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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Union sues over cameras on trains

October 21, 2009|Phil Willon

The union representing Metrolink engineers filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to halt the video-surveillance systems recently installed in all the commuter rail line's locomotives.

Metrolink installed cameras as a direct response to the deadly 2008 Metrolink crash in Chatsworth that killed 25 people and apparently involved an engineer who had been text messaging on his cellphone.

Metrolink officials said the purpose of the video recording system, which cost $1 million to install in all locomotives, was to ensure that engineers adhered to agency bans on cellphones, text messaging and allowing unauthorized passengers in the cab.

However, Paul T. Sorrow, acting president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, called the cameras an "invasion of privacy" that violated federal law as well as the terms of the union's contract with Metrolink.

-- Phil Willon

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