Professional Transportation, Inc.
alice k

Waterloo, IL

#64 Sep 7, 2012
JIMIM - Thank you for your response. Did you read the link that Aaron posted? How can this stuff happen? Most of the drivers in our branch are all older retired people that don't care much about the pay or how many people they have hired on. They won't get involved with going to the union. I myself need a decent paycheck, and will follow through with anything I can in order to get this stuff straightened out. This is pitiful! Not only are we just getting paid minimum wage or less, but they have hired so many people at my branch that we're number 25 on the board when we get on, and it takes 24 hours or more to get a job that only lasts 3 hours or less. Then we have to start all over. When I hit 32 hours, they put me at a "code red" because they said I was too close to my 40 hours and they couldn't give me any more jobs. I can't even get 40 hours worth of work!!! Not to mention that the board is so screwed up - you may start out at 25, go down to 12, and get booted back up to 18. You have to keep track of it constantly so you can call and complain about being booted backwards. And they say it is all this new computer program they have. I don't know if I believe that! I like the work. I just can't deal with all the bologna! And seeing as they had 6 people quit last week, and are constantly hiring and turning over people, it appears others don't like it either. But no on e will stand up to the problem. I need help folks! I need more people to stand and fight with me in order to get something accomplished!
jimim523

Syracuse, UT

#65 Sep 8, 2012
Alice, I feel your pain!! Here in Toledo, our "beloved" GM decided that Toledo needed more drivers. When I first started, you could go on a run, come back and go out again (depending on the RR of course) in an hour or so and then go out again if you wanted. He claimed that when it got busy we were too busy to make all of the runs and he had to taxi cab some of the crews. He said that he was not going to get caught with his pants down again like that, so he didn't care how many people he had our BM hire. So in January, when it is slow, we had 60+ drivers (over the road, full and part time) and we would call in and be 24 on board and may or may not get out. If you got a long run (300-600 miles) it was ok to wait, but if you got a 120 mile round trip run, you did it and came back as number 18 which means you would not get out again. We stuck through it and it finally settled down a bit, but for a while, it was tough. Now, here is a tip for you on how to beat the computer call: when you get your call after being number 16 to 24, and the computer tells you that it is a relatively short run which means you know you will not get back out again, hang up. Do not wait to push 1 to accept and 2 to refuse (2 drops you to the bottom of the list again if you refuse) but if you just hang up, you will stay at number 1 because you did not accept or refuse and the computer will go on to the next person on board.
As for the retired people just doing this for something to do, when they understand that the union will help them and protect them with our contract for wages, seniority, being fired for no reason, vacations etc. etc., they will probably come around. I am hoping to hear from my contact at the union this week as he is back from his vacation and I can give you all the information either on here or privately in E-Mail as to what you have to do to organize and get the union in your branch. Also, it is a federal law that you can not be harrassed or fired by PTI for organizing a union in your work place, so don't be concerned about that at all.
Just hang in there, PTI goes through some really stupid moves like hiring 1000 drivers to do 100 runs a month but most leave and your seniority continues to climb. Think about getting into a yard when you can if you have yards there, A. your hours are fixed (7-3 or 11-7 etc) and B. it pays more money than being on the road AND you get 40 hours if you bid is for 5 days. Tell your BM that you want to be trained in ALL the yards and learn the yards, work them as a fill in whenever possible until you can get a bid to be in a yard permanently. Let the new hires drive the road while you have fixed hours making more money and get your 40 hours every week.
Hang in there...
PTI DRIVER LOUISIANA

United States

#66 Sep 8, 2012
Mr. Jim in our yard the long hauls are starting off with more money than the yard. Can't wait for some more info on the Union. Please e-mail information soon..thank you
PTI DRIVER LOUISIANA

United States

#67 Sep 8, 2012
Please e-mail me your name and number I have a few people that would like to talk to you..thank you
alicek

Waterloo, IL

#68 Sep 8, 2012
Jimim - Thanks for the info. I will try that! Also wanted to tell you that PTI owes me over $327 in pay that they have shorted me. I found the union rep, and called him. He said to fax it to him which I will do. PTI said to fax it to them,(as my bm isn't getting anything accomplished out of it) I did, and now they won't return my calls. I had called my bm's manager and he told me to get in touch with hr as they would help me right away - but they say they think I have been paid what I was due. Every time I log out of the GPS, I write down what it claims my wait hours and miles are. And about 70% of the time it is wrong. Not sure why. I hit the button for a stop, but it pops up asking if this is a crew stop or not. No matter what I say (yes or no) it puts me back into driving mode. Which I assume means it is not tracking my wait time then. So that is a glitch that works in their favor. Can't understand why the miles don't match up though. But I keep my own trip sheets, and continue to turn them in as wrong and owing me money. Just never getting paid for it.
I'm trying to hang in there. Like I said - I like the work. It's fun and you get to meet a lot of people. I asked for a yard job, but was told you have to have seniority. But I will keep asking.
PTI DRIVER LOUISIANA

Livonia, LA

#69 Sep 10, 2012
Please e-mail me your name and number.. Thank you!!!
PTI DRIVER LOUISIANA

Livonia, LA

#70 Sep 10, 2012
jimim523

Syracuse, UT

#71 Sep 11, 2012
Alice, a few things:
Mileage: we are not paid what your odometer says at the end of the trip. We are paid what is called, "railroad miles" .. meaning, PTI and each railroad we service, got together to figure out what would be paid to PTI for each place we go. We have a place here in Toledo that we go and it is 120 miles by the odometer but Norfolk Southern only pays us for 102 miles. If there is construction on the way there or a detour, that is NOT figured into the 102 miles nor is it paid to the drivers. One exception would be if say a tornado or flood makes it impossible to go your normal route to get to the yard/trackside etc., then you can fight that because a natural disaster makes it impossible to go the correct, normal way and in (some) instances they will pay the difference.
A Union Rep: First question: is your branch a union branch? Do they take out union dues monthly? Have you been working for PTI for a minimum of 60 days? If you found someone (like me for instance) and he/she told you he would look into it, you have NO standing with the union if your branch is not affliated with one. He can't represent you on any matters to do with pay or suspensions etc., though he/she could give you advice on who to call within PTI if your BM is not helping you, which is why you would want to organize and become a union branch. As I have stated above before, the union has a contract in effect and the main things it helps its members with is: pay, benefits, raises, vacation pay, representation against PTI in matters of suspension or termination. They can on your behalf, talk to the branch manager and come to some agreement and if that doesn't work, you can file a grievance and go over the BM's head with the union behind you. However, with that said, the union cannot help you if you have been caught speeding 3 times, accidents nor can it help you if you have been late for pickups and you have been written up for it, after so many, you are fired and nothing will bring you back. After so many of those things, it becomes your fault because nothing made you step on the accelator or tied you down so you could not get to work early enough nor even deer hits (much less poles, buildings and other vehicles) because you should be watching for these things and avoiding them.
Yards: you might not have the seniority to hold a position in a yard (or yards) however, you can ask to be trained in ALL of the yards your branch covers. Then once you are trained, you are able to be a fill in or temporary yard driver. But there is no PTI rule that says you cannot train for these yards although here in Toledo, you have to have 6 months in before you can be trained (here) and also you get paid while training (normally 2 days, but you do not get miles in the yards, only hourly).
I hope that helps.
Jim
PS: if you are on Facebook, look up/search other PTI drivers and you will find there is a forum that a lot of us are on which is monitored/moderated by one of the dispatchers out of Evansville, but this is a good place to get questions out as well.
alicek

Waterloo, IL

#72 Sep 11, 2012
Jimim: you said - "Mileage: we are not paid what your odometer says at the end of the trip. We are paid what is called, "railroad miles" .. meaning, PTI and each railroad we service, got together to figure out what would be paid to PTI for each place we go." Well then they need to tell people that when they hire them! When I was hired I was told .155 per mile (until 90 days then .165) and $8.25 waiting (which is minimum wage). They shouldn't tell you your going to get so much per mile if your really not!!!

"First question: is your branch a union branch? Do they take out union dues monthly? Have you been working for PTI for a minimum of 60 days?" Yes, yes, and yes. I had to ask my bm for the union name and rep though as they don't furnish us with that info. But the union rep told me he would stay on top of my getting paid for the jobs I was short paid on if I faxed them to him. I have just been here 90 days (plus a week or two) and they have been taking union dues out since my first check. So I think I deserve representation.

"if you are on Facebook, look up/search other PTI drivers and you will find there is a forum that a lot of us are on which is monitored/moderated by one of the dispatchers out of Evansville, but this is a good place to get questions out as well." I will do this - and thank you for the info. I have been using your other helpful hints as well. I thank you for them. Any help I can get is definitely appreciated.
jimim523

Syracuse, UT

#73 Sep 12, 2012
Alice,
look up Suzanne Sherrod on facebook, she is a dispatcher in Evansville and that will lead you to the PTI forum.
As for your union steward, he should be a yard or otr driver in your branch, why would you have to fax information to him, call him and have him meet you at the office.
Your BM should be able to furnish you (all) with a book in the office you can refer to for what is paid for every location you go to for each railroad your branch services. If they told you up front all the information, you would not retain it or understand it until you have been out on the road a bit. Just for your information, in Toledo, the otr drivers get this:$7.70 wait time (Ohio minimum wage) and first 60 days,.17, after 60 days .20 and after a year $8.14 and .23 and with the current contract, if you have been with PTI for a year, it goes up each year of the contract by about...3% I believe it is but please don't quote me until I am sure, but it gives you an idea what we get here. Sounds like your BM is screwing you drivers over a bit there to me, but not much you can do except talk to your union steward and have him review the contract and see how it applies to you there. Minimum wage can't be changed of course so each state is different but the cents per mile is standard.
I hope this helps but stay on your union steward to meet with you and any others that are having problems FACE TO FACE not over the phone or by fax, he represents you and should be taking his position SERIOUSLY or else, get out and let someone else do the job. Find out if he was "appointed" or voted in by the drivers and yard drivers, because if he was appointed, he might not be recognized by the union and is acting more as a go-between than a real steward. Just check it out is all I am saying.
Ok, good luck
Jim
jimim523

Syracuse, UT

#74 Sep 12, 2012
Anyone reading this that drives for PTI and is NOT in the union but would like to be, please leave me your E-Mail address and your branch (city and state - like Toledo40, Walbridge, Ohio) and I will send you an E-Mail and let you know what you have to give me to give the union so they can contact you directly, NOT the branch, you and get this going.
Jim
pti worker

Saint Paul, MN

#76 Oct 10, 2012
zomg you fail wrote:
<quoted text>
maybe you need to go back to Mexico where this is accepted, Unions are what made people come home to their families safe at the end of the day, and actually get a wage that lets them support their family and enjoy time with them when off. Are all unions perfect,no, but they help the working man.
I agree, but do have to give the AMIGO a break due to the third world country ha came from with the poor education systems.. Thats why tey all come north....
Jimim

Waterloo, IL

#77 Oct 11, 2012
Sorry it took so long to respond. I didn't get a notification that you wrote something. Anyway...we don't have a local union steward. The guy I am talking to is no where around here. Not sure exactly where he is out of - probably Indiana. But I am sure he is not going to come here to speak with me. Unfortunately. I am still having problems with my paycheck. They owe me over $500 right now, and a lot of this stuff is over 5 months old. That just ain't right. The problem is - I don't know if I am ever going to get paid for it.
RWO218

Toledo, OH

#78 Oct 11, 2012
Interviewed today for a driver position in Walbridge, OH. I hope this goes smoother than some of the stories I have read concerning PTI.
jimim523

Syracuse, UT

#79 Oct 11, 2012
To "Jimim" (interesting handle!!),
If you are not getting the pay you are entitled to, and you have checked your pay stubs with the trip numbers against your personal records of your trips and are missing one or the wrong amount AND you do not have a union in Waterloo, Illinois at your branch, A. you need to join the union (leave me your E-Mail address and I will write you on how to go about that) and B. you have talked to your Branch Manager about the pay problems and have filed a Payroll Inquiry and have not been resolved that way, THEN C. call Steve Grolick (Head of HR in Evansville) and let him know you have not received your pay,*(BUT)* if you do not have records to back up your $500.00 claim, then no, you will not get it. Alot of people think that they get paid the (exact) miles they drive and this is NOT the case. The railroad and PTI have gotten together and decided that run A. might drive 120 miles, but you will be paid a set mileage of 102 miles which is rail code miles. Also you might think you have wait time coming, but you either did not punch it into the GPS correctly or if you are on paper still, then didn't write it correctly. Make SURE you have your ducks in a row before you call Mr. Grolick otherwise you are wasting his and your time. Also one other thing, make sure you are figuring your wait and mileage on the right pay grade you are at as it goes up throughout the hire date, trial period to first year and then up again after that. Ok, keep me posted on how things goes but follow the steps I have posted here before you do anything and climb the "corporate ladder" to get this resolved. By the way, ANY Branch that is in the union, has at least (1) Union Steward, it is not a shared status with various branches.
jimim523

Syracuse, UT

#80 Oct 11, 2012
RWO218 ... if your driving record is clean and your background check comes up clean, then you will be hired I am 99.9999% sure but if one or the other is not clean...I am 100% sure you will not be hired. Good luck
RWO218

Toledo, OH

#81 Oct 11, 2012
jimim523...Both are spotless. No worries there. Talking with Dick (didn't catch his last name) went well. The job seems pretty straight forward. I spent some time as a truck driver so I understand the concept of a run being paid at a set mileage rather than what the odometer reads. I'm also used to working within HOS rules and keeping good records. My only concern is getting enough runs to make a decent paycheck. How many drivers are typically on the board?
VOODOO CHILD

Granite City, IL

#82 Oct 19, 2012
alice k wrote:
I would like to get in with you on getting a new union that will help us out. keep me in mind when you are working on this. my email address is [email protected] please feel free to contact me regarding this. i don't even know where to find our union. they won't tell us anything at our office. so i'd like to be in on finding a new one. thanks
I will see you @ the office and give you the information that you need. I had to look long and hard for it. But do you really think that it's the company's fault or the "Union" for not contacting its members and giving them the information. Hell, they don't even have a local shop steward.
jimim523

Syracuse, UT

#83 Oct 19, 2012
Alice: I have your E-Mail address, and if you still need help, let me know and I will contact you if Voodoo Child can't.
VooDoo Child: if your office is NOT set up with our Union, then there would be NO information in your office concerning it nor would there be a Union Steward to talk to you about it. Once you are set up to be a Union Branch, then each person will have a card that they must fill out and be sent to the Union in New York (after 60 days with the company).
The Union you are looking for is: UPSEU Local 1222 in Ronkonkoma, NY.
Keep me posted as to your progress or lack of it and I will see what I can do to help.
Jim
alice

Waterloo, IL

#84 Oct 20, 2012
jimim - i contacted the union rep in NY and I'm not sure that he's really going to do much for me. I put all my tickets and paychecks into a spreadsheet and it really showed a lot of information. Basically they are supposed to be paying by the mile and for waiting time. But if you take a look at the spreadsheet - all they are doing is making sure you are getting paid the minimum hourly wage as required by law. And I haven't even been paid overtime like I am supposed to. That's a bunch of bologna, as we can make a little more if we have a long trip, and they are not paying that out. I sent the spreadsheet to the union rep, but I haven't heard from him. He says there is a list of how many miles we will get paid for each trip, but that was never brought up by PTI, and no one has ever received a copy of that list. He said he was going to get me a copy of it, but it's been a week and I haven't heard anything more from him. He says if the mileage is wrong on this list, then we have to try to get it amended. He is asking me to write down the street names closest to where we travel, so he can put it into mapquest and see if the miles are right. I am not giving up on this. I will take it to whatever level I am able to take it to - to get paid the way we were promised to get paid and hopefully make it better for all the drivers. I'm a very stubborn woman, and once I get my mind set on something I will see it through to the end. And that is exactly what I am planning on doing. Even if I get fired in doing so. I will find a way to fight it after I am fired. I have been contacting federal agencies, and even talking with a senator (whome I will not name) about these problems. I realize it will be a slow and long process, but it's going to change. One way or another!

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