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BLET General Chairman Karakian delivers opening prayer at Teamsters 30th Convention

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, June 24 — Brother John M. Karakian, General Chairman of the BLET’s CN-Grand Trunk Western General Committee of Adjustment, had the honor of delivering the invocation during opening ceremonies of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ 30th Convention on Tuesday, June 22.

The convention is unique in that it is the first online international convention in the 118-year history of the Teamsters. Brother Karakian delivered the invocation from the computer at his home outside of Detroit, Michigan, and his message was telecast virtually to representatives from more than 500 Teamster locals in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, including members of the BLET.

“We pray that we can show one another, as well as the media and the on-looking outside world, the success of Teamster members, reaching and sharing with one another, their cooperative effort of endeavors, creativity and goals, and that it will have a great Teamster Strong unification impact, throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and beyond, over the coming months and years,” Karakian said. “Most importantly, Our Lord God, not only let us achieve the high standard of Teamster unionism that is required of us, but let us also achieve the high standard that You require of us. And it will be shown in our daily life, to our betterment. Not only through the betterment of our Teamster works, but also in the betterment of the way we live our daily lives, toward our neighbors, at home or at work.”

A member of BLET Division 122 in Port Huron, Michigan, Brother Karakian hired out in 1974 as a tower operator for the Penn Central (which later became Conrail) in Detroit, Michigan. On March 10, 1977, he moved to the GTW where he hired out as a fireman in Pontiac, Michigan. He qualified to work as a GTW yard engineer on June 30, 1978, and qualified to perform service as a GTW road engineer on February 25, 1981. Brother Karakian joined the Brotherhood on June 1, 1977, and began serving as General Chairman in 1992. He has been reelected to the General Chairman’s office eight consecutive times, most recently by acclamation in August of 2019.

The convention concludes on Thursday, June 24.

“On behalf of the BLET, I thank Brother John Karakian for the excellent job he did in representing himself and our union on an international stage,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “He carried himself with humility, grace and dignity, and he made the BLET proud.”

Thursday, June 24, 2021

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