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BLET Legislative Reps meet for training

CLEVELAND, July 21 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, held a series of training classes for state legislative representatives at the Teamsters headquarters in Washington, D.C., last week.

Among the topics that were discussed were the safety concerns of fatigue and the industry’s push to change the crew size from two-people to one.

“We are standing with you in your fight to maintain safety standards with a two-man crew in locomotives on the nation’s railroads,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President, who spoke to the legislative representatives.

The BLET Education & Training Department conducted the workshop, in conjunction with the BLET’s National Legislative Office and the National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen (NASLBC).

Dennis Pierce, BLET National President, E. Lee Pruitt, BLET First Vice President, Bill Walpert, BLET National Secretary-Treasurer, and John Tolman, Vice President and National Legislative Representative, all addressed the participants on important events within the union and on the upcoming Third National Convention. BLET National Vice Presidents Mike Twombly and Cole Davis were also in attendance.

The following BLET State Legislative Board Chairmen also assisted: Terry Briggs, Texas; Herb Harris, District of Columbia; Brian Kelley, Missouri; Matt Kronyak, New Jersey; and Paul Piekarski, Illinois. Vince Verna, BLET’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, led presentations regarding Hours of Service regulations and the Rail Safety Advisory Committee (RSAC).

Several politicians addressed the workshop, including: Senator Ed Markey (D-MA); Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL); Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA); and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

Following the conclusion of the training sessions, the BLET members visited offices of their Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. For most of the participants this visit was their first time in nation’s capital.

All agreed that the training this week will assist each of them in understanding more about legislative duties in general and how they can help their brothers and sisters of the labor movement have safer and more secure workplaces.

Monday, July 21, 2014

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