DFF Item #30

30. Dear Mr. Railroad President:

Through the most  thorough and exhaustive  investigative procedures by our mole planted deep within the bowels of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Department of Denial and Archive Destruction It has come to the attention of our most august organization that your draconian employee absentee policy not only requires employees to work on their scheduled rest days but disciplines them for absenteeism that has not yet occurred. We have surreptitiously acquired several pieces of correspondence between the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Office of Hearings and Investigations and an employee, a Mr. Montenitro and his union representative, concerning his proposed absence from a work session to which his attendance was requested and required but was scheduled during his normal rest days which are guaranteed by a contract negotiated and in effect between his union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Boilermakers, Pipe Fitters, and Anesthesiologists Local 4702, and the Lackawanna Terminal Railway. He was unable to attend this work session due to prior commitments he made based on his contracted relief days yet was threatened, harassed, and will eventually be disciplined for being unable to participate. 

We have included for your perusal and information these pieces of correspondence although we    suspect that you already know of the incident to which they refer. We demand answers to this most unconscionable action toward Mr. Montenitro by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Office of Hearings and Investigations in collusion with the union that represents him. Combined these letters are a sad commentary on the most rigid, stringent, and outrageously ironhanded absentee policy in the railroad industry and, perhaps the harshest absentee policy that has existed since the demise of the Soviet Union not to mention the stranglehold the Lackawanna Terminal Railway maintains on the very organization that presumes to protect Mr. Montenitro from your nefarious schemes. What have you to say in what could only be described as a paltry, beggarly, and pitiable defense?

Ms. Mona Lott
National President
PETEOSFC
People for the Ethical Treatment of Employees and Other Furry Creatures

Dear Member of Management to Whom I Report:
Thanks so much for the recent invitation to work my relief day but under the terms of the presiding contract between our union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Boilermakers, Pipe Fitters, and Anesthesiologists Local 4702, and the Lackawanna Terminal Railway, Inc., workers in my craft are not required to work during our scheduled relief days. Under other circumstances, I’d readily accept an invitation for the extra overtime. Unfortunately this week is the start of school and we have various parent meetings and such. This day is, unfortunately, already booked. But please keep me in mind for future work sessions. Have fun, and certainly let me know how it goes!

John Montenitro
Humble employee

Dear Mr. Montenitro; 

Please be advised that do to your refusal to attend this most important work session which is to be held during your normal rest day and to which you are required by the company to attend but have refused to do so for obviously specious reasons you have been placed on the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Office of Hearing and Investigations’ “Did not show” list and will be receiving a certified letter referencing the date of your hearing and investigation. You may wish to retain and consult representatives from your union prior to the date that will be mentioned in the letter.

Successful prosecution of your case by the company can, and most probably will, lead to time off without pay, termination, a civil judgment against you and your family for pecuniary losses incurred by the company for your failure to respond promptly to the proper and justified orders of your supervisor, forfeiture of your company housing, loss of your hard earned railroad pension, as well as the enmity of your family and the American people.

Quite frankly, Mr. Montenitro, your domestic entanglements are of little or no concern to the Lackawanna Terminal Railway but, however have, in fact, caused the railroad no small amount of consternation. It will give me no small satisfaction to see you pilloried in front of your family and what few friends you will have left at the hearing and investigation.

Have a nice day, 
Leonard McKrill
Presiding Officer
The Lackawanna Terminal Railway 
Office of Hearings and Investigations

Dear Mr McKrill: 
We are in receipt of a letter from you to brother Montenitro concerning a pending violation of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s most extreme absentee policy wherein you set him up for a hearing for an occurrence that has not yet happened. As much as our union dislikes legal entanglements I am required to forward this correspondence and all others in regard to this, as yet, unresolved situation to our union representatives at the national level for clarification and advice. On a professional level, however, don’t you think it’s a bit premature to place Mr. Montenitro on the “Did not show” list, since the event “Did not happen” yet? Or is this “management preemption” a new policy at the Lackawanna Terminal Railway? Normally, corporate policy states that the employee must actually be absent in order to get harassed!

Have a nice day yourself, buster! 
Salvatore “Sally Knuckles” Monella
Local Chairman and Business Agent
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
Boilermakers, Pipe Fitters, and Anesthesiologists Local 4702


Dear Mr Monella:
We here at the World Headquarters of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, feel that by preempting the normal protocol for disciplinary actions against erasable and recalcitrant  employees, in this case, disciplining them before they misbehave, we save both the Company (hereafter referred to as Us) and the employee represented by the contract between the Lackawanna Terminal Railway and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Boilermakers, Pipe Fitters, and Anesthesiologists local 4702 (hereafter referred to as the Great Unwashed) a great deal of time and expense, reduces paperwork, and increases productivity due to the example set for the rest of the Great Unwashed. If, in the unlikeliest scenario, Mr. Montenitro does show up for the work session as instructed by his supervisor the discipline he receives will be applied against the next disciplinary action against him.

We here at the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Hearing and Investigation Committee Office hope that this explanation of our most efficient and correct disciplinary policy will help you re-examine Mr. Montenitro’s relationship with this Company, the Company, we might add, that has provided him with so much in the past and that as a result of properly conducted circumspect self-analysis he may avoid any future antisocial, that is anti-Corporate, behavior and thus obviate further turmoil and disruption of his  financial and totally irrelevant personal life.

We have found, through years of research and experience, that placing letters of reprimand for absenteeism and a long list of other disciplinary concerns into an employee’s file without informing the subject of those letters of their existence has considerably reduced the level of angst that lies just below the surface of all “organized” employees of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway. Research by our department has also found that such unfounded employee concerns, if allowed to fester, reduce the employee’s ability to contribute positively to the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s most satisfactory and required profit margin. The reduction of these most necessary profits, if reduced even a modicum, inhibit the Corporation from influencing those whose fields of influence allow the Lackawanna Terminal Railway to succeed in an industry that would crush us utterly if allowed.

It is therefore essential that employee discipline be carried out in a manner that, while secretly and quietly reinstructing the employee of the benefits of corporate fealty, limits any adverse affect on the employee’s ability to add to the corporate bottom line.

As an aside, Mr. Monella, it should not be necessary to remind you who funded your bid for the union office you now hold nor who hired your three children as a condition of their parole from prison. It might also be advantageous to remind you that the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s parent corporation Lackawanna Terminal Industries, Inc., through their subsidiary Corporation Les Ateliers Internationaux de Machinerie  D'Exportation, holds the mortgage on the lavish house in the suburbs your family presently occupies and the lease on the expensive BMW sports car you and your "secret" mistress love to take on your business trips for the union. 

We, here at the most solicitous Office of Hearings and Investigations at the World Headquarters of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway in Scranton, Pennsylvania, hope this clears up any concerns you might have about our most efficient and correct disciplinary policy

If I can be of further service please do not hesitate to contact me,

Leonard McKrill
Presiding Officer
The Lackawanna Terminal Railway 
Office of Hearings and Investigations

Dear Mr. McKrill:

Well, now that you’ve explained it all so well, I cannot but applaud your proactive and forward-thinking policies. While you’re at it then, please also send Mr. Montenitro disciplinary letters for the following: 

1. One or more sessions that he will not be able to attend next year due to illness, conflicting schedules, hangovers, or weddings and/or wedding anniversaries (his or others’) 
2. One or more work sessions in each of the next few years for the same reasons. 
3. One or more work sessions in each of the following bunch of years for the same reasons. 
4. One or two work sessions in the years following his death. Oh yeah, why not send him a disciplinary letter for the inconvenience caused the company by that, too? 

Ever so grateful for your cooperation, 
Salvatore “Sally Knuckles” Monella
Local Chairman and Business Agent
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
Boilermakers, Pipe Fitters, and Anesthesiologists Local 4702

PS: Your large monetary contribution to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Boilermakers, Pipe Fitters, and Anesthesiologists Local 4702 Widows and Orphans Fund is greatly appreciated.

SM

Dear Mr. Monella; 
Pleased be advised that the letters about which you inquire have already been added to Mr. Montenitro’s personal personnel file along with several others whose subject we are not allowed to confirm. 

We remain helpful to a fault, 

Leonard McKrill
Lackawanna Terminal Railway 
Office of Hearings and Investigations

Dear Mr. McKrill:
Thank you for your prompt reply, expressing once again the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s clear ideals for employer-employee relations. It is a breath of fresh air that blows through the halls of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s headquarters. If you need to contact me further concerning this, or any similar, incidents which have not, as yet, occurred my secretary can reach me at our annual convention for the Widows and Orphans Fund to be held in Suva, the capital of the Fiji Islands. This trip is made possible, of course, by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s most generous monetary contribution to this most worthy cause.

Yours in solidarity, 
Salvatore “Sally Knuckles” Monella
Local Chairman and Business Agent
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Boilermakers, Pipe Fitters, and Anesthesiologists Local 4702

Dear Ms. Lott:

It has always been the policy of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team to foster cooperation between the Company and organized labor in an effort to enhance the working relationship between the Management Team and those they seek to control. The result of this cooperation between management and labor’s leadership has allowed the Lackawanna Terminal Railway to attain, and then maintain, the highest level of success in an industry that is immensely competitive. 

If I may be so bold, the bare facts are that employees participating in the business of running the Lackawanna Terminal Railway must be held at a high level of productivity at all times when the needs of the Company so require and this potentially means all day, everyday, regardless of whatever contractual constraints with which organized labor seeks to shackle this fine Corporation.

The correspondence you have presented, which you mistakenly believe to be evidence of collusion between the Lackawanna Terminal Railway and organized labor to circumvent Federal labor law is, in fact, evidence a high level of cooperation between management and labor the results of which are a better standard of living for the worker through excessive overtime and a manifold increase in the profit margin of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway.

I hope this satisfactorily answers all you question concerning the relationship between the Lackawanna Terminal Railway Management Team and those that labor for our gain.

Bernard Kracken
Lackawanna Terminal Railway
Department of Denial and Archive Destruction

40. Dear Mr. Railroad President:
There was a heated discussion at work today between Track Foreman and CMO Mr. Clem Chalk and myself. The discussion centered on the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s most auspicious intermodal policy and exactly what is going on. I was under the impression that the Lackawanna Terminal Railway is running intermodal traffic only to suit its “higher ups” in the corporation, that is, those who have never set foot in a rail yard. It was also my belief that intermodal traffic runs a distant second to the more important traffic; local customers on the Lackawanna Terminal property such as Sulfex Chemical and National Chemical and Refining from whom the real money is made. It was Mr. Chalk’s opinion that the intermodal traffic on the Lackawanna Terminal Railway was a true cash cow for the railroad. He said that all railroads should be as lucky to have as booming an intermodal business as the Lackawanna Terminal has. He made the point that intermodal is king and carload traffic to industries is a dying breed. My response to his statement is, if intermodal was so important on the Lackawanna Terminal Railway why did I have a pair of Alco's shoving the precious TOFC's on my last train instead of the more modern, and therefore more reliable, high horsepower available in the locomotive market today . I believe that this shows that the managers at the Lackawanna Terminal Railway have little appreciation for the cargo in these trailers therefore put the helpers on to "rock" the packages.

What is the official view on the intermodal business from those at the top of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway food chain?

Ty Butts
Locomotive Engineer
Vice Local Chairman
Brotherhood of Locomotive Employees
Division 666

Dear Mr. Butts:

At the request of the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway, it has become my most pleasant task to explain the priorities set by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway Management Team relative to the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's most successful intermodal service provided to our customers from the recently constructed Intermodal Facility at Mount Morris, NY, a facility that serves customer throughout the Southern Tier of New York State with gateways to the west coast and beyond and traffic generated by our most important customers whose shipments take a more traditional path to their destinations.

You are quite right in your assumption that the Lackawanna Terminal Railway is running this new and important intermodal service for the benefit of those “higher ups” who have never set foot in a rail yard. However, your assumption does not go quite far enough since all Lackawanna Terminal Railway traffic is run to suit the “higher ups” and those who have never set foot in a rail yard. 

Every economist understands the financial incentives that justify each type of transportation tariff generated by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Department of Undeniable Rate Generation. Proper rate generation, sprinkled liberally with attractive fiduciary incentives, results in a level of profitability that assures a substantial return on investment which is the goal of any for-profit corporation. The Lackawanna Terminal Railway Management Team is justifiably proud to be one of the more successful in fulfilling this mandate; one of many such mandates that spew daily from the LackawannaTerminal Railway’s Corporate Headquarters. Since its inception, the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Rapid Intermodal Service from Mount Morris, New York to points west and beyond has, in fact, generated revenues far beyond the level first projected by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Accounting Department, Division of Revenue Projection. This, in effect, makes the intermodal service a “cash cow” as Mr. Chalk correctly opines and indeed, many other railroads have tried to surreptitiously infiltrate our offices in Scranton, Pennsylvania to purloin those most effective marketing techniques used to create and build what has allowed the Lackawanna Terminal railway to become a juggernaut in the railroad industry. The Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team is further proud to state that our marketing techniques that have allowed such a rapid development of the intermodal business flowing from the Mount Morris facility has peaked the interest of law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels and is the focus of several task forces set up to determine the legality of said marketing techniques; techniques that have managed to drive several long haul trucking companies out of business in the short years and have cornered the intermodal market in the northeastern Unites States since the inception of our intermodal service.

Having voiced our delight with the growth of the intermodal traffic on the Lackawanna Terminal railway, the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team wishes in no way to denigrate the importance of our customers who ship their commodities in more conventional and diverse railcars. Customers such as Sulfex Chemical, National Chemical and Refining, as well as the New York State Power Authority, Stradivarius Steel Corporation, Amalgamated Processed Foods, and the myriad of customers stretched out over the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s vast rail system all contribute huge profits to the railroad’s burgeoning bottom line creating a corporation almost embarrassingly flush with cash. 

The Lackawanna Terminal Management Team wants you and all those of your ilk to know that the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Operating Department has always, and will continue always, to put efficient and fluid operations of all Lackawanna Terminal Railway freight trains, and therefore customer service as their most precious duty. To this end, and with the cooperation of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s most professional and hardworking mechanical department, power dispatchers and train dispatchers, every available means and type of motive power is used to move all types of freight over the railroad in as efficient and effective manner as possible. Having researched the motive power used on your TOFC train on the date relative to your letter we found that the Alco locomotives used as pushers on that train were in top mechanical condition having recently been rebuilt after an unfortunate electrical cabinet fire in the one engine and damage suffered in a derailment caused by vandals in the case of the second. The use of both engines to assist the TOFC train allowed it to maintain track speed in spite of a torturous grade and many sharp curves along the route thus allowing the superior service to our shippers and their customers that has become the hallmark of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway.  

Speaking for the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team I would like to thank you for your interest in our railroad operations and hope I have addressed all your concerns in this matter.

I remain, 
Edward Gilmartin
Manager Public Relations of
the Lackawanna Terminal Railway

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