Amtrak employee meals

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CTANut

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I am curious, because I have seen conflicting details, but do Amtrak employees have meals included? I saw a button on the dining car register for employee meals, but I am not sure whether that gives them a 50% discount, or free food.
 

OBS

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I can' t speak to how it is handled with flex, but on trains with full service diners, OBS meals are complimentary. On trains with just a Cafe car (and possibly Flex meal service), OBS employees are paid an allowance in their checks to cover cost of meals they may purchase on the train. For Operating crews, no meals are provided.
 

Amtrakfflyer

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I’m really surprised operating crews don’t have catering built into their contracts. Standard for most airline pilots.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I’m really surprised operating crews don’t have catering built into their contracts. Standard for most airline pilots.
Train agreements predate airlines and freight crews are not catered either. Dining car storage is limited and unlike airports most train stations offer no catering. Operating staff also enjoy more frequent and reliable off-train hours compared to service staff and personally I'd rather bring my own food or chance a delivery than eat free flex meals.
 

Trogdor

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I think T&E crews have something known as “held-away” pay whenever they spend a night away from their home crew base, which is probably in lieu of a specific meal allowance.
 
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Cal

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I’m really surprised operating crews don’t have catering built into their contracts. Standard for most airline pilots.
But airline pilots are in the air for sometimes up to 16 hours. Most operating crews on Amtrak work around 8.
 

Bob Dylan

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I think T&E crews have something known as “held-away” pay whenever they spend a night away from their home crew base, which is probably in lieu of a specific meal allowance.
That's what I've been told by OBS and T&E Crews on the Texas Eagle Route, so it should be True for all LD Routes, and Freight also!
 

Amtrakfflyer

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My airline caters domestic, we are cargo however. Most legacy airlines still have catering in their contracts, the newer ULCCs such as Allegiant, Spirit, Frontier and the regionals don’t but all in all a lot of airlines so. And pilots can do 16 hour duty days on occasion but 16 hour flights are far and few between.

don’t but as
What airline pilots? Perhaps overseas operating crews with flights over 9 hours, but no. Most domestic pilots are responsible for their own grab and go between flights.
 

jis

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This isnt true, Amtrak is supported with TaxPayers Money, it's not a Private Corporation!
Are you sure? I was under the impression that even the SCOTUS does not seem to be completely decided and sure where private ends and public begins for Amtrak, specifically in its relationship to its employees.
 

Bob Dylan

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Are you sure? I was under the impression that even the SCOTUS does not seem to be completely decided and sure where private ends and public begins for Amtrak, specifically in its relationship to its employees.
Amtrak employee Salaries and Benefit info have been publicly available in years past, not sure right now with everything so topsy turvy, but IINM this info should be available under FOIA!???

If I'm wrong, someone please let us know and what your source is.
 

jis

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I genuinely have no idea. I would like to get some evidence in support of either position at this time. Amtrak is a pretty strange animal in every possible way. I know information about Federal employees is available to a significant extent. but I am not sure that Amtrak employees are Federal employees. Any clarification supported by some pointer to documentation would be most appreciated.

Oh and BTW @Dutchrailnut 's situation at MNRR is likely to be different from that of an Amtrak employee too.
 

Bob Dylan

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I genuinely have no idea. I would like to get some evidence in support of either position at this time. Amtrak is a pretty strange animal in every possible way. I know information about Federal employees is available to a significant extent. but I am not sure that Amtrak employees are Federal employees. Any clarification supported by some pointer to documentation would be most appreciated.

Oh and BTW @Dutchrailnut 's situation at MNRR is likely to be different from that of an Amtrak employee too.
IINM State Law covers MNRR Contracts, not Federal.

Hopefully one of our Lawyer,Rail or Government Members can clarify this!
 

Dutchrailnut

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Amtrak is a corporation owned by US government , but its employees are NOT government employees . the employees are not public servants , do not get public servant benefits .
 
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Charles785

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Well, I'm one that feels that Amtrak employee salaries, benefits, and work rules are very much the business of Amtrak customers. Those employees are there to serve us - not the other way around - and salaries, benefits, and work rules can be very much a component of the quality of customer service to us.
 

Trogdor

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Well, I'm one that feels that Amtrak employee salaries, benefits, and work rules are very much the business of Amtrak customers. Those employees are there to serve us - not the other way around - and salaries, benefits, and work rules can be very much a component of the quality of customer service to us.
While I see no specific reason that said information needs to be kept confidential (at least, for the majority of positions, where union contracts aren’t exactly trade secrets), I see no more of a need for this to be the business of “Amtrak customers” than the salary of the store manager at the grocery store across the street is my business, or the salary of my financial advisor is my business, or the salaries, benefits, work rules, etc., of the dozens of other businesses that any given person interacts with on any given day/week/year.

Just because you’re a customer doesn’t make you the boss.

The only reason I would care about the salaries and work rules is if the employees were being treated unfairly/inhumanely, or if the business was illegally underpaying them. If that’s not the case, then that’s really the end of my concern. Anything more is between the employee (or their collective bargaining unit/union) and the employer, and, honestly, when employee/employer relations are going well, you never even hear about it (and when they’re not going well, you definitely hear about it).
 

jebr

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Well, I'm one that feels that Amtrak employee salaries, benefits, and work rules are very much the business of Amtrak customers. Those employees are there to serve us - not the other way around - and salaries, benefits, and work rules can be very much a component of the quality of customer service to us.
There's a lot of service industry jobs where specific salary information is not (as far as I'm aware) public knowledge and I wouldn't expect it to be - the wait staff at Denny's, the front desk agent at Doubletree, the flight attendant on Delta, etc. There's some knowledge on how some of those jobs generally pay, but the specifics are rarely known unless you happen to know someone that works there. I don't see Amtrak employees as especially different in that regard.

I'm much more swayed by the argument that salary compensation for Amtrak employees, at least on a general level, should be available from a public interest perspective as a government-owned-and-funded corporation. Many direct government employee salaries are publicly searchable, and I'm not sure that the argument that Amtrak is a separate corporation that's owned and run by the government is enough of a distinction to sway me that their salaries should be held to a different standard.

At the end of the day, though, I'm not terribly concerned as to what the salary is of Amtrak employees - as long as it's a livable wage, I'm fine with whatever they're paid, and they should be providing a decent level of service for that salary compensation (which most do.)
 

railiner

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Well, I'm one that feels that Amtrak employee salaries, benefits, and work rules are very much the business of Amtrak customers. Those employees are there to serve us - not the other way around - and salaries, benefits, and work rules can be very much a component of the quality of customer service to us.
I think we debated this sensitive subject before, and some proponents of this, stated their intention to "arm themselves" with this info, (as in service manuals), and quote it to employees perceived to not be in compliance. Not a good scenario, IMHO....😟
 
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