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Runion reelected to fifth term as Chairman of Wyoming State Legislative Board

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, February 12 — Cory L. Runion was reelected by acclamation to his fifth term as Chairman of the Wyoming State Legislative Board during its triennial meeting held in Cheyenne, Wyo., February 5-6, 2019.

A member of BLET Division 115 (Cheyenne), Brother Runion is a Union Pacific locomotive engineer who joined the Brotherhood on December 1, 2000. He was elected Vice Chairman of the State Legislative Board in 2007 and assumed the Chairman’s office on September 28, 2008, following the retirement of former State Chairman Terry R. Jones. Brother Runion was reelected by acclamation in 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Also elected by acclamation to three-year terms were: 1st Vice Chairman Mark E. Stokes, Division 103 (Cheyenne, Wyo.); 2nd Vice Chairman George W. Johnson, Division 207 (Casper, Wyo.); Secretary-Treasurer Anthony P. Lecholat, Division 624 (Sheridan, Wyo.); and Alternate Secretary-Treasurer Russell E. Sapp, Division 142 (Rawlins, Wyo.). Brother Lecholat was reelected to his third term of office and Brother Johnson was reelected to his second term. Brother Stokes and Brother Sapp were elected to their first terms of office.

Reelected to serve on the Audit Committee were: Larry L. Nelson, Division 94 (Gillette, Wyo.); Steven S. Dyer, Division 31 (Bill, Wyo.); and Michael L. Fielder, Division 869 (Greybull, Wyo.). Elected to serve as Alternate Audit Committee Members were: Brett A. Taylor, Division 44 (Cheyenne, Wyo.); and George W. Johnson, Division 207 (Casper, Wyo.).

Representing the BLET National Division at the meeting were: National President Dennis R. Pierce; National Vice President Michael D. Twombly; National Division Trustee/UP-Northern Region GCA General Chairman R.E. (Dick) Crow; Director of Regulatory Affairs Vincent G. Verna; Director of Political and Legislative Affairs Robert F. Hagan; and Special Representative and Director of Mobilization-Western Region Paul T. Aird. Additional BLET guests included: BNSF/MRL GCA 3rd Vice General Chairman Steve Halbrook; and UP-Eastern District General Chairman Dave Geisler.

“I congratulate Brother Runion and thank all officers of the Wyoming State Legislative Board for their willingness to serve our Brotherhood,” President Pierce said. “I am also proud to thank them for the great job they’ve done in lobbying for the state’s two-person crew bill, which would protect jobs and preserve safety.”

Chairman Runion welcomed the three newest members — Brother Taylor, Brother Stokes and Brother Sapp — to the Board and expressed optimism for the years to come. “Our new and existing Board members have an energy and willingness to advance the Board’s mission in advocating for Rail Labor in Wyoming,” Chairman Runion said. He also noted that Brothers Taylor and Stokes have hit the ground running and have attended a grassroots lobbying training conference hosted by Wyoming’s Equality State Policy Center (ESPC).

Members of the Board have been active in lobbying the Wyoming legislature regarding H.B. 104, which is a rail safety bill that would require a minimum of two crew members on trains operating in the state of Wyoming. Chairman Runion reports that the bill has passed the House and that Board members are prepared to begin lobbying again when debate begins on the Senate side. He also expressed pride in the efforts of the newest Board members to lobby for the H.B. 104, and extended his gratitude to the BLET’s counterparts in SMART TD’s Wyoming legislative board for their efforts in advocating on behalf of the bill.

Following the conclusion of the Board meeting, a Town Hall was held the next day for all rail union members in the area. Speakers representing the BLET at the Town Hall were President Pierce, Brother Verna and Brother Hagan.

The BLET’s Wyoming State Legislative Board represents approximately 1,000 active and retired members from 9 different Local Divisions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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