BLE ready to defend crafts

Advisory Board to suspend dues assessment after March, April collections; NMB collects cross-utilization data on KCS

The BLE's Advisory Board passed a motion on January 31 that will suspend the temporary dues assessment after two months of implementation.

BLE members will be assessed the additional $25 for March and April only.

At its upcoming February meeting, the Board will revisit the issue to determine if further action is necessary.

BLE International President Don M. Hahs said, "The Executive Committee has determined that the March and April assessments, coupled with other funds that are available, should provide adequate financing to defend the BLE on the Kansas City Southern in the event the National Mediation Board issues an adverse ruling."

Regarding the BLE's defense of historic operating crafts on the Kansas City Southern, the National Mediation Board has given KCS management until February 22 to submit certain information regarding the cross-utilization of employees working in the operating crafts.

In a January 28 letter, the NMB requested that KCS management provide the following information:

In a February 1 letter to the NMB, attorneys for the United Transportation Union objected to the time frame of June 15, 2001 to September 15, 2001, stating that the time period was too short.

"This is not a 'preponderance check' to determine in which craft employees should vote, but rather an investigation as to whether a single craft or class of Train and Engine Service Employees exists on KCS," the UTU attorneys wrote.

To help in the defense of historic operating craft lines before the NMB, the BLE has retained the services of the Washington, D.C. law firm Baptiste & Wilder, P.C. Roland P. Wilder Jr. will represent the BLE at the NMB.

Mr. Wilder has appeared hundreds of times before the NMB on behalf of various labor clients.

The firm primarily represents labor unions and has years of experience presenting cases before the NMB in both the railroad and airline industries. In addition to the BLE and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Baptiste & Wilder have represented mechanics, flight attendants and fleet service employees in hearings before the NMB.

Roland P. Wilder Jr., left, will represent the BLE before the National Mediation Board to protect historic rail operating crafts. He discusses case material with, from left, ID Staff Attorney T.C. Brennan and General Secretary-Treasurer W.C. Walpert.


2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers