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BLE General Chairmen respond to statements by BNSF Chairman Rose

CLEVELAND, April 25 -- In a strongly worded letter to Burlington Northern Santa Fe Chairman Matthew K. Rose, the BNSF-BLE General Chairmen rebutted statements made by Rose regarding the implementation of remote control pilot projects on that railroad.

In an article published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rose was quoted as saying that the use of crew members other than locomotive engineers to operate remotes was a “productivity matter.” The general chairmen, Dennis Pierce, John Mullen, Austin Morrison and Rick Gibbons, took exception to that statement and provided evidence to the contrary.

In their letter to Rose, the general chairmen cited several reasons why remote controlled locomotives would be more efficiently operated by certified locomotive engineers than other train crew members. They noted that other programs have used a combination of remote controls and the control stand in the locomotive in order to achieve greater efficiency in train movement. The general chairmen also cited the locomotive engineer’s extensive knowledge of operating and safety rules.

The general chairmen are concerned with the job protection of locomotive engineers on BNSF. While the carrier has promised that the affected employees will receive protection, they have acted to the contrary in some circumstances.

The BLE General Chairmen again requested the opportunity to meet with Rose in order to discuss the issue of remote operations.

Click here to read the General Chairmen’s letter.

Thursday, April 25, 2002
bentley@ble-t.org

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