The SMART Transportation Division would like to remind members of the grassroots organizational meeting being led by Brother Arin Johnson of Local 194 (Elkhart, Ind.,) in Cleveland on May 3, 2023. 

SMART-TD International officers and staff have been invited to attend the meeting and will have representatives on hand to participate in the discussion being led by Brother Johnson. The meeting will begin at noon EST at the SMART Sheet Metal Local 33 Building 12515 Corporate Dr., Parma, OH, 44130.  

SMART-TD would like to clarify that the May 3 meeting in Cleveland is not part of the international’s training program. Rather, it is a coalition-building session organized and led by Brother Johnson, who has had success building on the best-demonstrated practices of the locals in Indiana through his meetings. TD leadership is supportive of his efforts and has encouraged him to expand the reach of his project to include meetings around the country. SMART-TD published an article on March 29 to promote the event and to give Johnson’s efforts a wider reach. 

SMART-TD is proud to organize and to lead a strong curriculum of educational and informational opportunities for our members around the country. These opportunities include Regional Training Seminars like those scheduled later this year Oct. 3-6 in Toledo, Ohio, and Nov. 6-9 in Davenport, Iowa. SMART’s annual Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. for general chairperson officers and state legislative board officers is scheduled July 30-Aug. 2. A slate of educational videos also is available through the SMART Member Portal 24-7 via SMART University

SMART-TD again thanks Brother Johnson for having coordinated this meeting and looks forward to seeing as many of you there as possible. 

North Dakota locals will be holding informational meetings for their members on April 30 in Fargo, May 1 in Minot, and May 2 in Bismarck.
These meetings provide an exceptional opportunity to learn about your benefits and visit with union officers and representatives from the Railroad Retirement Board, UTUIA, health care and other insurance plans as well as SMART TD Designated Legal Counsel.
All members, retirees, and spouses/significant others are welcome to attend any of the meetings. There is no registration; just come if you can.
For further information, call State Legislative Director Jim Chase at 701-223-0061 or email
Here is the schedule:

  • Tuesday, April 30, 1 p.m.
    Biltmore on Main Hotel & Suites
    3800 Main Ave., Fargo
  • Wednesday, May 1, 1 p.m.
    Grand Hotel
    1505 N. Broadway Ave., Minot
    6 p.m. Social & 7 p.m. Annual Retirement Banquet
  • Thursday, May 2, 1 p.m.
    Quality Inn
    1030 E. Interstate Ave., Bismarck

Click here to view a pdf of this event.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced Tuesday, April 9, that the Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC) will meet later this month for the first time since its reinstatement last autumn.
According to a notice published in the Federal Register, RSAC is scheduled to meet 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, April 24 and 25, 2019, at the National Association of Home Builders, National Housing Center, 1201 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005.
RSAC is composed of 40 voting representatives from 29 member organizations, including SMART Transportation Division and other rail labor groups, representing various rail industry perspectives.
The meeting’s agenda is scheduled to include opening remarks from FRA Administrator Ron Batory, updates on the industry’s implementation of Positive Train Control and FRA presentations from its Passenger Safety and Tourist and Historic Railroads working groups, the Federal Register notice stated.
Planning and procedures of future RSAC activities also will be on the agenda, which is subject to change.
The meeting is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis, and is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Persons who wish to submit written comments for RSAC’s consideration during the meeting must submit them no later than Friday, April 19, to ensure transmission to RSAC members prior to the meeting. Comments received after that date and time will be distributed to the members but may not be reviewed prior to the meeting.
Those seeking additional information should contact Kenton Kilgore, RSAC designated federal officer/RSAC coordinator at the FRA Office of Railroad Safety at 202-493-6286; or Larry Woolverton, executive officer of the FRA Office of Railroad Safety at 202-493-6212.
RSAC was rechartered for two years in September 2018 after a period of dormancy. The committee, in existence since 1996, advises the FRA administrator and makes recommendations on matters relating to railroad safety, resulting in a process that allows stakeholders, including labor and industry representatives, to collaborate before proposed rules are submitted. It last met in May 2017.

Thinking of election to union office in the future? Want to improve your skills representing members? Or maybe you just want to gain a better understanding of labor law, grievance handling, transportation regulation and transportation safety?

UTU regional meetings are crafted to meet those objectives, and there is still time to register for the June regional meeting in San Antonio June 20-22, or in New York City July 4-6.

Click on the following link to learn more about registering:

Here is a sample of the workshops to be conducted at each regional meeting — all conducted by experts, who include attorneys, federal officials, seasoned arbitrators, UTU officers with considerable experience in the subject matter, and carrier labor officers:

  • Responding to hazmat emergencies and keeping crew members safe.
  • Reducing worker risks in rail yards.
  • Understanding the Railway Labor Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the National Mediation Board and the National Labor Relations Board.
  • Operation of a public law board, including a live arbitration hearing.
  • Grievance handling for rail and bus members, and how to develop investigative strategies and techniques.
  • Best practices in representing members.
  • How to handle unruly airline, bus and rail passengers.
  • Conductor certification and what it means.
  • The basics of positive train control.
  • Preparing for and participating in contract negotiations, and the role of mediators.
  • Lobbying techniques before state legislatures and Congress.
  • Understanding the surge in political attacks on collective bargaining rights, Railroad Retirement, Social Security and Medicare, and how union solidarity can halt the success of those attacks.
  • The role of designated legal counsel in accident investigations and medical treatment.
  • Local secretary-treasurer training, including requirements and duties and using WinStabs software.
  • Yardmaster workshops.
  • The role of the UTU Auxiliary.

Another significant value of attending regional meetings is to share experiences and strategies with members of all crafts and from across the nation — following workshops and during evening social gatherings.

Workshops also offer question and answer sessions.

Each regional meeting concludes with a state-of-the union message by International President Mike Futhey, and International officers will be in attendance at each meeting to respond to questions and concerns of members.

Many members bring spouses and children to regional meetings, where planned activities are provided for their enjoyment while members attend workshops.