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RWU: NS Engineer Chris Wilson Killed Feb 1st in Alabama

From Railroad Workers United

Dear Fellow Railroad Workers:

Last Wednesday, a fellow rail was gravely injured on the job and lost his life Thursday. Our brother Chris Wilson who worked for Norfolk Southern was critically injured in its Decatur rail yard Wednesday and died Thursday at Huntsville Hospital, according to the NTSB and Morgan County Coroner Jeffrey Chunn.

A spokesman with the National Transportation Safety Board said the accident took place at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday “when the locomotive the engineer was in was struck by freight cars.”

In a statement, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) union identified the victim as Chris M. Wilson, 55, a locomotive engineer. BLET said Wilson, a member of the union, was a 30-year employee of Norfolk Southern.

“This tragic loss underscores the safety risks present in railroading, even in the controlled environment of a rail yard,” BLET National President Eddie Hall said in the statement. “This week marks one year since Norfolk Southern’s derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio. I hope as we reflect on that disaster and on the need to continually improve rail safety that we also pause to remember Brother Wilson and the family he leaves behind.”

While we are saddened at the news of our brother’s death, we must double our resolve to build a safer workplace where such tragedies are not so commonplace.

The Railroad Workers United Program for Fallen Rails urges you to do the following on behalf of our fallen brother, his friends and family, co-workers and all railroad workers:

Commit yourself to following up on how and why our brother was killed. What is the behind-the-scenes story? What role did unsafe conditions, including short staffing, crew fatigue, inadequate training and/or qualifying, deferred maintenance, or other factors play in this fellow worker’s death?

Get involved in the national movement against blame the worker “behavior-based safety” programs. Help build real union-based safety committees and programs that focus on hazard elimination and do not ignore the underlying causes of accidents, injuries and fatalities sustained on the job. For more information, see the webpage

Take part in the RWU annual Railroad Workers Memorial Day each April 28th. For more information, see the webpage

Join RWU and fight to build solidarity and unity among all railroad workers, and make safer workplaces for all.

Thank you.
Railroad Workers United

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