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Old 09-01-2019, 02:09 PM is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 15,033
Originally Posted by pullin View Post
Have brakemen been eliminated? Or just the necessity for them? I thought the union kept them employed aboard trains still. Or maybe I'm thinking of firemen.
The union contract just required them to be kept employed by the railroad. They didn't have to shovel coal anymore, or even to ride on trains. So the railroad tried to find other jobs for them to do. Without displacing other union workers.

In the 1990s, I worked for BN railroad, and they sent a bunch of former coal-shovelers to training for mainframe computer programmers. Didn't turn out too well -- those guys mostly didn't have the aptitude for computer work at all!