Legislative News Briefs

BLET State Legislative Board Chairmen to meet

BLET Legislative Chairmen from across the U.S. will meet in Las Vegas in early May for their annual business conference, a legislative workshop and the IBT Unity Conference.

"The annual business meeting is always useful and provides the exchange of important information among the chairmen," said J. T. Norris, Chairman of the National Association of State Legislative Board Chairmen. "If a chairman has tried something in one state and someone else is interested in that same situation for their state, then there can be a swap of information and thus no need to re-invent the wheel. In the end, it saves time and money."

The group was formed a number of years ago and now counts 37 BLET Legislative Boards in the U.S. as members of the Association.

Following the annual business meeting on May 4-5, the chairmen will attend a two-day legislative workshop on May 6-7 presented by the BLET Education and Training Department in conjunction with the Teamsters' Education Department.

The Teamsters Unity Conference follows the legislative workshop on May 8-9. The Unity Conference includes attendees from the full spectrum of IBT constituent member groups.

In addition to the various state chairmen, BLET National President Don Hahs, First Vice-President Ed Rodzwicz, National Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert and Vice-President & National Legislative Representative Raymond Holmes are expected to attend the business meeting.

For more information concerning the business meeting, e-mail NASLBC Secretary-Treasurer Perry Renfro at: pcrenfro@cebridge.net .

BLET helps defeat paycheck deception bill in Georgia House

Members of the Georgia House of Representatives defeated a "paycheck deception" bill on March 11 with the help of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and members of other labor organizations.

The bill, HB 153, would have restricted labor unions from providing money for political activities. However, the bill did not restrict corporate activities in the same manner.

Georgia working families, including BLET members, mobilized against the bill through the AFL-CIO's e-activist network and phone banks. This victory was major because the Georgia House is dominated by Republicans by a 99-81 margin.

"Seventeen Republicans stood with us on this legislation, along with 79 Democrats," said BLET Georgia State Legislative Board Chairman Buddy White. "We sincerely appreciate the support of our friends on both sides of the aisle."

Paycheck deception laws (or "paycheck protection" as its proponents misleadingly call it) silence working families' voices in politics by placing massive reporting and administrative burdens on unions before they could use dues money for any type of political expenditure - from educating members about issues and candidates to lobbying for pro-working family legislation.




© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen