Terry Briggs reelected Texas State Legislative Board Chairman

Terry Briggs was reelected to another term as Chairman of the Texas State Legislative Board at Quadrennial meetings in Austin on April 24-25.

It is the second full term as Chairman for Brother Briggs, who is a member of BLET Division 530 in Commerce, Texas. He became chairman in 2001 after Raymond Holmes won election to the office of International Vice President & U.S. National Legislative Representative. Briggs won his first full-term election in 2003.

Also elected were: 1st Vice Chairman Catarino "Cat" Garcia of BLET Division 566 (Del Rio, Texas); 2nd Vice Chairman Tom G. Keith of BLET Division 187 (Fort Worth, Texas); Alternate 2nd Vice Chairman Tony Brown of BLET Division 857 (Tyler, Texas); and Secretary-Treasurer James Ussery of BLET Division 834 (Mineola, Texas).

The 38 delegates in attendance heard presentations from National President Don M. Hahs, First Vice President Ed Rodzwicz, and Vice President & National Legislative Rep. John Tolman. President Hahs discussed the tentative national contract; First Vice President Rodzwicz discussed the BLET's recent testimony before the House Subcommittee on Railroads regarding fatigue and human factors accidents; and Vice President Tolman discussed the pending Rail Safety Improvement Act.

The delegates also lobbied in favor of House Bill 1083 at the state capital in Austin. A BLET-backed safety measure, H.B. 1083 would require drug and alcohol testing for limo drivers who transport train crews to and from off duty locations. The bill would require pre-employment drug screenings, as well as random and post-accident testing.

The Texas State Legislative Board began working on this measure after a fatal accident in August of 2005. Two train crew members were riding in a company-provided limo to an off duty location when the accident happened near Coleman, Texas. Both crew members were severely injured, including the engineer, who sustained career ending injures. The driver's cousin, who was riding in the van, was killed. Post accident testing revealed that the driver tested positive for methamphetamines. The driver survived the crash, but is now in prison.

"These carry-all drivers are unregulated by any railroad safety regulations," Briggs said. "Our delegates are lobbying to make sure this type of tragic accident never happens again."

Kneeling, from left: Dan Stanfield, Division 197; Texas State Legislative Board Secretary-Treasurer James Ussery, Division 834; Mike Davis, Division 918; Bruce Blalock, Division 475; Bill Baker, Division 530; Mike Bobo, Division 620; Jerry Bullard, Division 212; and Eddie Pahl, Division 530.

Standing, from left: Richard Bermudez, Division 249; Texas State Legislative Board 1st Vice Chairman Catarino "Cat" Garcia, Division 566; E. L. Schneider, Division 192; Terry George, Division 62; Richard Myers, Division 264; R. C. "Buck" Montes, Division 910; Carl Dowell, Division 242; Marty Phillips, Division 496; Terry Briggs, Chairman TSLB; Tom Lovett, Division 592; Israel Compton, Division 244; Gary Pedigo, Division 177; Jerry Clark, Division 573; J.R. Dubois, Division 242; Tom Keith, Division 187; Lawrence Kridler, Division 206; Rick Howell, Division 574; Jeremy Stark, Division 776; John Lester, Division 703; Larry Lopez, Division 775; Steve Carter, Division 299; Mark Burgard, Division 350; James Dodd, Division 863; Mike Sharber, Division 500; Ted Usher, Division 172; and Tim Reed, Division 736

Present but not pictured: Tony Brown, Division 857; Ron Sikorski, Division 139; Chris Woods, Division 22; and Herb Yambra, Division 197.




© 2007 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen