7061 East Pleasant Valley Road, Independence, Ohio 44131 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

Membership
Benefits
News and Issues
Departments
Information
Secretary-Treasurer
Merchandise
Communications
FELA
Events
Links
User Info

Court victory vindicates BLET position on two-person train crews

CLEVELAND, April 21 — In a major legal victory to protect two-person train crews, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled in favor of BLET’s position that the Wheeling & Lake Erie’s use of managers in place of Union conductors is a major dispute under the Railway Labor Act. The ruling vindicates BLET’s decision to strike over the issue more than 18 months ago.

In September 2013, the BLET went on strike over the W&LE’s repudiation of Collective Bargaining Agreements that cover the locomotive engineer and trainmen operating crafts. Specifically, the Carrier ignored longstanding crew consist agreements and operated single-person operations in an effort to eliminate Trainmen.

When W&LE challenged the strike, the District Court ruled the dispute to be a minor one and granted the Carrier a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). While the TRO put the BLET members back to work, the District Court conditioned it “on WLE’s agreement not to use supervisors or other management employees in place of engineers or conductors in the operation of its trains.” The TRO was later converted into an injunction.

A unanimous three-judge panel on the Sixth Circuit reversed the District Court. It found that W&LE’s “claim that the Trainmen Agreement allowed it to man trains without union conductors is frivolous or obviously insubstantial, and the dispute is major.” The Court of Appeals also vacated the injunction and remanded the case back to the District Court with instructions to dismiss the W&LE’s complaint.

“The favorable ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit constitutes a major victory for all BLET members, especially our Brothers and Sisters at the W&LE,” President Pierce said. “They have fought the good fight for many years now and have stood strong against the carrier’s wishes to implement one-person train operations. They deserve our thanks for holding the line on this all-important safety issue.

“I would also like to thank General Chairman Dewayne Dehart, retired General Chairman R.H. Linsey, Local Chairmen Kevin Nahrebecki and Lonnie Swigert and the members of Division 292 for standing strong. I want to thank General Counsel Mike Wolly and his team for helping to secure this major court victory on behalf of our members,” President Pierce concluded.

Contract negotiations at the railroad have been stalled for years as the Carrier apparently seeks to eliminate crew members and force one-person train operations. The BLET has long opposed to such freight operations as being adverse to worker and public safety.

A copy of the court ruling is available for download from the BLET National Division website (PDF).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
bentley@ble-t.org

Like us on Facebook at
Facebook.com/BLETNational

Sign up for BLET News Flash Alerts

© 1997-2021 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

 


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts

DAILY HEADLINES

CP appeals to KCS shareholders to reject CN deal
What we know about Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure framework and transit funding
Infrastructure bill could be good news for Gateway Tunnel project
FRA issues final rule on revised PTC reporting
AAR reports rail traffic for week ending July 24, 2021
Frito-Lay workers back on the job with one guaranteed day off a week
NTSB opens public docket for 2020 UP derailment in Tempe, Arizona
Schumer calls for NS to address idling trains in Hornell
Rail authority seeks support to bring passenger rail service to southern North Dakota
Updated: Q&A regarding unemployment and sickness benefits for railroad employees
Unemployment and Sickness Benefit flexibilities under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) during the COVID-19 virus outbreak
Get the latest labor news from the Teamsters

More Headlines