BLET gets shortline organizing win at Portland & Western

Operating employees at the Portland & Western Railroad selected the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen as their designated collective bargaining representative.

The National Mediation Board released election results on March 16 in Washington, D.C.

Nearly 60 percent of eligible voters selected the BLET, a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, in what National President Don Hahs described as "a long, hard fought battle."

"Hopefully, this is one of many more battles that will be fought and won by the BLET," President Hahs said. "I applaud Tommy Miller, our Director of Organizing, for a job well done. I also thank our new Brothers and Sisters at the Portland & Western for choosing BLET."

Brother Miller thanked all the men and women who work for the P&W, including their spouses. He also thanked Delaine Morris, Guide for the BLET's Grand International Auxiliary, for making the trip to Oregon as part of the successful organizing effort. Brother Miller also thanked Dave Tully of Teamsters Joint Council 37 in Portland for his assistance and help.

Including the Portland & Western, the BLET has successfully organized eight different shortline railroads in less than two years. These organizing victories have brought approximately 750 new members into the House of Labor.

The other shortline organizing victories include the New York & Atlantic Railway; the Great Western Railway of Colorado; St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad; Utah Railway; the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad; the Indiana Southern Railroad; and the Texas-Mexican Railway.

The Portland & Western (P&W) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. It operates a 444-mile regional system and services more than 135 customers. It moves more than 60,000 cars of paper, steel, grain, forest products, chemicals, aggregates, fertilizers and consumer goods.


© 2004 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen