Ohio rail union blasts Norfolk Southern’s ‘disregard’ for workers’ safety

The Ohio contingent of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way – Employes Division (BMWED) told Gov. Mike DeWine in a letter this week that Norfolk Southern failed to adequately protect workers on the scene of the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine…

The letter also criticized Norfolk Southern for including discussions about the use of automated track inspection (ATI) in negotiations over sick leave.

As the derailment cleanup was occurring, BMWED was negotiating with NS over sick leave, and the two parties eventually reached an agreement. But one of the initial conditions that NS brought up that was later discarded called for BMWED to withdraw its objections before the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) over ATI, which uses machines to scan the track structure for track defects.

The union’s position is that while ATI is beneficial, human inspections should also occur because they can spot defects that ATI might not on the right-of-way.