BLET considers 'one member, one vote' initiative

Between now and June 17, BLET members will vote on an initiative that could drastically change the way the organization elects it top officials.

The petition calls for the direct election of National Division officers (one member, one vote) instead of the current system of election by delegates at a National Convention.

A sufficient number of petitions were received in accordance with the BLET Bylaws to make it mandatory for the National President to circulate a ballot calling for a vote of the active membership on the issue. Approximately 37,000 ballots were mailed to all active BLET members on April 20. Members will have until June 17 to return the ballots.

In recent weeks, a number of BLET local division officers, general chairmen and national officers have received unsolicited letters from the Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) endorsing this referendum.

However, John F. Murphy, Director of the Teamsters Rail Conference, issued a letter to BLET officers on April 19, informing them that TDU has no official status in the Union and speaks only for itself.

"We have received inquiries concerning the standing of the TDU within the International Brotherhood of Teamsters," Murphy wrote. "The referendum concerning direct election of BLET officers is an issue that must be decided by the members of the BLET. The International Union has not expressed any position on the referendum, one way or the other."

A copy Murphy's letter is available on the BLET website.

Members needing a replacement ballot must contact Tonya of the BLET National Division at (216) 241-2630, ext. 217. Members must provide their full name, division number, correct address and telephone number. This information should be left in a voice mail message if no one is available. Also, requests can be e-mailed to:



© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen