BLE delegates attend Montana AFL-CIO convention
Three members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers served as delegates to the Montana State AFL-CIO convention last month in Butte, Montana.
Pictured above are C. A. Gilchrist, Chairman of the BLE Montana State Legislative Board (left), as he talks with Randy D. Smith, Legislative Representative of BLE Division 262 (Missoula, Mont.). The third BLE delegate was K. E. Hentges (not pictured), President of BLE Division 298 (Glasgow, Mont.).
"The convention this year was held for the purpose of electing officers to the state federation and considering resolutions to change the by-laws of the Montana AFL-CIO," Gilchrist said.
In addition, Brother Smith said the three-day convention served as a strategy session for members of the Montana labor movement as they plan for an upcoming state-wide election.
"I feel that the contacts made here at the convention are valuable down the line," he said, "especially during the state-wide election cycle when we are trying to elect candidates who will be responsive to the need of working families."
Gilchrist said next year's convention will focus even more closely on the state-wide election.
"Next year, (we will) interview and endorse candidates for state-wide and national office, and that is always an important convention for us," he said.
Gilchrist said the three BLE delegates to the convention made important contacts with other AFL-CIO affiliates.
"It is valuable for our BLE members to attend the state AFL-CIO conventions as it gives them an opportunity to mix with the broader labor movement, and educate others about the problems we face working daily on the railroads here in Montana," he said.
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney addressed the convention on the opening day.
Next year's convention will be held in Great Falls, Mont.
© 2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers