BLET helps members get back to work at KCS

Two locomotive engineers are on their way back to work at the Kansas City Southern thanks to the efforts of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

"The Brotherhood went to Federal court to get these brothers their jobs back," BLET National President Don Hahs said. "We did so and saw that they were reinstated with full back pay."

The BLET obtained a favorable ruling on March 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. KCS had dismissed the engineers for alleged vandalism of company property. The BLET had previously obtained First Division Award 26088, which reversed the dismissals and directed that they be reinstated.

However, Kansas City Southern refused to comply and tried to get the Award set aside on grounds that the appeals filed on behalf of the two engineers were untimely handled on the property and before the Board. The Board rejected both of these procedural arguments and so did the Court.

On both points, the Court held that the Board acted within its authority and did not exceed its jurisdiction when it interpreted the agreement's procedural provisions to allow the appeals.

"Right or wrong," the Court said, "(The Board's) interpretation is conclusive."

The carrier also argued that the Board's ruling was not supported by sufficient evidence, but the Court ruled "(The Board's) findings are not reviewable in that regard."

Another positive aspect of the BLET court victory is the fact that all BLET legal fees in this matter will be paid for by Kansas City Southern. Mike Wolly and Jeff Burritt of the law firm of Zwerdling, Paul, Kahn & Wolly, P.C. successfully argued the case on behalf of BLET.


© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen