Rick Gibbons is National Vice President of the 53,500-member Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a Division of the Rail Conference, International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He was elected by acclamation to his first full term of office on October 1, 2014, at the BLET’s Third National Convention in Las Vegas.
He was elected by acclamation to serve as First Alternate National Vice President in the first-ever membership election of National Division officers in December of 2010. Effective July 1, 2013, he was elevated to the office of National Vice President upon the retirement of Vice President Willard E. Knight. Immediately prior to his elevation to the Advisory Board, Gibbons served as General Chairman of the BLET’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe (former SL-SF)/MNA General Committee of Adjustment, a position he held for 12 years.
His railroad career began in 1972 on the former Illinois Central Gulf in Slater, Mo. He earned promotion to locomotive engineer in 1973 and first joined the Brotherhood on November 1, 1973. He was a member of BLE Division 8 in Slater until 1993 when he moved to Kansas City, Mo., and joined BLE Division 502. After joining the Brotherhood, he was elected to numerous offices throughout his 40-year career, including Division President, Local Chairman, Legislative Representative, and First Vice Chairman (GCA).
He also served the Brotherhood as a delegate to the 2001 International Convention in Miami Beach, and served on the Arrangements Committee during the 2006 First National Convention in Las Vegas and the 2010 Second National Convention in Reno, Nevada.
During his tenure as General Chairman, Vice President Gibbons was privileged to be the Western General Chairman’s Association (WGCA) Secretary-Treasurer from 2009 through 2011. He was then was elected Chairman of the WGCA in 2012. In 2003, he was appointed to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters / Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Merger Committee on Bylaws, and also a position on the Rail Safety Advisory Committee’s Risk Reduction and Fatigue Management Working Groups representing the BLET and all of Rail Labor. Vice President Gibbons also was the Host Chairman of the 2003 Southwestern Convention Meeting in Branson, Mo.
As General Chairman, Gibbons worked with the other three General Chairmen on BNSF in negotiating several on-property agreements in coordination with national bargaining. This included a Safety Summit Agreement/Alternative Handling Program in an attempt to change the safety culture and the punitive discipline agenda on BNSF.
Vice President Gibbons comes from a long line of railroaders in his family. His Grandfather was the Superintendent on the Chicago and Alton Railroad in Slater for many years. His mother was a clerk and his aunt was a hostess on the Burlington Zephyr. One uncle was a switchman in Mexico, Mo., for the GM&O and his great uncle was a boomer who landed on the Southern Pacific in California and retired at the age of 82 with 64 years of service.
Rick and his wife Anna were married in the fall of 2012 and now live in Gladstone, Mo. The couple has three sons and two daughters with four grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out, watching all sports, and playing golf.