Re: Meeting 3/10/2022

To: ALL IBEW Local 589 Railroad Electricians

Re: Major Dispute/ Drug and Alcohol Policy

Brothers and Sisters,

I hope this message finds you and your families doing well as we begin to see the light at the end of this “COVID” tunnel. We have all lost something or someone during this pandemic and struggle each day to regain some semblance of the life we all enjoyed prior to the Pandemic. As employees we have seen the stress of the unknown weigh on our coworkers and take the lives of too many of our friends.

While we can control most of our surroundings at home, the same cannot be said for work, where we are front line employees who are essential to the recovery of the region. We show up every day as part of a contract we have with the Carrier. Now more than ever, the language of that contract is essential to our health and wellbeing. The contract is simple, as we agree to provide a specific service to the Carrier, in return for fair treatment, wages and benefits, and the Carrier agrees to honor the spirit and language of the agreement. When either party ignores their obligation under this agreement, it damages the relationship between employer and employee and creates an underlying pressure which needs to be released for the sake of stability. Normally, the parties can find a resolution when they are both willing to look for one, and each party respects the position of the other.

However, when one party ignores the contract, the language and the spirit of cooperation, the other party is left with a tough decision. Either do nothing or do what is necessary for a resolution. As the principal officer and your representative that decision must now be made. After too many sleepless nights I have been unable to find a resolution short of an extreme action.

That said, please make sure you have access to our Union web/text blast. Unions were formed to protect the rights of workers from employers who would otherwise ignore those rights. While the pandemic has been difficult for us all, it cannot be an excuse to hide behind, and ignore the agreement between the parties.

For more information on the specific issue please see the attached letter to the Carrier.


Ricardo Sanchez, General Chairman
I.B.E.W Local Union 589