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When Your Railroad Job Is Outsourced
(Posted June 20, 2002)
Question 180: My husband and I are career railroad workers. I will have 25 years in October 2002; he will have 30 years in May 2003. The only problem is that our jobs are being outsourced this August. We will do the same duties, have the same desks, etc. but we will no longer be covered by Railroad Retirement. 25 years is an important milestone for me, because it will protect my "current connection" for survivor benefits if I am involuntarily seperated from the railroad industry. 30 years is important for my husband, because he could qualify for full benefits at 60 rather than 66. Do we have any recourse through Railroad Retirement to let us stay in the Railroad Retirment System?
Answer: The planned transfer of jobs to outsourcing is certainly ill-timed for you and your husband.
There is a possibility that the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) could determine that you and your husband are still eligible for Railroad Retirement coverage. The RRB would need to first do a coverage investigation, which could take several months.
You should immediately enlist your union and any other employees who are affected by the job transfer. Then contact the Labor Member of the RRB, Virgil Speakman, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago IL 60611, and ask his office for assistance in this matter.
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