BLET organizes Maine, Montreal & Atlantic shortline

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen won its second shortline organizing victory of 2006 today as approximately 70 workers at the Maine, Montreal & Atlantic Railway (MMA) voted in favor of BLET representation.

The BLET announced its first organizing victory of the year on January 20 as workers at the Panhandle Northern Railroad in Borger, Texas, voted to join the Brotherhood.

BLET Organizing Director Tommy Miller said the organizing campaign began nearly six months ago when General Chairman Mike Twombly began talking to MMA workers about the benefits of union representation. Twombly represents members at the Springfield Terminal/Delaware & Hudson lines.

"I want to thank Mike Twombly, Vice General Chairman John Brown, and Special Representative Gene Imler for their hard, hard work," Miller said.

Miller said Twombly and Brown worked the property for approximately two months before the BLET National Division's Organizing Department began lending assistance in January.

"The work they did made our jobs a whole lot easier," Miller said.

Previously non-union, the workers at the MMA are now looking forward to their first union contract.

"Congratulations to Mike Twombly, John Brown, Gene Imler and Tommy Miller for bringing this organizing drive to a successful conclusion," BLET National President Don M. Hahs. "We will now begin the process of negotiating the first-ever collective bargaining agreement for our newest members. We are proud to welcome them to our Brotherhood."

Located in Hermon, Maine, MMA is a 750-mile regional railway operating in the Maine and Vermont, and in the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick.

On January 8, 2003, Rail World purchased the former Bangor & Aroostook Railway and renamed it Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA). Rail World, Inc. is a railway management, consulting and investment corporation specializing in privatization and restructuring.

Forest products generate approximately 60 percent of MMA's business. Commodities handled by the railway include: automobiles, chemicals, clay, fertilizer, frozen food and food products, fuel oil, grain, gypsum wallboard, lumber, OSB (oriented strand board), paper, propane, round wood, scrap paper, stone and sand, starch, woodchips, wood pulp, and intermodal shipments. The railroad handles an estimated 55,000 revenue units annually and serves approximately 300 customers. MMA has connections with nine Class I, regional and local railroads (including CN and CP) and provides the shortest, most-direct rail link between Northern Maine, Saint John, New Brunswick and Montreal. In addition, MMA offers access to port facilities on the Atlantic at Saint John and Searsport, Maine.



© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen