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CLEVELAND With ballots now on their way to the operating employees of Wisconsin Central, the BLE continues working hard to earn the trust and votes of the regional railroad's nonunionized employees.
On June 19, the National Mediation Board began mailing ballots to about 600 engineers' and conductors' home addresses. The ballots must be returned within 30 days to the NMB in Washington D.C., where they will be opened and counted by agency officials.
The BLE isn't taking its selection for granted, according to International Vice-President William Walpert who is coordinating the representation campaign.
"We're working very hard and we're hopeful that the Wisconsin Central Brothers and Sisters will not be intimidated by management into backing down from choosing the BLE," Brother Walpert said.
"The railroad knows by our past record that we will vigorously oppose their methods of operating trains, including one-person train crews and remote control. Having the legal right to represent engineers and conductors will leverage our efforts for improving safety on the WC."
International President Clarence Monin has met several times with WC employees to explain the BLE's philosophy of "intelligent militancy" to improve safety.
According to Federal Railroad Administration statistics, for the last several years, WC employees have suffered an accident frequency rate of two to three and a half times the industry averages.
Results of the election are expected to be announced by the NMB on or around July 19.
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