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Thread: USA: Metrolink workers object to personality testing

  1. #1
    heart on fire Array
    Join Date
    May 2007

    USA: Metrolink workers object to personality testing

    Metrolink workers object to personality testing -

    Unions for engineers and conductors threaten a boycott of the tests that the agency and Amtrak, which takes over operation of the regional rail system July 1, plan to require.

    By Rich Connell

    ...At issue are tests Amtrak has used for several years to screen job applicants. A "personality inventory" for engineers is designed to reveal an applicant's "work tendencies, habits and personality traits," according to an Amtrak statement. It specifically seeks out "focused introverts" who are good at repetitive tasks and don't allow themselves to become distracted by such things as cellphones while operating a train, according to descriptions provided by the rail company. The assessment was developed with union assistance and consultants and has been used since 2002, according to Amtrak.

    Conductor candidates take two such tests: One is designed to gauge an applicant's ability to interact with customers and deal with conflicts and emergencies. The other seeks to measure a person's ethics and attitudes toward theft, drug use and other workplace concerns.

    Amtrak declined to provide failure rates for the tests, but Garcia said about 20% of conductor applicants fail the ethics and attitudes test...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array
    Join Date
    Mar 2010


    Not sure if the Railway Labor Act has the same standards for mandatory bargaining subjects as the National Labor Relations Act, but if they do, retroactively imposing such tests on people who are already conductors would constitute a unilateral change to a condition of employment which is a mandatory subject of bargaining under the law, unless their collective bargaining agreement has language which would permit this to happen.

    In non-legalese-- I think it's likely this action by management violates both labor law and the collective bargaining agreement in place.

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