E. Lee Pruitt is First Vice-President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He was reelected by acclamation to serve his second consecutive four-year term as First Vice President during the BLET’s Third National Convention in Las Vegas on October 1, 2014. He was initially elected unanimously by the BLET’s Advisory Board to serve in the Organization’s second-highest office on July 1, 2010, and was subsequently elected First Vice President by acclamation at the BLET’s Second National Convention in Reno, Nevada, in October of 2010.
Immediately prior to his 2010 election as First Vice President, Brother Pruitt had been serving as a National Vice President and had many assignments, one of which was the Union Pacific Railroad. He was initially elected Vice President at the BLE’s Seventh Quinquennial Convention in Miami Beach, Fla., in September of 2001, and then reelected by acclamation to another term during the BLET’s First National Convention in June of 2006.
He also serves the Teamsters Rail Conference in the capacity of Vice President, winning election to that office by acclamation on June 24, 2010, and then winning reelection to additional four-year terms on May 4, 2014, and May 2, 2018.
Vice President Pruitt began his railroad career in 1968 as a machinist apprentice then electrician apprentice for the Southern Pacific Railroad in Bakersfield, Calif. He transferred to engine service as a fireman for the Southern Pacific in 1970 and was promoted to locomotive engineer in June 1972. He joined BLET Division 126 in 1972 immediately after he was promoted to locomotive engineer and has been a proud member in good standing since.
Vice President Pruitt has held various elected positions during his career with the BLET. From 1979-1990, he served as Local Chairman of BLET Division 126. He also served as a Vice-General Chairman for the Southern Pacific Western Lines and became the General Chairman in 1990, serving in that position from 1990 — being re-elected to that position by acclamation for 11 years — until his election to Vice President in 2001. He was then was re-elected by acclamation to the Vice President’s position in 2006.
During his years with the BLET and throughout his career, Pruitt has held many Union offices and has participated in every facet of representing the membership including: National and System negotiations; New York Dock negotiations; short line negotiations; arbitration involving discipline; claims; safety; regulatory disputes; and was directly involved in on-property negotiations with the Union Pacific Railroad at the time of his promotion to First Vice President.
First Vice-President Pruitt is a second-generation railroader whose father was a conductor on the Southern Pacific for 39 years.
Pruitt is married to his lovely wife Jamie and has two children, Tobi and Jólie, and one granddaughter, Tawni. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and collecting music and records of which he has a very large collection. Before his daughter Jólie was born, he enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson around the country. When Jólie was born, that put a crimp in his motorcycle riding days.