News Articles





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Freight railroads, short line railroads and rail labor applaud Congress for ensuring that rail workers have access to critical unemployment and sickness benefits during this unprecedented public health emergency in the latest COVID-19 aid package. Unlike the average American worker, railroaders do not receive unemployment benefits through state-administered programs but rather through the Railroad Retirement Board’s (RRB) Railroad Unemployment Insurance Program (RUI).

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BNSF Railway will change its medical leave of absence and return-to-work policies following a lawsuit filed by several rail labor unions, including the BMWED.

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The following health and wellness resources are available to you and your family.

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Our country has come to a massive halt, but BMWED members nationwide remain at work, keeping a hobbled economy standing. Everyone who has ever driven a spike knows that railroaders are among the strongest, benevolent, kind, driven and committed people you’d ever know. And now, thanks to a global emergency, that sentiment is crystal clear to everyone.

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It is advised that all railroad employees set-up an account with the Railroad Retirement Board immediately in the event short-term disability benefits are needed.

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An excel spreadsheet outlining legislative action at the state level in response to COVID-19

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Based on the best information currently available and guidance issued by public health officials, the Office of the Labor Member has canceled all Pre-Retirement Seminars scheduled from March through June until further notice.

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BMWED President Freddie N. Simpson sent official letters today to the country’s largest railroads urging them to protect the safety of their employees during the current global and national pandemic.


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