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Time To Ban One Person Locomotive Crews! Regulate Remote Control Use!

In the last 8 months, a number of railroad workers have been killed on the job using a technology called Remote Control Operations (RCO). The most recent just before New Yaer's in Minneaplois.

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January 4, 2010 (FPRC) -- Since the Mother's Day 2009 death of Jared Boehlke in the CSX Selkirk rail yard, Heather Boehlke has been campaigning for an end to the practice of using one person locomotive remote control crews to move cars around railroad switching yards. Both Jared Boehlke's union, the United Transportation Union (UTU), and the locomotive engineers union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLET), have called upon the Federal Railroad Administration for a ban, to no avail.

'My heart goes out to the Lundy family, I know the pain that they are suffering. This is exactly what I have been dreading the thought of, for the last seven months. The thought of yet another family in pain, it makes me so sick.' said Heather Boehlke, widow of locomotive remote control operator Jared Boehlke, upon hearing the news of the death of Samuel W. Lundy, who was killed while performing locomotive remote control switching in Minneapolis on Tuesday, December 29.

A letter has been drawn up to be sent to Congressman James Oberstar, head of the House Transportation Committee, urging federal legislation and regulation to ban the practice of a one person RCO crew as unsafe and dangerous. Those who are in agreement are urged to send the letter to Congressman Oberstar.

The letter says in part 'Regulations governing conventional rail operations are in place to protect not only rail workers but also the public from potentially devastating accidents. That protection is not in place for any of us as long as rail carriers are able to avoid complying with vital RCO safety and operating regulations.'

Heather Boehlke has made a video appeal on the issue. The letter to Congressman Oberstar can be downloaded here.

'This needs to be changed. How many people need to be injured or killed before Congress takes action. Please, I urge the public to appeal to Congressman Oberstar, the railroads need to have strict regulations put into place, before another family gets that forever life changing call' Heather Boehlke said.

Send an email to Ron Kaminkow -- Secretary of Railroad Workers United
608-358-5771

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