BLET News Briefs

DOT announces random drug test rates for 2008

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced random rail worker drug and alcohol testing rates for calendar year 2008.

According to the Federal mandate, a minimum of 25 percent of rail workers will be subject to random drug testing. In addition, a minimum of 10 percent will be subject to random alcohol testing.

The Federal Railroad Administration sets the number each year based on test results of the previous 12 months. The more positive tests the FRA finds, the higher the percentage of workers tested. The reverse is also true - the percentage of workers tested decreases when fewer positives tests are found.

The 2008 rates for drug and alcohol testing are the same as 2007.

Members who have issues can seek help through Employee Assistance Programs and Operation Redblock. The BLET also advises its members that many railroads have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In many cases, a positive test result will result in being placed out of service.

BLET Legislative Representative training set for March 9-14 in Washington, D.C.

The BLET Education & Training Department, in conjunction with the National Legislative Office and the National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen (NASLBC), will conduct a workshop for BLET Division Legislative Representatives in Washington, D.C., from March 9-14, 2008.

"The BLET is conducting this workshop as part of our ongoing program to have the most highly educated and well-trained membership in the House of Labor," said National Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert, Director of the BLET Education & Training Department.

The workshop will take place at Teamster headquarters in Washington, D.C., with classroom training beginning the evening of Sunday, March 9. All-day classroom training will follow on March 10, 11 and 12.

The workshop will cover the following topics:

After completion of the classroom training, attendees will participate in a full day of lobbying on March 13 and a half-day on March 14. The afternoon of March 14 is scheduled for travel home.

Those who successfully complete the classroom portion of the workshop will be eligible for a stipend of $109 per day ($436 total) from the North American Railway Foundation (NARF). The stipends will be paid directly to the State Legislative Board or Division Secretary-Treasurer.

The workshop is limited to the first 24 who register. As this issue went to press, the workshop reached maximum capacity and a waiting list was established for a future workshop.

The dates and location are yet to be determined, but members may begin to register for the future workshop at the BLET website,

For more information, please call the BLET National Legislative Office at (202) 624-8776.



© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen