Editorial: Bearding the lion

(BLET Editor's Note: The following editorial appeared on the UTU's website on April 27. The BLET strongly concurs with its message.)

You have heard the story of the lion, which went hunting with the fox, the jackal and the wolf.

Together, through teamwork, they caught a deer; but the lion claimed it all for himself. Indeed, the "lion's share" means grabbing it all.

Lion's share defines the strategy of the railroads ­ they want every crumb off the bargaining table, and are willing to tell any lie or make any false promise to achieve their goal.

The carriers' greed is running amok this round of negotiations because, in the words of BNSF CEO Matt Rose, they sense a "perfect storm."

Higher fuel prices favor railroads over trucks, reduced track capacity allows railroads to engage in monopoly pricing, and their anti-labor friends control the White House, National Mediation Board, House of Representatives and the Senate.

If ever there was a reason for each of us to register to vote and vote for labor-friendly candidates in November, this is it.

We cannot stop there.

Each of us must walk the extra mile to convince family, neighbors and friends to do the same.

The lion can only be tamed by breaking up Matt Rose's perfect storm.

We must elect labor-friendly lawmakers in November lest we find ourselves in a Presidential Emergency Board next year facing, without protection from Congress, the lion demanding it all.


© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen