Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Union Protests Feared CSX Benefit Changes; Teamsters Give Information out at Rail Yard Site

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Union Protests Feared CSX Benefit Changes; Teamsters Give Information out at Rail Yard Site

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

A division of the Teamsters union held what it called an informational picket Monday against Jacksonville-based CSX Corp., saying the company is planning to "drastically reduce our health insurance benefits."

The protest was held outside the CSX Moncrief Yard terminal on North McDuff Avenue and brought members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division to the demonstration between 2 and 4 p.m.

Initially, there was a half-dozen demonstrators walking near the entrance to the CSX Moncrief Yard in a heavy industrial area. Most carried placards and passed out fliers to workers leaving and arriving at the facility. The demonstrators were careful not to step on CSX property.

The picketers walked near the entrance to the CSX Moncrief Yard. Dall said they chose to focus on that site because that's where workers are located. Two Jacksonville Sheriff's Office officers showed up early, spoke with organizers, then left the area.

None of the initial demonstrators - union officials from BMWE - were from Jacksonville.

Union Internal Organizing Coordinator Carey Dall, from Oakland, Calif., said the movement is in response to a labor impasse between his organization and what's known as the big four railway companies - CSX, Norfolk Southern, Union Pacific and BNSF Railway.

"This is a movement," Dall said. "What's happening right now with a Republican trifecta in Washington, D.C., the railroads feel very confident that the president of the United States will order us to work under much worse conditions than we have right now.

"Hence the fight. There's a big reaction to those kinds of politics."

Dall said the informational demonstrations are a lead up to a "day of action" scheduled for Nov. 8 when railway union officials hope several labor groups and workers unite for a larger informational demonstration.

When asked for a comment, CSX spokesman Rob Doolittle said Monday, "CSX values the strong relationship it enjoys with its employees, including those who are represented by the BMWE. …

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