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BLET organizes Illinois Railway short line workers

CLEVELAND, August 13 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) scored a short line organizing victory last week as a majority of workers at Illinois Railway voted to make the BLET their designated collective bargaining representative.

The National Mediation Board certified the election results on August 7. The organizing victory brings 21 new train and engine service employees into the ranks of the BLET.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce welcomed the new Illinois Railway workers to the House of Labor and thanked them for voting BLET. The Brotherhood will begin contract negotiations with rail management as quickly as possible, he said.

“The best way to respond to the confidence shown by our new Illinois Railway members is to help them realize the goals they identified throughout the organizing campaign by negotiating their first-ever collective bargaining agreement,” President Pierce said. “That job begins today.”

President Pierce thanked Kent Confer, BLET Special Representative and Director of Organizing, for his hard work in securing the election victory at the Illinois Railway property.

President Pierce said the Illinois Railway members will hold membership in BLET Division 682 (Hammond, Ind.) and will belong to the BLET’s Indiana Harbor Belt General Committee of Adjustment. He thanked General Chairman Christopher J. Cundari for his assistance in the organizing effort and for the leadership he has shown by bringing the Illinois Railway membership into his Division and General Committee.

Illinois Railway (IR) is comprised of four track segments aggregating 113 miles of track located just west of the Chicago suburbs. IR services what is often called “the Sand Capital of the World” in northern Illinois.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
bentley@ble-t.org

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