Advisory Board approves Teamster documents

In one of the most historic moments in the 140-year history of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, the union's Advisory Board on July 10 unanimously approved documents that govern a merger with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

If the documents are approved by a membership vote, then the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers will become the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), a division of the IBT Rail Conference.

"The groundwork for consolidation of these two great unions has been laid and Thursday's vote by the BLE's Advisory Board signifies an emerging partnership between our two unions," said IBT General President Jim Hoffa. "We believe the BLE's membership, as well as Teamster members, will benefit greatly from this partnership now and in the future."

"This is the right move at the right time for our organization," said BLE International President Don Hahs. "A merger with the Teamsters will boost our collective bargaining and lobbying strength while benefiting the memberships of both organizations."

A merger would give BLE members a voice in part of North America's largest transportation union.

"In our new partnership we're going to have the docks, the trucks and the trains," Hoffa said. "And it really can't be stated any simpler than that."

According to Section 1(e)(2) of the BLE's Constitution & Bylaws, the merger documents must be mailed to the union's leadership for review (union leadership includes the Advisory Board, general chairmen, state and provincial legislative board chairmen, and the president of each division). Section 1(e)(2) also requires that the documents be posted on the BLE website on the day they are mailed.

Members of the BLE Advisory Board sign a resolution on July 10 after unanimously voting in favor of documents that govern a merger with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Seated: International President Don Hahs. Standing, from left: Vice-President Stephen Speagle; Vice-President Rick Radek; Vice-President Merle Geiger; Vice-President Paul Sorrow; Vice-President & U.S. National Legislative Representative Raymond Holmes; First Vice-President Ed Rodzwicz; Vice-President & Canadian Director Gilles Halle; Vice-President Lee Pruitt; Vice-President & National Legislative Representative-Canada George Hucker; General Secretary-Treasurer Bill Walpert; Vice-President Dale McPherson; Vice-President Paul Wingo Jr.; and Leo McCann, President of the American Train Dispatchers Department of the BLE.



© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers