Marcus J. Ruef is Vice-President of the 53,500-member Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. He also serves as Department Head, BLET Arbitration Department. He was reelected by acclamation to his third consecutive term of office at the BLET’s Third National Convention on October 1, 2014. He was first elected Vice President at the BLET’s First National Convention in June of 2006, and was reelected following the BLET’s Second National Convention to a term of office that began on January 1, 2010.
Appointed as Department Head, BLET Arbitration Department in April of 2009, Brother Ruef represents BLET as Vice Chairman of the full National Railroad Adjustment Board (NRAB). He is also a Labor Member of the National Mediation Board Arbitration Advisory Form. He assists the General Chairmen representing engineers at Illinois Central, Wisconsin Central, Grand Trunk Western, Duluth Missabe&Iron Range, Elgin Joliet&Eastern, Indiana Harbor Belt and Belt Railway of Chicago.
Brother Ruef’s full time career with the Brotherhood began when he was hired in January, 1997 as Assistant Director of the Arbitration Department and as one of the Organization’s Labor Members of the NRAB. He also spent many years serving Division 143 in Manassas, Va., as their Legislative Representative and as First Vice Chairman and Secretary Treasurer of the Virginia State Legislative Board.
Brother Ruef’s railroad career began the day after his high school graduation in 1973, when he was hired by the Penn Central Railroad as a block operator. He worked in the interlocking towers on their Metropolitan Region between New Haven, Conn., and Mt. Vernon, N.Y. In 1976, he entered engine service and joined BLE Division 77 in New Haven, working essentially the same territory. He earned promotion to Locomotive Engineer in September of 1978.
After The Northeast Rail Services Act (NERSA) divided the territory in 1983, he worked for Metro North. During his time in the Northeast, he attended college and ultimately graduated from Cornell University’s New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations with a BS in Labor Relations. In 1985, he transferred to Norfolk Southern, where he spent several years as an officer in their Labor Relations Department, and then worked as an engineer on the Washington District (where he currently hold his seniority and belongs to Division 143) working primarily road service between Hagerstown, Md. and Manassas, Va., until hired full-time by the BLE in 1997.
Brother Ruef maintains his interest in railroad and transit history and preservation. He has maintained a continuous membership since 1969 (at the age of 14) with the Shore Line (nee Branford) Trolley Museum in East Haven, CT. It was at the Museum, where many of the volunteers were local railroaders, that Brother Ruef was encouraged to pursue a railroad career. Brother Ruef also attended several trade school programs learning various aspects of the metal trades, principally welding and machining.