December, 2000 Snakebites
|2nd Annual Snakebites Christmas Wish
Lt. Dan wishes he were a Colonel again. (And so do we.)
Everyone in El Paso wishes us luck. We offered to send him back, but no takers.
Touchdown wishes all the officers a Merry
Christmas and wants you to know he will be
Last year, Lee Neal was wishing he had a
date. This year, he’s getting married.
All the post-85 guys wish TPA would go
away so the old heads would realize we are all
Sam K. wishes someone else could be the truant officer. (Everyone else wishes Sam wasn’t so good at his job.)
Spike wishes he could go to lunch on time, and quit calling him Spike!
UTU leadership wishes the BLE would shut the hell up.
BLE leadership wishes the UTU would shut the hell up.
The membership wishes they would ALL shut the hell up.
Year-End Wrap-Up: Omaha
Geez..where do we begin? As usual, UP’s micro-managing, jerk-off, no-brain, dumb-assed, damned-fool, hare-brained, go-to-hell management has brought us to another brink of disaster. In spite of everything the bosses have done to this mega-merged railroad, there still seems to be a glimmer of life left in the over-worked, over-extended and under-rewarded work force. Not that the over-paid, over-rated mangers in Omaha, that pillar of salt in fertile Mid-America, could have done anything about it.
As usual, Dick and Ike have spent more money on the three-dollar accountants and hack writers to fill up the annual report than they do on real railroading. Indeed, if the operation of a real railroad ever came up over the morning coffee in Omaha, they’d probably say something like this:
Ike: “Hey, Dick, look at this report. We’ve got less than 150 recrews system-wide yesterday!”
Dick: “Hell, Ike. You still haven’t learned how to read UP stats. That just means we got away with not reporting 150 personal injuries!”
Ike: “You mean 150 employees got hurt at work yesterday?”
Dick: “Well, not exactly. We had 22,356 recrews, but to make this thing work, we had to move some of the numbers over to another column so that the ratio of recrews to managers bonuses worked out to the reportable injury rate less the FRA bribe quota. Get it?”
Ike: “Well, gee Dick, I don’t know. I used to make toasters by the millions and nobody ever got hurt that I know of.”
Dick: “Look, moron, we didn’t hire you to ask questions. You’re supposed to use your influence to jack up the stock price and put your reputation as a straight-up businessman to work to cover up the stuff we really do here at UP. If you can’t handle that, you better look for a job in the Bush administration.”
Ike: “Wait a minute! You’re saying that if I don’t like it here I can go and get a job with government! Didn’t Dick Cheney do that after he left UP? My God!! You guys want me to be the next candidate for Vice-President! This is great!”
Dick: “Cool your jets, Ivor.
All we really want is to get your semi-honest ass out of here
before you figure out what we’re really doing and go and tell
Phil Anschutz about it.”
...This is "Worker" Speaking...
I promised the Editor of this fine publication that I would write a "post-election" issue. Thanks to the republican hacks in Florida and the US Supreme Court, I got a 36 day reprieve....!
Well, now we have a republican moron from Texas, who was apparently elected by a bunch of democratic morons from Florida.. What does that mean for us working stiffs? I predict four years of pain and hardship. Kiss "work - rest" extra boards good bye, for starters. The UP was agreeable to work rest as a way of getting the FRA off their backs, when fatigued train crews started playing "bumper cars" with the equipment. No need for that now, as we will soon see a Bush appointee as the new FRA director. Likely, the FRA will be transformed from a regulatory agency to a society of federally funded trainmasters, who will be setting up Embassy Suite style "duck blinds" at your favorite remote sidings to assist the UP weed weasels with their efficiency testing. Not only will you be subject to Upgrade discipline, how ‘bout a nice personal fine for an intentional and/or willful violation of the operating rules?
Like the TV ad says: "But Wait...There's More....!"
Look for nation's railroads to make a
serious run at changing or eliminating FELA. (If you don't
understand what FELA is, shame on you for not attending any union
Did someone say "National Agreement?" Given that former UP Board of Directors Member Dick Cheney is now our Vice President Elect, I would be very surprised if we even saw a national agreement ratification effort. The word is that the nations railroads are backing away from the tentative deal they made with the UTU, figuring that they would be much better off with a Dick Davidson appointed....er....President Bush appointed PEB. If you don't know understand what that means, STRIKE TWO, SHAME ON YOU, for not attending any union meetings or reading your mail.
The past 40 days has given us all a
remarkable lesson in civics. It proves beyond any doubt, that
all branches of our government are infected and influenced by
politics. Ultimately, it was a majority of Supreme Court
members (appointed by Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr.) that decided
to give the presidential election to George W. Bush. Because
of retirements, over the next four years, "W" will likely
have the opportunity to appoint at least 3 new judges to the
supreme court, and hundreds of federal court judges. These
folks ain't gonna be Democrats! Possible Impact: the further
eroding of laws dealing with railway safety.
Happy Holidays and until next time, keep the faith and be safe.
Safety First Dep’t.
Griever’s Corner: Year in Review
Well, another year closer to retirement.
Of course, we took two steps backward when the BASTARDS in DC shot
holes in 60/30. It’s not dead yet, but in need of major
first-aid…… Last January, they cut jobs and furloughed the new
guys. This January they will cut jobs and furlough the new
guys. But wait! This year they’re gonna train more
new guys while the old new guys are cut off!!…..The long-planned
project to notch the tunnels for double-stacks on the Mountain has
been cancelled. Seems a couple of officers and a couple of
train crews who should have known better ran the stackers against
the current east out of Roseville, and they made it over the hill
with only minimal damage. A few more passes to knock off the bigger
rocks and the UP will have saved millions…It’s official: since
the arrival of our new Super, we are no longer in the railroad
business, we are in the discipline business. Investigations
have tripled……..Bad Joke of The Year: Empowerment. Yeah, right,
just try to bad-order that (whatever) and see how far you get…..
Reverend Ike passes over Sacto: Our paid informant tells us
that Mr. Evans’ plane couldn’t land because of fog last week,
so we were not able to hear the speech he had prepared for the
worthy employees. Instead, Jeff Verhaal made a few remarks that
nobody remembers and the agreement folks all got a day’s pay for
showing up. It’s in the budget, you know…Remember the
Texas test? Wrap a signal with black cloth and then set up a
new guy to run past it? Somebody let me know what happened,
please…TWC seems to be dying a well-deserved death. I’d
like to hear about this next year, too……Notice how the number
of OS junkies has dropped? Rehab works, Brothers!….I got in
trouble this year with some folks because of my comments about the
region meetings and the International. I like those folks, in
fact they are the reason I put up with this BS. But my views
haven’t changed much. Besides, I like the nickname “Chicken
Little.” … We wrote about the “good old days” many times
this year. We always felt we performed a public service and
still made a profit (sometimes). And we always felt that we
were in an honorable and historic profession. No more.
You can be replaced by, well…..On the other hand, the next
generation of railroaders is in many ways tougher than we
are….hopefully, smarter, too. We’ve let our leaders in
labor lose touch with us, and let the carriers touch us too much.
If these so-called labor leaders and the gangsters the carriers
hire for Labor Relations don’t stop playing games with the lives
of the people who make all this happen, well …. Railroaders, like
Americans in general, will put up with a lot of bullshit. But
eventually, usually at the last minute, they will say, “Enough,
dammit!!” And then there will be hell to pay.
Overheard in the LA Super’s
Just when you'd thought you'd heard
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