Cunningham reelected BNSF (former ATSF) General Chairman

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, November 1 — Brother M. Robby Cunningham was reelected by acclamation to his second term as General Chairman of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (former ATSF) General Committee of Adjustment at the GCA’s quadrennial meeting in San Diego, California, October 4-7, 2021.

A member of BLET Division 134 (Winslow, Arizona), Brother Cunningham was elected 1st Vice General Chairman of the GCA in 2011. He was reelected by acclamation at triennial meetings in 2014 and 2017. His first term as General Chairman began effective January 1, 2019, when he was elevated to fill the position of former General Chairman J. Alan Holdcraft following his election to the BLET Advisory Board.

Also elected by acclamation at the quadrennial meeting were: 1st Vice General Chairman Jeremy McFather, Division 446 (Belen, New Mexico); and Secretary-Treasurer Bart Jones, Division 871 (Slayton, Texas). The following officers were also elected: 2nd Vice General Chairman Chris Lewis, Division 811 (Clovis, New Mexico); 3rd Vice General Chairman Shawn Barber, Division 739 (Bakersfield, California); 4th Vice General Chairman Richard Smith, Division 636 (Lafayette, Louisiana); and Fifth Vice General Chairman Phillip Taylor, Division 130 (Kansas City, Kansas). Elected to serve the GCA as Trustees were: Jorge Gomez, Division 264 (El Paso, Texas); Eddy Waugh, Division 201 (Gainesville, Texas); and Oscar Burrola, Division 344 (Wellington, Kansas).

BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce represented the National Division at the meeting, along with the assigned National Vice President, Mike Priester. The 2021 meeting was the GCA’s first quadrennial meeting. Delegates to the 2017 triennial meeting voted to change the GCA’s bylaws going forward to hold the meetings once every four years (quadrennially) as opposed to once every three years (triennially).

“I offer my congratulations to General Chairman Cunningham and all officers of the BNSF (ATSF) General Committee of Adjustment,” President Pierce said. “The delegates should be commended for electing a hard-working and dedicated team of leaders. I thank them for inviting me and it was an honor to attend their first quadrennial meeting."

Additional Brotherhood guests included: General Chairman Jeff Thurman, BNSF (former STL-SF) General Committee of Adjustment (GCA); General Chairmen Kent Psota, BNSF-MRL; General Chairman David Spradlin, Kansas City Southern GCA; Vice General Chairman Kyle King, BNSF (former STL-SF); Vice General Chairman Jess Nelson, BNSF-MRL; Vice General Chairman Jason Scanlan, BNSF-MRL; and Vice General Chairman Troy Martin, BNSF (former C&S/CRI&P/FWD).

Brother Cunningham hired out with the AT&SF Railroad in 1993 in Winslow, Arizona. He then worked as a switchman/brakeman in Phoenix, Arizona, until he went into the Locomotive Engineer Training Program in 1994. He earned promotion to locomotive engineer in March of 1995 and joined the BLET on July 1, 1997. He served as Vice Local Chairman and then Local Chairman of Division 134 prior to being elected First Vice General Chairman in 2011. Brother Cunningham served the National Division as a member of the Arrangements Committee during the Fourth National Convention in 2018, and he currently serves as Vice Chairman-West of the BLET’s National General Chairman’s Association.

The BNSF (former ATSF) General Committee of Adjustment represents more than 3,300 active members belonging to 35 different BLET Divisions. Their members work for the BNSF Railway, Great Western of Colorado, and the Panhandle Northern.

Monday, November 1, 2021

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