BLE helps stop North Dakota paycheck protection measure

Secures two other safety critical bills in the Senate

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, in conjunction with the AFL-CIO, scored a legislative victory by successfully lobbying to defeat an anti-union paycheck protection measure in the North Dakota House of Representatives.

In addition, the BLE convinced members of the North Dakota Senate to pass to two key measures critical to the safety of rail workers.

House Bill 1337, the paycheck deception measure, was an attempt to silence working families. Similar legislation has been introduced in several other states, but has always been defeated.

In general, paycheck protection measures would require labor organizations to obtain written approval from each individual member before using dues money for political purposes. Paycheck protection would handcuff labor unions and cost them millions of dollars per year in paper work and red tape. These restrictions on labor unions would give unfair political advantages to corporations.

North Dakota's HB 1337 was defeated by a 58-40 majority.

"BLE legislative representatives did a good job contacting union members, who did a great job contacting their legislators asking them to vote no," said Mike Muscha, Chairman of the North Dakota State Legislative Board. "It really did make a difference."

In addition to successfully lobbying for defeat of HR 1337, members of the BLE North Dakota State Legislative Board were busy securing passage of two other pieces of legislation.

The first, Senate Bill 2359, provides mandatory counseling and up to three days of leave for railroad crews following on-the-job critical incidents. Brother Muscha reports the measure narrowly passed the Senate 25-24, with "some Republican help." However, he warned it will be a challenge to move it through the House.

The second, Senate Bill 2309, requires that railroad crew transportation providers carry a minimum of $1 million of underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. The BLE originally lobbied for $4 million in coverage, but made a concession to secure passage of the bill, which was unanimously approved 49-0.

2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers