Message to rail workers from TD President Ferguson re: UAW strike action

September 14, 2023

Brothers and sisters —

The SMART Transportation Division stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the United Auto Workers (UAW). As railroaders, we are acutely aware of how it feels to be in their situation. It does not take much of an effort to remember when we were in the same boat last December. As railroad workers we fall under the Railway Labor Act. Our brothers and sisters in the UAW are in a far different situation working under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

That being said, we as SMART-TD members are not legally permitted to participate in a strike or work action conducted by any other nationally recognized labor organization. HOWEVER, SMART-TD’s office wants all our crews to be fully aware of their rights in the event of a national work stoppage by the UAW currently scheduled to occur at 00:01 Friday, September 15th.

Section 92 of Article 21-B in the SMART constitution states very clearly that, “When a strike of any other nationally recognized labor organization is in effect and danger to the safety of our members exists in or about the area affected by the strike, and/or if there exists any substantial present or potential threat of danger to the members en route to or from their work, and/or to the members’ families, it is the policy of SMART to support its members in declining to enter the territory directly affected.”

As of the morning of September 14th, SMART-TD’s understanding of the situation on the ground is that the UAW is planning to operate a system of targeted rolling strike actions. If you are scheduled to service a customer and you have any questions about the situation, please contact your union representative.


Jeremy Ferguson
President, Transportation Division