Dubroski addresses British locomotive engineers union

BLE International President Edward Dubroski addressed the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen at the union's 120th annual convention in London, England, on June 15.

The BLE's British counterpart, the ASLEF represents locomotive engineers and firemen in Great Britain. Dubroski was invited to speak as a guest of the ASLEF after a delegation of ASLEF representatives visited the BLE's International Division in Cleveland late last summer.

Dubroski's speech focused on the challenges facing rail labor, such as new technology, in the wake of international railroad mergers and multi-national railroad ownership.

"A number of U.S. railroads are heavily invested in railroads outside the States. As an example, I would point to the Wisconsin Central Railroad, which has ownership interests in New Zealand, and in the English, Welsh and Scottish Railway.

"Because labor laws pertaining to union representation in New Zealand differ from the United States, the Wisconsin Central is using that country as a proving ground for remote control locomotive and engineer-only crew operations, for introduction in the U.S. when the bugs are worked out...

"The challenge before us today is to expand our horizons to meet the employers on the new, enlarged field of battle they have created. That means building ties among unions representing railroad workers that span the world. Through international solidarity we can strengthen ourselves at home.

"We must build relationships and exchange information and views, for the betterment of North American engineers and British drivers alike...

"During the past year, we have begun to forge those bonds...

"The best defense against the tyranny of international capital is through international labor solidarity, and I thank you for accepting the BLE as a partner in this endeavor."


2000 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers