BLE Advisory Board reconsiders resolution that ended unification talks with UTU
At a special meeting of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) Advisory Board held in Cleveland on June 11, a resolution was passed that opens the possibility of renewing unification talks with the United Transportation Union (UTU) contingent on both unions immediately stopping all solicitation of each others members.
In essence, the 120-word resolution says that the 13-member Advisory Board is reconsidering its May 8, 1999, resolution that ended unification talks with the UTU because of serious financial concerns.
The Advisory Board's June 11 resolution says that "the negotiations between the BLE and UTU be reinstated as of their status on May 8, 1999, subject to both UTU and BLE updating and providing the financial information necessary..."
In addition, the resolution says that upon the favorable conclusion of discussions that any agreement reached by the parties shall be immediately submitted to the memberships of the BLE and UTU for ratification and approval.
"The Advisory Board stepped up and made a tough decision under the circumstances, in the hope that this is a positive step forward," said BLE International President Edward Dubroski.
"We did what we thought was right for the BLE on May 8, 1999, and we are doing what is right for the BLE today. By this decision, the future will be in the hands of the members, where it rightly belongs."
The reasoning behind the Advisory Board decision is explained in a letter that was mailed to all active BLE members the week of June 18.
Leaders of the UTU welcomed the possibility of renewed unification talks with the BLE. "(W)e are happy to resume the unification process because it is the right thing to do for the membership of both unions," said UTU President Byron A. Boyd Jr.
The complete resolution reads as follows:
"Advisory Board Resolution, June 11, 2001
"Be it Resolved:
"THAT the May 8, 1999, Resolution of the Advisory Board is hereby reconsidered and upon Reconsideration is dissolved;
"THAT the negotiations between the BLE and the UTU be reinstated as of their status on May 8, 1999, subject to both UTU and BLE updating and providing the financial information necessary, prudent and required for continued discussions;
"THAT upon favorable conclusion of said discussions, any agreement reached by the parties shall be immediately submitted to their respective memberships for ratification and approval; and
"THAT said discussions are contingent upon both parties immediately terminating solicitation of members from one another and ceasing any organizational efforts against each other on all railroads currently represented by either UTU, BLE or both."
© 2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers