Josh Hartford, IAM Special Assistant to the International President for the Rail Division, and District 19 General Chairman Heath Jacobs traveled to Chicago, IL to attend Local 498 and Local 2600 monthly membership meetings.

While in Chicago, Hartford and Jacobs visited members at Amtrak and met with several new members who are excited to be a part of the IAM and Local 2600.

“I am proud to be a member of the IAM,” said new member Dave Steffan. “The IAM is the strongest union at the Chicago Shop, and our leadership really looks out for us.”

Hartford and Jacobs also met with Soo Line Railroad (SOO) members to discuss the tentative agreement that will be out for membership ratification soon. The members had great questions and were thankful for the visit.

The final shop visit was at Union Pacific’s (UP) M19A commuter rail facility. Members here inspect, maintain, and repair UP’s commuter rail fleet that provides passenger service for METRA.

“Our members do a great job ensuring Chicago commuter rail riders are safe,” said Hartford. “Our members make sure the traveling public is able to get to their destinations on time.”

At the same time, IAM Special Representative for the Rail Division Derrick Battle and District 19 General Chairman Kenny Krause met with the approximately 80 CSX Traveling Roadway Mechanics in Jacksonville, FL for the annual “startup” meeting. These members work on various systems and regional tie and rail gangs across the entire 26-state system.

Meetings were also held with CSX Labor Relations to discuss changes to the travel allowance and per diem negotiated by the IAM Rail Division and District 19 in the last round of national bargaining ratified by the membership late last year.

“The work these members perform repairing and maintaining the equipment used to install and replace rail and ties are essential to CSX’s ability to keep trains moving efficiently and safely,” said Battle. “These members spend a lot of time away from home to do their jobs and the IAMAW Rail Division and District 19 are committed to working with CSX to improve the travel allowance and per diem that these members truly deserve.”

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