Paul T. Aird
Director of Organizing and
Director of Mobilization, Western Region
Paul T. Aird, BLET Division 173 (Fond du Lac, Wisc.), is a full time Special Representative and Director of Organizing for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. He was appointed to this position by BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce effective November 1, 2014.
Brother Aird will also serve as National Mobilization Coordinator for the Western United States. He will assume the duties of Brother Kent N. Confer, who is retiring effective January 1, 2015.
“I am pleased to welcome Paul Aird to our National Division staff and I know he will work tirelessly on behalf of the National Division and all members of our Brotherhood,” President Pierce said. “Brother Aird will have big shoes to fill with the retirement of Kent Confer, but I have every confidence that he has the skill and dedication necessary to meet the challenges that lie ahead. I have every confidence that our members will be well served by his professionalism and dedication.”
Brother Aird is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. A fourth-generation railroader behind his father, grandfather and great grandfather, Aird is a Wisconsin Central locomotive engineer and member of BLET Division 173 (Fond du Lac, Wisc.).
“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve the Brotherhood in this manner,” Brother Aird said. “I realize the challenges that face us are no different than the challenges that have faced the Organization throughout our history. It is our duty to carry the torch of solidarity forward in these trying times. As our forefathers stood shoulder to shoulder to face no less than the muzzle of rifles, so too must we stand together to face the attacks made on us today.”
Brother Aird hired out in 1993 as a section laborer for the Fox River Valley Railroad. In 1994, he hired out on the Wisconsin Central, earning promotion to locomotive engineer in May of 1999. He initially joined BLET Division 175 (Neenah, Wisc.) on May 1, 1999, and was first elected to the Division’s Local Committee of Adjustment in December of 2000. In December of 2003, he was elected Local Chairman and Legislative Representative of his Division. In July of 2004, he was appointed 1st Vice Chairman of the Wisconsin State Legislative Board. He also assumed the duties of State Legislative Representative/Political Director at that time. In 2006, he transferred to Division 173 (Fond du Lac, Wisc.) and shortly thereafter assumed the duties of Division Legislative Representative. Immediately prior to his November 1 appointment, Brother Aird served as Legislative Representative of Division 173 and as 1st Vice Chairman of the Wisconsin State Legislative Board. In 2012, Brother Aird expanded his active role in the BLET by becoming a member of the BLET Safety Task Force.
For Brother Aird, one of the most influential experiences in his union career was his participation in the War on Workers protests in Wisconsin in the spring of 2011.
“Having seen first hand how extremist politics can negatively impact us as organized labor is certainly a driving force in how I approach my work as a union officer,” Aird said. “The challenges that face us today are no different than the struggles that our forefathers in this organization faced at the time of our inception. We must stand together in these turbulent times to face the attacks of those who seek to destroy our way of life.”
Brother Aird said his fellow BLET Brothers and Sisters will serve as motivation in his new role with the BLET National Division.
“I would like to thank all the Brothers and Sisters I have had the honor to serve with throughout the years,” Aird said. “You have all at some point motivated and driven me to achieve the best for the Brotherhood.”
Brother Aird enjoys coaching kids’ football and basketball and his hobbies included archery and hunting. He and his wife Molly have three children: William, Talia and Mason.