President Hahs responds to criticism from CSX Vice-President Crown
In a sharply worded reply to a misleading letter from CSX Executive Vice President A.F. Crown, BLE International President Don M. Hahs defended the BLE's rights and justifications in setting up informational pickets in March to inform members of the CSX Board of Directors about the BLE's position regarding remote control technology.
Hahs states that Crown's expression of "disappointment" over BLE members' decision to exercise their Constitutional rights by peacefully picketing is "particularly disturbing."
Crown's letter was sent to the four BLE General Chairmen who represent members on CSX, and expressed his opinion that the behavior of BLE members was inappropriate. He also made unsubstantiated comments that suggested that it was the BLE that refused to bargain with the carriers on the issue of remote control, the BLE President said.
"Your suggestion that it is this organization (the BLE), and not the company, that has somehow hidden the facts and declined to 'engage in meaningful dialogue' is pure rhetoric," Hahs wrote. "CSXT has never offered to bargain over remote control assignments. Instead, what you and the other carriers proposed was to 'brief' us on how you were going to take away our members' work in hope that we would walk away quietly."
Hahs refused to point out other inaccuracies in Crown's letter and suggested that these issues would best be taken up via collective bargaining and suggested a meeting regarding these issues.
"I urge you and all other carriers who are parties to the Letter of Intent entered into on September 26, 2001, to reconsider and meet with us to iron our a reasonable settlement of our differences," wrote Hahs.
Locomotive Engineers conduct informational picketing at Calera, Ala.
© 2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers