BLE organizes trainmen at Utah Railway

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers scored another organizing victory on February 28 as a majority of trainmen at the Utah Railway chose to leave the United Transportation Union to be represented by the BLE.

The BLE already holds the contract for locomotive engineers at the Utah Railway and the Feb. 28 representation election was for the craft of trainman only. The National Mediation Board announced the election results at 2:15 p.m., certifying the trainmen's choice to join their Brothers and Sisters in the BLE, a union affiliated with the AFL-CIO.

"This represents a major victory," BLE President Don Hahs said. "These former members of the UTU have made a conscious effort to leave the UTU and join the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers."

President Hahs commended BLE Director of Organizing Tommy Miller for the outstanding job he did on the property, as well as all others involved.

Brother Miller said the victory would not have been possible without the efforts of BLE General Chairman Rick Milano, Secretary-Treasurer Todd Hamilton, and Brothers Scott Presley and Lee Woodward. He also thanked Brother Joe Zawada from the Montana Rail Link, who is Local Chairman of Division 232 (Laurel, Mont.), and the members of the Texas-Mexican Railway who visited trainmen on the Utah Railway to organize on behalf of the BLE.

Brother Miller said the BLE International Division was extremely helpful in the organizing victory, and singled out International Vice-President Dale McPherson and ID Executive Staff Member Mo Morrow for their efforts.

"It was a hard fought campaign," Brother Miller said.

The Utah Railway Company, incorporated in January of 1912, transports more than 90,000 carloads of freight per year in central and northern Utah. It transports between 50-60,000 carloads each year for movement to power plants and industrial customers. Additionally, it acts as a switching agent in the Salt Lake City, Provo and Ogden areas of Utah for BNSF. Utah Railway has connections with BNSF and UP at Provo and Utah Railway Junction, Utah, as well as at Grand Junction, Colo.

Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (GWI) purchased the Utah Railway on Aug. 28, 2002. GWI is a leading operator of short line and regional freight railroads in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and Bolivia.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers has recently scored organizing victories on the Texas-Mexican Railway and the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern (IC&E).



© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers