BizFeed: Amtrak Passengers Stuck After Crew “Ran Out of Hours”

Plus: Chipotle offers paid sick leave; Philly left out of top cities for jobs.


Still in Delaware? Yup. arvitalyaa/Shutterstock

1. Amtrak Passengers Stuck in Delaware After Crew “Ran Out of Hours”

The News: On it’s trip from New York to Washington D.C., an Amtrak train surprisingly screeched to a stop just before the Newark, Del. station. Then the waiting began. Turns out, Amtrak’s crew had “run out of hours” and needed another crew to relieve them. It took one hour and 12 minutes before the new crew arrived and the train got moving again.

NBC10 has more:

An Amtrak official confirmed with NBC10 the train was stopped due to the crew members “exceeding the limit of hours of service.” The official called it an “administrative mistake” that was “extremely rare.” He also said Amtrak will investigate the incident.

Why it Matters: If you’re wondering why some people hate unions, this is a good example. Whether the union workers didn’t want to work overtime or Amtrak didn’t want to pay them is unclear. But leaving people stuck for more than an hour is not the answer.
The last thing Amtrak needs is more bad press. Yes, it’s important to make sure that crews are safe and alert — especially in the wake of last month’s deadly train derailment — but couldn’t the transit service have figured out its employees’ schedules beforehand?
The whole incident led to some pretty angry tweets:

2. Chipotle Offering Paid-Sick Leave and Vacation

The News: First Chipotle made waves by vowing to serve food without genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and with meat raised without antibiotics and hormones. Now it’s focusing on creating a better experience for its employees.

Chipotle has announced that hourly workers will get paid sick leave, paid vacation time and be eligible for tuition reimbursement.

The Huffington Post has more:

“We’re going to say that we take the same care in sourcing the employees that work in our restaurants and company as we do in going out an finding ingredients to serve in our restaurants,” said the company’s recruitment strategy manager JD Cummings, according to reports that were confirmed by Chipotle. Cummings said the move was part of a new “employee branding effort.”

Why it Matters: It’s great to see a company that isn’t waiting for Congress or local governments to make sweeping changes. Providing sick leave and vacation time to hourly workers will not only lead to more rested, rejuvenated employees, it will also be a big factor in securing talented, engaged workers.

Plus, you won’t have sick people handling your food.

The Huffington Post breaks it down even further:

Paid sick leave is a fairly standard benefit for high-paid, salaried workers — about 82 percent of management and professional workers in the private sector are paid when they’re sick, according to the Labor Department. It’s far more rare for low-paid workers: Just 40 percent of private-sector service workers receive paid sick leave. That’s likely a high estimate, considering so many hourly workers are part-time. Those workers are even less likely to get paid leave.

The lack of paid sick leave means many hourly workers are forced to go to work when they’re ill, which can both worsen their condition and create a health hazard for customers. Many workers can lose their jobs without the flexibility of paid sick leave.

3. Top Cities for Jobs in 2015 … No Philly Included

The News: A new list by Forbes ranked the best cities in the United States to get a job — but Philly didn’t crack the top 10. (In fact, it’s unclear where Philly ranked since there is no full list released. We do know that Camden, N.J. came in dead last. (But things just might be looking up for Camden.)

Here are the top 5:

RankCityJob Growth PercentageJob Growth Percentage (2009-2014)
1San Francisco4.821.2
2San Jose4.919.1

Why it Matters: Despite the new economic boom that Philly is going through — with its vibrant tech community and increasingly engaged workforce — Philly still has plenty of work to do to get into the upper-echelon of growth cities. Still, there are some encouraging signs. Unemployment has fallen from 7.5 percent in April 2014 to 6.5 percent in April 2015.