Director of Research and
Assistant to the National President
(216) 241-2630 ext. 236
Tom Pontolillo is the Director of Research and Assistant to the President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and has served in that capacity since April 2008. Among his responsibilities are coordinating the National Division's bargaining activities and providing collective bargaining support for general committees of adjustment. He also serves as the BLET's representative on the national Confidential Close Call Reporting System Steering Committee, and heads up the Union's human factors team. He was appointed to the Transportation Research Board's Committee on Railroad Operational Safety in 2005, and also has served as a Member and Alternate Member of the Federal Railroad Administration's Railroad Safety Advisory Committee since 2005.
Prior to his current position, Tom was the BLET's Director of Regulatory Affairs. In that capacity, he represented the BLET in numerous collaborative endeavors, prepared the union's comments submitted in response to various federal agencies' proposals for rulemakings and proposed rules, and prepared comments submitted in response to petitions for waiver from compliance with FRA regulations. He also testified in 2007 before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials on the subject of operating crew fatigue in the railroad industry. From 1999 through 2001, Pontolillo served the Brotherhood as Director of Communications and Strategic Coordination.
Tom's background includes participation in several Presidential Emergency Boards, dozens of cases before the FRA's Locomotive Engineer Review Board, numerous locomotive engineer certification appellate cases, and four appeals to the FRA Administrator. In addition, he testified as an expert witness before Arbitration Board No. 564 on the impact of locomotive engineer certification.
A member of BLET Division 11 in New York City, Tom was hired by the Penn Central Railroad as a locomotive fireman in 1972 and was promoted to locomotive engineer in 1975. He joined the Brotherhood as a member of Division 501 in September 1973, and was first elected to office in 1976.