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Why I知 voting YES on the Tentative National Agreement

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 20 The following is a statement from Kelly Lowery, Vice Local Chairman of BLET Division 475 (Smithville, TX) in support of the Tentative National Agreement.

# # #

Brothers and Sisters:

In the short 11 years and 8 months that I致e been employed by Union Pacific Railroad (10 years working as a Locomotive Engineer), this is the first time that I have personally seen the BLET and SMART TD (former UTU) come together and work on something side by side, especially something as big as the Tentative National Agreement that痴 before us.

Yet I知 hearing every day from fellow Brothers how disappointed they are with the agreement put in front of us, how we want more, it痴 not good enough, what痴 the union actually doing for us?

Our concerns haven稚 fallen on deaf ears. They are hearing us, which is why we are two years and ten months behind on this agreement. They were not going to budge on what the railroad was bringing to the table and I feel our greed is getting the best of us. We have some of the best insurance in the country and it actually gets better with this agreement. The clinic of excellence that is going to be added, the expert second opinion and even the eye insurance is getting better.

I知 not ashamed to admit that I vote Republican 75 percent of the time, but things are crazy in Washington right now and I don稚 want them deciding what痴 best for me and my family. Especially when they are having a hard-enough time getting along with each other in the same party. Negotiations are done. If this agreement is not ratified it will go to a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB). Do you honestly think that Congress is going to understand how you get paid or why our insurance isn稚 good enough, yet it痴 better than the majority of the rest of the country, and why do we need our Railroad Retirement? All this will be open to them to completely tear apart and decide what they think you need. Congress will not come to us and ask what we want, they will just decide and say here it is. There is no vote then and they will force it upon us.

Ask an old head about the 1985 agreement and the 1991 agreement and you値l realize it does not work out in our favor to go to the PEB. I just ask that you sit down and actually read this agreement, make a phone call and ask questions. Are we really willing to give up our retirement, health insurance and rate of pay because we think that maybe and that痴 a big MAYBE we can get more? Because that痴 what we will be letting Congress decide for us. This is actually a pretty good agreement with the raise and what we will pay monthly for health insurance. We will actually be getting a raise. Even with inflation going up in this country, our raise in this contract will be above the inflation rate for once. I just pray that everyone of us makes the right decision when we vote on this agreement.

Fraternally,

Kelly Lowery
Locomotive Engineer
UPRR 11 Year Employee
Vice Local Chairman
BLET Division 475, Smithville, TX

Monday, November 20, 2017
bentley@ble-t.org

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