and Gary Ackerman, to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the M.T.A. Mr. Jay Walder regarding lay-offs and safety issues affecting the L.I.R.R. We applaud them for standing with us regarding the issue of system safety and expect that they will continue to do so in the future until they LIRR lives up to its' motto:
 "Safety is of the First Importance in the Discharge of Duties" 


For newsday video of Signal layoffs.

To view the August 17th news segment by Greg Mocker regarding L.I.R.R. system safety and lay-offs please click here.


LIRR Union Heads Address Disability Issue Amongst Members
Because of the half truths and lies being perpetrated in the media about LIRR employees and disability claims, the heads of every union on the property traveled to 6 major west end HQ's in an effort update our members as to what is actually going on. It was felt that our members needed to be assured that their work as professionals is recognized by our elected officials, and that the malignment of our members will not tolorated. We must continue to stand united. 

For more information click here.

From the Newsday Website

First round of layoffs

 Originally published: September 10, 2010 5:43 PM
Updated: September 10, 2010 8:22 PM

Two dozen Long Island Rail Road employees were laid off Friday - the first group of nearly 100 LIRR workers to get the ax.

The 24 assistant signalmen lined up outside the LIRR's Jamaica headquarters Friday morning, many of them sharing words of concern and support. Some of the workers, including Naldrett, were instrumental in repairing the LIRR's signal system after an electrical fire in Jamaica caused service disruptions for a week last month.

LIRR spokesman Joe Calderone said the layoffs are "painful but necessary" as the agency tries to help fill an unprecedented $900-million budget gap at the MTA. The positions of the workers laid off Friday were directly linked to the agency's recently adopted five-year capital plan, which was scaled back by about $300 million.

"We have less jobs. We have less construction projects. So we need fewer workers," said Calderone, who added that the LIRR hopes to be able to bring back the workers.

"When I got this job, I felt like I won the lottery," said John Mullagh, 50, of Sayville, one of the assistant signalmen laid off after more than a year on the job. He said he learned he was losing his job just two days ago. "I was sick, sad. Not mad. Just very sad. I love this job."

Most of the laid-off workers earn a base salary of about $47,000 a year and have the least seniority in their department, according to Chris Natale, general chairman for the Brotherhood of Rail Road Signalmen, the union representing the LIRR's 556 signalmen.

Natale said the LIRR could have avoided the layoffs through better management and allocation of funds. He noted that the $1 billion in federal stimulus money that the MTA has received was supposed to create jobs, and yet the MTA is eliminating them.

"Not only do I think it's not necessary, but I think it's criminal," Natale said.

The LIRR is laying off another 74 workers next week, including 36 conductors on Monday.

"This is not right," said Alex Kruczko, 42, of Seaford, who said he doesn't know how he'll provide for his son Alex, 1, and daughter Jessica, 5. "What do I tell her when I get home? 'Daddy doesn't have a job?' "


It was standing room only at the emergency meeting on August 4th. Approximately 150 Local 56 brothers, (more than 25% of our membership)  attended the recent meeting to discuss the proposed layoffs, how they affect system safety, how they affect our membership and what courses of action would be appropriate for us to undertake. Most importantly it was determined that we must stand together in support of those affected. Not just signal brothers in support of signal brothers, but as LIRR labor in support of LIRR labor.
     "We refuse to stand idle while others affect the lives and families of our Signal brethren for what appears to be self serving political agendas."

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