Sweeney 'appalled' at UTU raiding tactics

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said he was "appalled at the UTU's attempt to raid the BLE" as he addressed the BLE's Advisory Board on February 25 during the AFL-CIO's winter meetings in New Orleans.

"The AFL-CIO joins BLE in demanding that the UTU cease its aggression," Sweeney said. "The urgency created by UTU compels us to find a solution."

Sweeney urged UTU leaders to reconsider their position of isolation from the rest of organized labor.

The AFL-CIO has strongly condemned the UTU's efforts to alter the operating craft structure in the railroad industry in an attempt to raid BLE membership.

On February 27, the AFL-CIO Executive Council, the Federation's highest governing body, passed a resolution supporting the BLE and condemning the aggressive tactics of the non-affiliate UTU.

"From time to time some labor organizations have chosen a path of isolation outside the AFL-CIO and have undertaken efforts to raid the membership of the Federation's affiliates," the resolution states. "These tactics violate the very principles on which this movement was founded more than a century ago Transportation labor faces such a challenge today from the actions of the United Transportation Union (UTU)."

Sweeney applauded the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, for originally adopting the resolution on February 25, two days before it was adopted by the AFL-CIO Executive Committee.

The AFL-CIO President concluded his remarks by stressing that while a peaceful resolution to the UTU conflict would be best for the House of Labor, the AFL-CIO was prepared to aggressively help in the defense of the BLE.

"I join with other unions in urging UTU to reconsider their position and join us at the table to find solutions," Sweeney said. "If none of this happens we will be as aggressive as necessary in helping you defend the BLE."

Also during the AFL-CIO winter meetings, the Advisory Board voted unanimously on February 27 to allow the BLE Executive Committee to explore a merger or affiliation with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

 

2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers