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BLET congratulates new RRB members, salutes outgoing Labor Member Walt Barrows

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, January 8 — On January 2, 2019, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nominations of three new members to the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board: Erhard R. Chorle, Chairman; Thomas Jayne, Management Member; and Jonathan Bragg, Labor Member.

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce congratulated Chorle, Jayne and Bragg on their confirmations and expressed the Organization’s optimism at continuing its good working relationship with the Railroad Retirement Board, especially with Labor Member Bragg.

A native of Hinton, West Virginia, Bragg began his railroad career 18 years ago with CSX Transportation as a freight conductor at Pinoca Yard in Charlotte, North Carolina. He subsequently transferred to the Signal Department and was elected Local Chairman and Northeast General Committee Trustee for the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS). In May 2008, Bragg was appointed as a BRS Grand Lodge Representative.

Immediately prior to his confirmation, Bragg served as Vice President NRAB for the BRS. He was elected to that position in 2011 and was reelected by acclamation in 2014 and 2018. Bragg has held several key positions with the BRS, including Director of Research — a position that works jointly with the Federal Railroad Administration to craft railroad safety regulations. Prior to becoming Vice President NRAB, Bragg served as Local Chairman of BRS Local 89 from 2005 to 2008.

“Brother Bragg is a good friend of the BLET and to all of Rail Labor. He is well qualified and I have every confidence will serve admirably in this important post,” President Pierce said. “On behalf of the BLET, I offer congratulations to Brother Bragg on his well-deserved confirmation.”

As a career railroader, Bragg has gained an invaluable level of experience, knowledge, and understanding of the needs of rail workers, retirees, and their families.

Bragg served as the BRS representative before the National Railroad Adjustment Board (NRAB) in Chicago where he became acquainted with BLET National Vice President Marcus Ruef, who serves as Chairman of the full NRAB.

“Brother John Bragg has spent many years serving as the Brotherhood of Railway Signalmen''s Labor Member of the Third Division of the National Railroad Adjustment Board (NRAB), where he''s spent years advancing Rail Labor''s interests in arbitration,” Vice President Ruef said. “While John will be missed at the NRAB, everyone can rest assured that he will work tirelessly to protect railroad employees’ hard earned retirement.”

Bragg is replacing outgoing Labor Member Walter A. Barrows on the three-member board. Bragg will fulfill the remainder of a five-year term expiring August 28, 2019, and will assume an additional five-year term expiring August 28, 2024. President Pierce thanked outgoing RRB Labor Member Walt Barrows, who retired in late 2018.

“Brother Barrows devoted a lifetime of service to railroad workers and their families,” President Pierce said. “He has helped countless railroaders during his term as Labor Member. I am proud to offer my best wishes to Brother Walt Barrows for a long, happy, and healthy retirement. You have earned it, Brother!”

The U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, headquartered in Chicago, Ill., administers a federal retirement benefit program and other benefits for the nation’s railroad workers.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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