CCJ Daily Dispatch, Aug. 24: Railroad groups seek hours relief for emergency response workers

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Aug. 24, 2020:

Railroad groups seek hours relief during unplanned emergency events
The Association of American Railroads and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association are petitioning for relief from several hours of service provisions.

In a waiver request submitted to FMCSA, the groups requested relief from provisions in order to enable railroad employees subject to hours rules to respond to unplanned events that occur outside of or extend beyond the employee’s normal work hours.

Specifically, the groups are petitioning for these drivers to be able to:

  • Drive a commercial vehicle without first taking 10 consecutive hours off-duty
  • Drive after the 14th hour after coming on-duty
  • Drive more than 11 hours during the 14-hour on-duty period
  • Drive beyond 8 hours following an off-duty period without a 30-minute break
  • Drive after surpassing the 60- or 70-hour weekly limits

The railroad groups contend that the hours prohibitions on driving after a 14-hour period, and after 60 or 70 hours on-duty in a moving 7- or 8-day week, “inhibit a railroad’s ability to respond expeditiously to certain types of emergency situations.”

The waivers would apply to railroad employees responding to unplanned events that affect interstate commerce, service or the safety of railway operations, including passenger rail operations, and that occur outside of or extend beyond the employee’s normal shift.

FMCSA is requesting public comments on the request, which can be made here through Sept. 21.

Werner named top employer for military vets
Werner Enterprises (No. 11 on the CCJ Top 250) has been named a top 30 Best for Vets Employer by Military Times for the sixth year in a row.

Companies and organizations across all industries were evaluated based on a survey that included nearly 100 questions focused on company culture, hiring efforts, employment benefits and policies related to veterans, service members and military families.

“At Werner, we take great pride in providing opportunities for veterans and their families,” said Werner Vice Chairman, President and CEI Derek Leathers. “Our nation’s heroes and their families deserve the best opportunities. Werner provides the latest technology and a career track with unwavering support to ensure success as a professional driver or office associate.”

Werner says veterans make up approximately 20% of its workforce.