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Danno

One of the most dangerous places to work in America.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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A Disability Epidemic Among a Railroad’s Retirees

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To understand what it’s like to work on the railroad — the Long Island Rail Road — a good place to start is the Sunken Meadow golf course, a rolling stretch of state-owned land on Long Island Sound.

During the workweek, it is not uncommon to find retired L.I.R.R. employees, sometimes dozens of them, golfing there. A few even walk the course. Yet this is not your typical retiree outing.

These golfers are considered disabled. At an age when most people still work, they get a pension and tens of thousands of dollars in annual disability payments — a sum roughly equal to the base salary of their old jobs. Even the golf is free, courtesy of New York State taxpayers.

With incentives like these, occupational disabilities at the L.I.R.R. have become a full-blown epidemic.

Virtually every career employee — as many as 97 percent in one recent year — applies for and gets disability payments soon after retirement, a computer analysis of federal records by The New York Times has found. Since 2000, those records show, about a quarter of a billion dollars in federal disability money has gone to former L.I.R.R. employees, including about 2,000 who retired during that time.

The L.I.R.R.’s disability rate suggests it is one of the nation’s most dangerous places to work. Yet in four of the last five years, the railroad has won national awards for improving worker safety.

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“Short of the gulag, I can’t imagine any work force that would have a so-to-speak 90 percent disability attrition rate,” said Glenn Scammel, long one of Capitol Hill’s top experts on railroads. “That defies both logic and experience.”

Said Dr. J. Mark Melhorn, co-editor of a book on occupational disability published by the American Medical Association: “No one has a rate that high — that just doesn’t happen.”

And it is not just engineers, conductors or track workers seeking disability payments. Dozens of retired white-collar managers are doing it as well, including the former deputy general counsel, employment manager, claims manager and director of government and community affairs.

In fact, two formerly influential figures at the L.I.R.R. — a married couple, one from management and one from labor — are retired and drawing about $280,000 annually in combined disability and pension payments, according to estimates based on public records.

Railroad officials say that as far as they know, most of the disabled workers were able-bodied until their early retirement, and only then filed papers seeking occupational disability payments.

“How is it that somebody is occupationally disabled the day after he retires when he wasn’t occupationally disabled the day before he retired?” asked Gary Dellaverson, chief financial officer for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the railroad’s parent.

The answer, according to government records and dozens of interviews, stems from a combination of factors, including highly unusual L.I.R.R. contracts that allow longtime workers to retire with a pension as early as age 50, federal rules that let railroad retirees claim disability for jobs they no longer hold, and an obscure federal agency called the Railroad Retirement Board that almost never says no to a disability claim.

The federal agency pays the disability claims, but losing so many workers to early retirement costs the L.I.R.R. money — in overtime, training of replacements and early pension payments. At the same time, passengers could soon face another fare increase and the transportation authority is seeking more taxpayer support, already half a billion dollars a year, to close a huge budget gap.

Union contracts also inflate operating costs through arcane work rules, some dating back to the 1920s, which pad employee paychecks, boosting pension and disability payments in turn.

“There are maybe nine different ways to show up at work and get two days’ pay without doing anything extra,” Michael J. Quinn, general chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen at the L.I.R.R., said in an interview.

These work rules made it possible for eight senior train engineers to earn from $215,000 to $277,000 in 2006. Younger workers earn much less, and income in the top tier was lower in 2007.

Since medical records are private, individual cases could not be examined, and there is little doubt that some of the retirees receiving disability payments actually have debilitating conditions.

(Page one of seven)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/nyregion/21lirr.html

Click this link to see how the combination of "tax money and Unions work together to fleece the tax payer and enrich those at the trough.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2008/09/19/nyregion/20080920_LIRR_GRAPHIC.html <--CLICK HERE


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"Those people who will not be governed by God


will be ruled by tyrants."



William Penn

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: China
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Notto steal your thunder here is another story of unions out of control.

http://blogs.federaltimes.com/federal-times-blog/2011/01/13/collins-asks-gao-to-tackle-workers-comp-fraud/

Federal Workers Comp Benefits Paid to Employees Over 80 Years Old

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, on Tuesday asked the Government Accountability Office to start looking into possible waste, fraud and abuse in federal workers’ compensation benefits.

The federal government pays benefits to about 49,000 federal employees under the Federal Employee Compensation Act so injured workers can pay their bills while they recuperate. But Collins suspects many are gaming the system and continuing to receive benefits long after they should have retired or returned to work.

the U.S. Postal Service is paying workers’ comp to 132 employees who were at least 90 years old — decades after they should have retired. Three of those employees still getting benefits are 98 years old. In all, 1,000 Postal Service employees over 80 are getting workers’ comp benefits, Collins said. And it’s not just a Postal Service problem — some federal employees at other agencies collect benefits into their 100s, she said.

A fed would receive far more money through workers’ comp than actually retiring, Collins said, which would provide quite an incentive to keep drawing FECA in one’s twilight years. And FECA doesn’t have any caps on how much benefits one can draw, or other cut-off periods, which Collins said makes it especially susceptible to fraud


If more citizens were armed, criminals would think twice about attacking them, Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Florida currently has more concealed-carry permit holders than any other state, with 1,269,021 issued as of May 14, 2014

The liberal elite ... know that the people simply cannot be trusted; that they are incapable of just and fair self-government; that left to their own devices, their society will be racist, sexist, homophobic, and inequitable -- and the liberal elite know how to fix things. They are going to help us live the good and just life, even if they have to lie to us and force us to do it. And they detest those who stand in their way."
- A Nation Of Cowards, by Jeffrey R. Snyder

Tavis Smiley: 'Black People Will Have Lost Ground in Every Single Economic Indicator' Under Obama

white-privilege.jpg?resize=318%2C318

Democrats>Socialists>Communists - Same goals, different speeds.

#DeplorableLivesMatter

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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After I posted the L.I.R.R. story above I got to thinking about how these guys are making so much money per day (check the link at the bottom of my post above for a neat explanation.) not only do these folks make an annual killing on retirement ... but they must also max-out their Social security too.

Also, I saw some headlines the other day about the TSA soon to be unionized as well.

If I remember correct, we were assured when the TSA was formed, that that would not happen.


type2homophobia_zpsf8eddc83.jpg




"Those people who will not be governed by God


will be ruled by tyrants."



William Penn

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