Frequently Asked Questions about temporary assessment

Who does the dues assessment apply to?

The dues assessment applies to all BLE members who are remitting dues at the active, active/sub-standard, and train service rates. It also applies to Canadian non-members working as engineers.

Why was the assessment taken?

On December 19th, the Advisory Board met to chart a course for the defense of the BLE and the historic operating crafts of locomotive engineer and conductor against the aggressive actions of the UTU. After receiving an overwhelming mandate from the members by the merger vote, the Advisory Board decided to do everything that they could to prevent the destruction of craft lines as well as to prevent the destruction of the oldest labor organization in North America. The $25 assessment will fund the BLE's campaign to protect its best interests and to defend historic operating crafts.

Why did the Advisory Board decide on $25?

After an in-depth financial analysis, which included examining costs of previous representation campaigns and projecting them to possible future representation elections, the Advisory Board arrived at the $25 figure.

Besides the assessment, what else is the BLE doing to raise money?

The Advisory Board also decided to begin the process of taking out a loan against its Cleveland headquarters, the Standard Building.

How long will the assessment last?

The assessment will not last a single day longer than absolutely necessary. We will continuously re-evaluate its need every 30 days.

Why was March 1 selected?

Even though the NMB has not yet ruled on the single-craft issue on the KCS property, the Advisory Board expects a decision within the first three calendar months of 2002.

The BLE Constitution & Bylaws mandates that a 60 day notice must be given on all dues increases or assessments. By making it effective March 1, 2002, the BLE will be in a better financial position to defend itself, as well as the historic craft lines, from the UTU attack.

If we wait until the NMB has ruled, the BLE would be in a precarious position. The Advisory Board decided the BLE must be prepared for whichever way the NMB rules.

How will the money be used?

It will only be used to protect the BLE in our fight to preserve the historic craft lines against the UTU's aggressive actions. It is not needed for normal operations.

Why should I remain in the BLE?

While some members may choose to desert the BLE in order to avoid higher dues, they should understand that they will be funding the demise of their own craft. By leaving the BLE and joining the UTU, members will be taking money away from the organization fighting to preserve historic craft lines and funding the organization trying to destroy them.

Why should I support this assessment?

This is not just the fight of a few leaders of this organization. This is the Brotherhood's fight. Through the overwhelming margin (17,251 to 7,425) of the merger vote, the majority of members told us that they wanted to fight to save this organization's autonomy and the autonomy of the crafts. The BLE is not the aggressor in this battle. We are being attacked. We are fighting to preserve all crafts and all jobs - and not just for the survival of the BLE. We're fighting for the future of all railroad operating workers. It is absolutely vital that we all work together in this fight.


2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers