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Program History

Operation RedBlock is a union-initiated, management-supported program that uses peer involvement to prevent employee use of alcohol and/or drugs when on duty or subject to call.

It was in February 1984 that the first meetings between labor and CSX management took place. Representatives of the BLE and the UTU met with CSX officials separately to discuss the issues concerning their membership.

After consideration by all concerned, an agreement was in place to initiate Operation RedBlock. Nine months later, the first Operation RedBlock training session was held in Huntington, W.Va.

In the following year, Operation RedBlock was successfully introduced throughout the CSX network. Six additional unions eventually signed on:

  • 1986 – the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen and the former Railroad Yardmasters of America
  • 1994 – the former American Train Dispatchers Association
  • 1995 – the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers
  • 2014 – the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees
  • 2022 – Brotherhood Railway Carmen Division - TCIU
  • 2022 – Transport Workers Union of America - TWU
  • 2022 – Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers - SMART-MD

So successful has been the grassroots response to the program that three Operation RedBlock System Coordinators have been appointed to provide full-time support to the volunteer effort. All three are members of sponsoring labor organizations and are awarded leaves of absence from their regularly scheduled duties.

Labor and Management have fully supported this program since its inception and will continue to do so in the future.