7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

Michael D. Priester

Vice President

priester@ble-t.org

Michael D. Priester is a National Vice President of the 57,000-member Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. He was elected by acclamation to his third consecutive term as Vice President at the BLET's Fourth National Convention on October 3, 2018. He also ran unopposed when he was first elected Vice President at the BLET's Second National Convention in 2010 and again at the Third National Convention in 2014.

His railroad career began when he hired out as a fireman for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad on June 6, 1968, out of Terre Haute, Ind. By 1969, he was holding a regular position on a night road switch, which allowed him to pursue a higher education. He enrolled at Indiana State University where he majored in Criminology and Sociology, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in August 1974.

In 1972, Vice President Priester was promoted to engineer and joined BLE Division 754 effective February 1, 1972. He has been a member in good standing ever since. It was here that his interests turned towards the union movement, which propelled him to the Vice Local Chairman's position in his Division. He held that position all the while, gaining the experience and knowledge needed to take the next step.

In 1979, he was elected Local Chairman, a position he would hold for 20 years. In 1999, he was elected General Chairman of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR/US), Metra North, Iowa, Missouri Rail Link (IMRL) Committee. He had served this Committee as its Chairman for 11-1/2 years, winning reelection in both 2003 and 2007.

This Committee has since expanded to include the Indiana Southern Railroad (ISRR) and the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad (DM&E).

Under Priester's leadership as General Chairman, the DM&E membership ratified a retroactive five-year wage and benefits package in August of 2010, which included a union shop agreement. This agreement provided the General Committee with the opportunity to represent 200-plus new members in matters pertaining to the new agreement.

Prior to becoming Vice President, Priester had served as Chairman of the BLET Western General Chairman's Association for four consecutive terms. As Chairman of this Association, it also afforded him the opportunity to serve on the current BLET National Bargaining Team.

In 1972, Vice President Priester met and married the love of his life, Debbie. She graced him with two beautiful children, Michael Todd and Shannon. On February 15, 2018, Shannon blessed them with three grandchildren, triplets Luca, Alessandro and Lola. Mike and Debbie were married on June 10, 1972, and will celebrate their 47th wedding anniversary in 2019.

© 1997-2019 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

Kansas City Southern reports Q3 2019 results
AAR: Rail traffic down again for week ending October 12, 2019
U.S. rail volumes still falling
UP sees workforce down by about 4,200 employees this year
Trade war hurts UPís profit; Railroad plans to cut more jobs, reduce spending
UP Q3 coal transportation volumes fall 17% on year
Tentative UAW-GM deal calls for raises, ratification bonus, Lordstown closure, pathway for temps
Amtrakís disappearing dining cars
Illini and Saluki Amtrak routes among worst-performing in U.S., report says
Virginia is planning an east-west passenger rail route connecting Blue Ridge Mountains to the beach
RRB Q&A: Railroad Retirement annuities and pensions from work not covered by Railroad Retirement or Social Security
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines