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Hau elected CN-WC General Chairman

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, April 24 — Brother Eric A. Hau was elected by acclamation to the office of General Chairman at the Canadian National-Wisconsin Central General Committee of Adjustment’s quadrennial meeting on April 21, 2020. The meeting was a first of its kind in the history of the BLET, as it was not held in person but “virtually” through online video conference technology.

Brother Hau is a member of BLET Division 173 in Fon du Lac, Wisc., and has served as its Local Chairman for the past 17 years. Outgoing General Chairman John Reynolds did not seek reelection due to his retirement.

All officers of the GCA were elected by acclamation, including: Vice General Chairman Jason T. Alexander, Division 184 (Schiller Park, Ill); 1st Alternate Vice General Chairman Chuck M. Schulz, Division 175 (Neenah, Wisc.) and Wisconsin State Legislative Board Chairman; 2nd Alternate Vice General Chairman David J. Robinette, Division 185 (Gladstone, Mich.); Secretary-Treasurer: Eugene (Shy) Ziegler, Division 173 (Fon du Lac, Wisc.); Alternate Secretary-Treasurer Eric A. Stroik, Division 174 (Stevens Point, Wisc.) and Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin State Legislative Board. The following Brothers will continue their appointment as Trustees: Jason Alexander, Division 184; Chuck Schulz, Division 175; and Adam Fenlaciki, Division 209.

“I congratulation Brother Eric and all officers of the CN-WC General Committee of Adjustment,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “I also wish to acknowledge the leadership of outgoing General Chairman John Reynolds and to thank him for his many years of dedicated service to our Brotherhood. I am happy to extend our best wishes for a long, happy and healthy retirement.”

Due to widespread travel restrictions as well as limitations on the size of gatherings due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic across the United States, delegates to the 2020 CN-WC GCA meeting were not able to meet in person to conduct their union business. Instead, they held a virtual meeting through online video conferencing technology, becoming the first General Committee of Adjustment in the nearly 157-year history of the BLET to hold a virtual meeting to conduct union business and elect officers. The GCA coordinated with the National Division to obtain permission and advice regarding how to legally conduct the virtual meeting, ensuring that doing so did not violate Brotherhood law or Department of Labor regulations.

Delegates to the meeting included: Brian Flaherty, Division 520; Jason Alexander, Division 184; Ian Wainio, Division 173; Chuck Schulz, Division 175; Adam Fenlaciki, Division 209; David Robinette, Division 185; Gary Dalsbo, Division 174; Steve Moerke, Division 188; Steve Surchik, Division 163; Eugene Ziegler, Division 173; John Reynolds, Division 209; and Eric Hau, Division 173.

“The 2020 quadrennial meeting of the CN-WC GCA was unique to say the least, and the first of its kind in the annals of the BLET,” President Pierce said. “I congratulate these Brothers for their ability to adapt and for their innovative use of technology to conduct their quadrennial meeting in spite of these trying times. I also want to thank them for inviting me to join their virtual meeting. In these trying times it is always a benefit when Union Brothers and Sisters can find a way to commune and interact.”

Representing the BLET National Division at the meeting were: President Pierce; National Vice President Marcus Ruef; and Special Representative, Director of Organizing, and Director of Mobilization–Western Region Paul Aird. Also making presentations to the delegates were: Eric Stroik, Division 174; Kory Hansen, GCA Critical Incident and Mobilization Coordinator, Division 173.

Immediately prior to his election, Brother Hau was serving as Local Chairman of Division 173 (Fon du Lac, Wisc.). He hired out with the Wisconsin Central in 1994 as a locomotive mechanic and began working as a conductor in 1995. He earned promotion to locomotive engineer and joined the BLET in 1998, the same year he began serving Division 173 as Vice Local Chairman. In 2003, Brother Hau began serving Division 173 as Local Chairman, an office he held for 17 years until his election to the office of CN-WC General Chairman at the GCA’s 2020 quadrennial meeting. Prior to the 2020 GCA meeting, Brother Hau served the CN-WC GCA as Vice General Chairman for 13 years, winning election to the office of Vice General Chairman in 2007, 2011, 2012, and 2016.

Outgoing General Chairman John Reynolds did not seek reelection due to his retirement. Brother Reynolds began serving the Wisconsin Central GCA as general chairman in early 2003, serving five terms of office as General Chairman and winning election by acclamation each time. Most recently, he was reelected at the GCA’s 2016 quadrennial meeting. A Wisconsin Central locomotive engineer, Brother Reynolds hired out on the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad (Frisco) in 1978. He is a member of BLET Division 209 (Green Bay) and has held continuous membership since September 1, 1997. On February 24, 2003, he was elevated to the office of General Chairman of the CN-WC GCA, then reelected by acclamation in 2004, 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2016. In 2012, the GCA held a special meeting after the WC GCA merged with the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range and the Two Harbors GCAs. Brother Reynolds also served as Vice Chairman of the BLET’s Western General Chairmen’s Association for several years during his career, and served the Brotherhood as a member of the Work Committee at the BLET’s Fourth National Convention in 2018.

The CN-WC GCA represents approximately 900 active and retirement members from nine different BLET Divisions.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

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