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President Pierce addresses BMWED national convention

CLEVELAND, June 24 — More than 400 delegates representing the members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the Teamsters Rail Conference began their third Regular Convention in Las Vegas yesterday. The delegates and guests filled the convention hall to hear keynote speeches by Teamsters General President James Hoffa, Teamsters Rail Conference Director John Murphy and Teamsters Rail Conference President Dennis Pierce.

The BMWED convention is held quadrennially and runs from June 23-25, 2014. The delegates in session will elect National Division officers and vote on proposals to amend their bylaws.

Dennis R. Pierce, National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and President of the Teamsters Rail Conference, spoke about the current War on Workers and the negative impact it is having on America’s Middle Class.

“As railroad workers we live in very challenging times,” President Pierce said. “The carriers confront us at every turn, seeking to change our workplace not for our betterment, but instead for their own profit.

“But what we face is just one example of what is happening throughout our great nation today. There is an attack on working class Americas — both union members and non-union members alike — the likes of which haven’t been seen in several generations.”

He explained how Corporate America, groups like ALEC and the richest one percent are behind the attacks, are using a divide and conquer strategy in an attempt to pit workers against workers.

“Look all around you and you’ll see evidence of how they try to pit the young against the old… the organized against the unorganized… public sector workers against private sector workers… and on and on.”

To counteract the War on Workers, President Pierce urged all workers and all unions to pull together for their common interests.

“The bottom line is that so long as you don’t have any rights as a worker, all your other rights will be like reeds in a field… subject to being blown this way and that according to the political winds of the day,” he said. “Our only way to combat that is to remember that the true strength of the working class is when we all pull in the same direction. That is why so many corporate owned politicians and pundits preach the gospel of division.”

He concluded with words of praise for the BMWED and Rail Conference.

“I am confident that the BMWED will continue to fight by my side as strong as it has always, not just at the bargaining table, but in the never-ending struggle for workers’ rights, upon which all of our rights depend,” he said.

A copy of President Pierce’s remarks can be viewed/printed/downloaded here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014
bentley@ble-t.org

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