November 18, 2019

Discrimination case headed for hearing> B&A Railroad faces five charges of age bias

The Maine Human Rights Commission will decide later this month whether five railroad employees in Maine lost their jobs because of age discrimination.

Early this summer complaints were filed with the commission by the five employees of the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad and its sister railroad the Canadian American Railroad, a line formerly operated by Canadian Pacific.

In the complaints, Raymond Bragan, 58, of Milo, Ronald Drew, 59, of Milo, Carroll Allen, 53, of Brownville, Stephen Andrews, 43, of Brownville Junction and Tim Kenney, 42, of Bradley all claim they lost their jobs to younger, less qualified workers.

The claims stem from late 1994 and early 1995 when the two railroads, under the new ownership of Iron Road Railways, reopened positions, requiring existing employees to reapply for the jobs they already had.

Andrews, now 45, had been an employee of Canadian Pacific for 20 years, the last 15 of which he was a qualified conductor. When the jobs were reopened, Andrews said he put in applications at both railroads, but said he never heard back from them.

`I never got called back for an interview or anything,” Andrews said Thursday afternoon.

Instead, he watched his former job go to someone with less seniority and fewer qualifications, he said.

In a setback for the five railroad workers, late last month an impartial investigator for the commission found no grounds to substantiate the claims that the railroads had discriminated against the workers.

The five railroad workers still can contest the investigator’s findings and make their cases before the five-member commission which meets Nov. 18. A decision will be made that day, said Patricia Ryan, executive director of the Maine Human Rights Commission.

Iron Road could not be reached for comment, by Ryan said that in documents filed with the commission, the railroad explained that some of the workers were not rehired because they applied six days after the deadline. One employee Carroll Allen, had falsified his application, according to Ryan.

Allen could not be contacted, his phone in Brownville has been disconnected and Andrews said he has apparently found work in Minnessota.

Since December 1994 until earlier this year, Andrews has worked on and off for the railroad. He has been working full time with the Canadian American as a conductor since March 1996, but said despite having the same title he’s earning substantially less money. He’s training to become an engineer.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

comments for this post are closed

You may also like