'Pac Man' drums up a ton of support for BLET-PAC
Dave Dugger, left, is a member of BLET Division 42 (St. Louis) credits retired Missouri State Legislative Board Chairman Mickey Gage, center, for inspiring him to sign up 65 new BLET-PAC sponsors in 65 days. They are joined here by BLET Special Representative Jim Bradford.
Dave Dugger is the BLET's Pac-Man.
While not as famous as the computerized Pac-Man that starred in the classic 1980s arcade game, the BLET's Pac-Man has earned recognition for signing up a significant number of members to support the BLET-Pac fund.
Brother Dugger owns the distinction of signing-up 65 new BLET-PAC contributors in a 65-day stretch.
"Each year, BLET members collectively donate more than $500,000 to the PAC fund," said BLET National President Don M. Hahs. "And that number is growing thanks to dedicated members like Dave Dugger."
Dugger, 56, is a Union Pacific locomotive engineer and Legislative Representative of BLET Division 42 in St. Louis. He credits Mickey Gage, Chairman of the BLET's Missouri State Legislative Board, for inspiring him to act.
"I was inspired by his devotion to the members and his hard work on our behalf," Brother Dugger said. "If he works so hard, then I felt I could do something to help him."
At first, he thought he would sign up five or 10 guys that he worked with. "Next thing I knew I had 20 and then 50," he said.
He approached many of the BLET members he works with on his run for the Union Pacific. He also successfully targeted engineers who work for CSX where train crews interchange in cities like Indianapolis, Dupo and Little Rock.
"I just talked to them about what would be beneficial to them," he said. "I told them we need to keep our representation in Washington D.C. and in the state capitals."
The BLET Pac-Man was especially successful in signing up younger engineers.
"The new hires need it more - they need all the help they can get," he said. "Bills are coming up on issues not even thought of yet."
He asked every member he approached to just contribute a minimal amount. However, "Most gave quite a bit more than that," he said.
Brother Dugger has worked for the railroad for nearly 37 years now, hiring out as a switchman for the Missouri Pacific. He has been a member of the Brotherhood since 1977 and has held an elected union office continuously since 1980.
© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen