Advisory Board promotes two
Sorrow new First Vice President; Pierce elevated to Vice President
On April 8, the BLET Advisory Board unanimously voted to promote Vice President Paul T. Sorrow to the office of First Vice-President and Alternate President, the union's second-highest office.
First Vice President Sorrow takes the position vacated by National President Ed Rodzwicz, who was promoted to the BLET's top spot on March 20.
Also, Dennis R. Pierce becomes the newest BLET Vice President as he was elevated to fill the vacancy on the Advisory Board. Vice President Pierce previously served as General Chairman of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe/Montana Rail Link General Committee of Adjustment.
First Vice President Sorrow is the senior member of the BLET's Advisory Board. He was first elected to the office of Vice President in 1991 at the Fourth Quinquennial Convention and then reelected in 1996 at the Fifth Quinquennial Convention. He was then reelected by acclamation twice, first at the Sixth Quinquennial Convention in 2001 and again at the First Quadrennial Convention in June of 2006.
"Paul's experience and knowledge are tremendous assets to the Brotherhood and our members," National President Rodzwicz said.
Prior to his first election in 1991 to vice-president, Sorrow served as General Chairman on the CSX Transportation (CSXT) Eastern Lines, elected September 1985, and reelected in 1989.
He began his professional railroad career in 1965, with the Seaboard Air Line. One year to the day after he went firing for the railroad, he earned his promotion to locomotive engineer in 1966. He joined the Brotherhood in 1972, and served as local chairman of his division in Abbeville, S.C., from 1979-83. In 1983, he was elected to the office of Vice-Chairman for the CSX Transportation's Eastern Lines General Committee of Adjustment, and served through August of 1985. He also served as Chief of Staff at BLET National Division headquarters for several years during the mid 1990s.
As Vice President, Sorrow he has helped to negotiate several ground-breaking labor agreements at Norfolk Southern, CSX and Grand Trunk Western. His agreements have contained innovative provisions such as bonuses for locomotive engineers tied to the railroad's financial performance and scope rules that protect the craft of locomotive engineer in the face of evolving technology.
"Service to this fine Brotherhood has been a cornerstone of my livelihood for the past three decades," First Vice President Sorrow said. "I am proud to serve the BLET and its members as First Vice President."
Vice President Pierce was elected to the office of First Alternate International Vice President in June of 2006 at the BLET's First Quadrennial Convention in Las Vegas. He comes from the largest BLET General Committee of Adjustment - the BNSF/MRL General Committee represents 3,500 members from 44 separate BLET divisions.
Pierce, 49, is a member of BLET Division 687 (Sioux City, Iowa) and has been a BLET member since April 1, 1981. He was elected as a Local Chairman in 1991 and was first elected as a full time Vice General Chairman on the BNSF/MRL General Committee in 1995, elevating to General Chairman in 2001.
"It is a distinct honor and privilege to serve as Vice President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen," Pierce said.
The Advisory Board conducted its meeting at BLET National Division headquarters in Cleveland.
"I extend congratulations to First Vice President Sorrow and Vice President Pierce on their new positions with the BLET," National President Rodzwicz said.
"I know the members will benefit greatly from their experience and expertise. Our new Advisory Board is one of the most experienced, talented and dedicated in the history of the Brotherhood, and I look forward to working together as we tackle the many current and future challenges."
© 2008 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen