July 7, 2003
CHICAGO (July 7)–An Illinois Commerce Commission administrative law judge has responded to the Illinois Legislative Board’s June 13 Formal Complaint against Norfolk Southern Corp., setting August 20 as the date for a hearing into the union’s charges that the railroad is maintaining an unsanitary and unsafe locker room for employees in Chicago.
Judge June Tate assigned Docket No. T03-0063 to the union’s Complaint and scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. at the Commission’s offices on the eighth floor of the State of Illinois Building, 160 N. LaSalle.
UTU Local 1895 Local Chairman and Legislative Rep. Rich Ross will be the chief witness at the hearing, said Illinois Legislative Director Joseph C. Szabo.
“Rich was the first to bring the dilapidated conditions at the 55th Street Yard to the Board’s attention,” Szabo said. “He did a very thorough job of identifying each of the conditions that violated the Illinois Administrative Code.”
If Judge Tate finds Norfolk Southern out of compliance with applicable sections of Code, she can fine the carrier as well as order it to bring the crew locker room at its 55th Street Yard into compliance.
Conditions identified by Ross and documented by Commerce Commission’s inspectors, include failure to provide separate locker rooms for male and female employees; failure to provide furniture so that employees can change clothes while seated, failure to maintain sanitary toilet facilities, failure to provide adequate heat and ventilation; failure to provide a source of chilled running water for drinking, failure to provide refrigeration for employees’ meals and beverages, and failure to repair cracks in the walls and ceilings that allowed the elements to enter the premises.
“The railroad knows about these conditions and pledged to remedy them but repeatedly failed to do so,” Szabo said. “We are looking forward to this hearing and to a prompt resolution of the problem.”