Dubroski discusses safety with Montana governor

HELENA, Mont. -- BLE International President Edward Dubroski journeyed to Montana's capital city this month to discuss the proposed BNSF-CN merger and renew lines of communication with labor leaders here.

In a morning meeting with Montana Governor Marc Racicot, Dubroski explained the BLE's position of support for the merger. He told the Governor that the BLE had negotiated a package of worker protections on BNSF and, in particular, for BLE members in Montana.

"The worker protections we have been able to obtain from BNSF management will prevent us from having to take a gamble on what could happen to our members as a result of actions by the STB," said Dubroski.

He went on to say that the American Train Dispatchers and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes had also signed on as supporters of the proposed merger and were able to secure similar protections as those secured by the BLE earlier this year.

"This group represents about 40 percent of organized labor on the railroad who are supporting the merger," said Dubroski.

He told the Governor that the BLE had secured 10 years of labor protection for adversely affected employees, and that there would be no major downsizing of locomotive engineer and rail traffic controller work forces.

Dubroski also stressed that he would work with BNSF management to insure that the new operation would not result in loss of traffic for other roads operating in Montana, which include Montana Rail Link.

In a similar meeting, Dubroski briefed Montana Public Service Commission Chairman Dave Fisher regarding the BLE's position on the merger, and discussed rail topics in general in the Pacific Northwest and Montana in particular. The Montana PSC fields two railroad inspectors.

At the offices of the Montana AFL-CIO, Dubroski met with Executive Secretary Don Judge. At that meeting he explained the BNSF-CN merger and had a lengthy discussion about legislation on Railroad Retirement and the status of the UTU matter before the NMB. Dubroski also inquired about the status of various legislative races in the region and the prospects for electing candidates sensitive to organized labor.

He later attending a reception for Democratic candidates and was introduced to those in attendance by the Chairman of the Montana Democratic Party.

BLE International President Edward Dubroski, seated left, discusses the proposed BNSF-CN merger with Montana Governor Marc Racicot (right) during a meeting at the state capitol in Helena, Mont. Standing is BLE Montana State Legislative Board Chairman C.A. Gilchrist.

President Dubroski meets with Montana AFL-CIO Executive Secretary Don Judge (right) at the offices of the Montana State AFL-CIO. Dubroski discussed the proposed BNSF-CN merger and other matters of interest and concern to BLE members.


2000 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers