March, 2002

Editor’s Notes

Last month we made an unkind remark about the Salt Lake Super’s slave problem.  Well, we were misled.  Seems some dumb shit got into the system using his pal’s ID and password and added the derogatory remarks to Mr. Scott’s itinerary.  Got himself fired for his trouble.  Then some OTHER dumb shit picked it up and sent it to our Griever who, trusting soul that he is, took it for the truth and slipped the cheap shot into the column.  Sorry ‘bout that, Cameron.  To our contributors a word of caution:  Don’t send us something that’s bullshit and you know it, ‘cause you are doing a great disservice.  We don’t have the resources to research every story.  Hell, half our staff can’t speak English.  Bottom line: The truth is good enough, don’t send us anything that ain’t. 

Dumb-Assed Switchman of the Month

This award is usually reserved for local folks known personally by the editors but in this case we had to make an exception.  This guy is so dumb it’s scary.  From our Canadian brothers on the snow-covered BCR comes the following:
The Relief Yard Foreman, who shall remain anonymous, was informed by the traffic coordinator, (based in North Vancouver), about a leaking LPG tank in the yard. Unfortunately, it was in the way of the train he was trying to build. To stop switching now might threaten the sanctity of his crew's quit. On his own, he coupled onto the car (leaking liquid LPG out of the bottom) while hanging onto the following equipment: Two cabooses (containing four lit kerosene stoves), a TOFC flat containing a running reefer, three Alco yard engines, and a lit cigarette in his mouth. He wanted to move it onto the local mill's chip track. This track had an actively burning beehive wood waste burner in service that day. I questioned his sanity at moving the car at all, but was told to shut up. The mechanical dept staff scattered in all directions when the car started to move. I don't think that CANFOR would have appreciated having to evacuate its mill so that the BCR yard crew could get a quit. I would have nothing to do with this move! He ended up moving the car to the south end of the yard next to a busy road crossing across the street from several residences. The HAZMAT team, of course, could not find the car upon their arrival! Fortunately, they had the car fixed within ten minutes and I lived to tell this tale. The moral of the story: The "Quit" is not THAT important.
-AT from the BCR-

Griever’s Corner

As if we don’t have enough to worry about on the job, with the Feds becoming trainmasters and the state inspectors suddenly concentrating on employees instead of the carriers, Billy Bob says that some of the foamers out there are actually snitching us out to the carrier via the Internet and photographing and writing about moves they see; which may be taken by some gung-ho manager to mean he can discipline a crew for doing what most of us have been doing right for many years.  I thought these folks were our friends.  Look out who’s looking at you…As you all know by now, the carrier has been forced by the government to institute yet another program for the “benefit” of employees.  What they don’t say is it’s for the benefit of government employees, not us.  It’s called EEOC and what it means is if you call your female co-worker a bitch, hang Miss March in your locker or act in any other way politically incorrect, your life will be ruined and your children will be paying your legal bills into the next century. The point is, it applies to everyone, even those rather crude and outspoken managers you like so much. So keep your ears open, you may be able to turn in your favorite boss and tie the sucker up in federal red tape and big-brother bullshit for years.  Down side: all of us are also targets, so watch what you say…As you will recall, the carriers have figured out a way to get around training people by dressing them in distinctive clothing, like orange vests.  When it was pointed out that the rules require an engineer to sound the whistle whenever he saw one of these the plan suddenly changed. I hear now that we are going to green vests, obviously in honor of St. Patrick and our Irish brothers.  What’s that?  You’re not Catholic?  Oh, No!  Call the EEOC guy in Omaha, I think I’m being discriminated against! Orangemen Unite!  This is obviously religious discrimination.  (See how easy it is to screw with ‘em?)…We hear CMS is on the road to doom.  That’s right, the carrier says we can run the railroad without CMS and do just fine.  I thought that’s what we were doing now….Much celebration on the reduced retirement age and increased benefits for our retirees and survivors.  I don’t know whether I’m happier about getting two years off my sentence or the fact that some the nicest folks I know are going to get what has been due them for many years.  Either way, it’s a winner.  Work safe and look out for each other.

In the News:

In a recent issue of “Meat & Poultry” magazine, editors quoted from “Feathers”, the publication of the California Poultry Board, telling the following story: 
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has a unique device for testing the strength of windshields on aircraft.  The device is a gun that launches a dead chicken at a plane’s windshield at approximately the same speed the plane flies.  The theory is that if the windshield doesn’t crack from the carcass impact, it’ll survive a real collision with a bird during a flight.  Union Pacific’s high-tech design team was very interested in this and wanted to test a windshield on a brand-new, speedy locomotive they’re developing.  The borrowed the FAA’s chicken cannon, loaded the chicken and fired.  The ballistic chicken shattered the windshield, destroyed the instrument panel, went through the engineer’s seat and lodged itself in the back panel of the cab.  U.P. officials were stunned and asked the FAA to recheck the test and see if everything was done correctly.  The FAA reviewed the test thoroughly and had only one recommendation:  “Use a thawed chicken next time.”
  WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) Chairman and Chief Executive Richard K. Davidson received $4.5 million in restricted stock awards in 2001, according to a proxy filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Davidson received $3.6 million in restricted stock awards in 2000, the filing said. The CEO didn't receive a cash bonus in 2000 or 2001.

According to the filing, Davidson elected to forgo his 2001 bonus in exchange for restricted stock equal to 150% of the amount forgone. He received 59,250 shares in lieu of the bonus.

Davidson received a 2001 salary of $1.1 million, compared with a 2000 salary of $962,504. The company granted Davidson 150,000 options in 2001, and none in 2000, the filing said. The options expire Jan. 25, 2011, and have an exercise price of $ 49.88. Davidson realized a profit of $399,529 from the exercise of 29,749 options in 2001. He holds 1.2M exercisable options, valued at $11.1 million. He also holds 431,000 unexercisable options, valued at $1.2 million. Union Pacific disclosed the compensation information about its CEO in proxy materials related to the company's upcoming annual meeting on April 20.  The agenda for the meeting includes a shareholder proposal that recommends the board adopt a policy that would prohibit the chairman from also being an executive officer, such as CEO. Union Pacific's board recommended shareholders vote against the proposal, saying "it would reduce the board's flexibility to select a style of leadership depending on time and circumstances." Union Pacific said the independence of its board is assured because 12 of the 14 current directors aren't employed by the company. And the company's audit, compensation, finance and governance committees are composed entirely of outside directors. The Amalgamated Bank of New York Long View Collective Investment Fund, which owns 4,400 Union Pacific shares, said it believes separating the role of chairman and chief executive will promote better management accountability to shareholders. "Such oversight is important in light of the performance of Union Pacific's stock under its current chairman and CEO, Richard Davidson," the fund said in support of its proposal. Approval of the resolution requires a majority of the votes cast on the proposal at the meeting. 

SALT LAKE CITY (UPI) As a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Olympic security was greatly heightened and many local police and military organizations had called for the maximum security in the Salt Lake area.  In spite of this request, Union Pacific Railroad continued to carry extremely hazardous materials right behind the Olympic Plaza.  The other transportation companies, including air and surface, were permitted only limited and fully inspected access to the area.  Union Pacific ignored the warnings and carried on normal activities in spite of many requests to curtail operations of hazmat in the area.
Union Pacific Dictionary

Day Off, (noun).  Now, Let's see – you  were called on the 12th on your road trip at 2330 hours. The hours of service expired at 1130 but you did not arrive at your away from home terminal until1400 hours on the 13th.Now you were called out for 0200 hours on the 14th. You did not work on the 13th so therefore you had a day off.

Also if you make excessive HAHT at the away from home terminal you had another day off.  Now this may be a little difficult for you to understand but we have graph here that we can send you to help comprehend this. (We hope all you fine folks enjoy your time off and can remember that we are a team here and give it your best shot, no matter how little rest you get.  What’s that?  You want to lay off ?  Sorry, Pal, you cannot lay off unless a UP quack says you are sick.  Right now, he’s busy embalming his last case.  Please stand by.)

Moron Manager Award

Asst Supt. in San Antonio (by title, not authority) is an idiot.  He came out of LA IMO and knows zip about railroading.  Several months back he showed his ignorance to the train crews over the radio, once again.  While driving out of the south end of SOSAN yard (UP Yard) he saw a train, which was supposed to have departed for Laredo but had not moved.  He ask them on the radio why they had not departed.  The response was that they did not have a reverser.  The car department was on their way up with a reverser.  His retort was "You are not going to be backing up between here and Laredo so leave town now."  Months later you can still hear train crews asking each other over the radio if they are ready to leave and the answer is "yes I have a forwarder, I can go."  Thanks to Jack B, Retired SP

Quote of The Month

“There are lots of big trees out there, and we're going to cut them all down" Evans said, "Behind the trees, there are bushes and shrubs and weeds, and we're going to get them all."
Ike Evans

Quote of the Month, Part 2

“If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”
Harry S. Truman