BLET scores L&I shortline organizing victory

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen achieved another shortline organizing victory as 89.5 percent of eligible voters at the Louisville & Indiana Railroad (L&I) selected the BLET as their collective bargaining representative.

The National Mediation Board announced results on May 7 at 2 p.m.

"I welcome these new members to the BLET and thank Organizing Director Tommy Miller for his hard work on this election," said BLET National President Don M. Hahs. "We will now begin the process of negotiating a contract that will ensure the levels of pay, protection, dignity and respect our new L&I Brothers and Sisters deserve."

Brother Miller emphasized the bravery of the L&I workers for standing up and fighting for union representation. "I want to stress how hard these men worked, risking dismissal, to have a union," Miller said. "I thank and admire them for walking tall and standing strong in the face of adversity. A special thanks goes to Brother Warren Clark."

Headquartered in Jeffersonville, Ind., the Louisville & Indiana Railroad was formed in March 1994 to acquire 106 miles of rail line between Indianapolis and Louisville. The line serves numerous major companies and an inland port facility. Since formation, L&I has located a number of new industries to its lines. It has been designated a future high-speed rail corridor by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

With the addition of the L&I, the BLET has successfully organized nine different shortline railroads in less than two years. These organizing victories have brought more than 750 new members into the BLET. The other shortlines are: Portland & Western; New York & Atlantic; Great Western Railway of Colorado; St. Lawrence & Atlantic; Utah Railway; Iowa, Chicago & Eastern; Indiana Southern; and the Texas-Mexican Railway.

"I would be remiss if I did not thank General President James P. Hoffa and everyone at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters for helping to make these organizing victories successful," BLET President Hahs said.

The L&I connects with the CP-Soo, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern, and the PAL. Its annual volume is 33,000 carloads. The primary commodities it handles include: Grain, cement, steel, scrap, plastics, food products, auto parts, lumber, chemicals, paper, and manufactured goods.

L&I is owned by the Anacostia & Pacific Company, Inc., whose other holdings include the New York & Atlantic Railway, Pacific Harbor Line, and the Chicago Southshore & South Bend Railroad. The BLET already represents workers at the Pacific Harbor Line, and operating employees at the New York & Atlantic voted to join the BLET on Nov. 20, 2003.



© 2004 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen