BLET, Teamsters at Democratic National Convention

General President Hoffa addresses DNC as Kerry, Edwards accept Democratic nomination

Teamster and BLET leaders were active participants in the Democratic National Convention in Boston the week of August 26 and were present when John Kerry accepted the Party's nomination for president on July 29.

Among those present were Ohio State Senator Bob Hagan (D-33), who is a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen. Brother Hagan is at the DNC in Boston with several other leaders of the BLET.

"I have no doubt John Kerry and John Edwards are the right leaders for America," Brother Hagan said. "Working families need a labor-friendly presence in the White House."

Brother Hagan was also on hand as Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards addressed the DNC.

"When you wake up and sit with your kids at the kitchen table, talking to them about the great possibilities in America, you make sure that they know that John and I believe at our core that tomorrow can be better than today," Edwards said. "Like all of us, I have learned a lot of lessons in my life. Two of the most important are that first, there will always be heartache and struggle - you can't make it go away. But the other is that people of good and strong will, can make a difference," Edwards continued. "One lesson is a sad lesson and the other's inspiring. We are Americans and we choose to be inspired."

In addition to Brother Hagan, numerous other BLET leaders are in Boston attending the DNC, including: BLET National President Don Hahs; First Vice-President Ed Rodzwicz; Political & Legislative Director John Tolman; George Newman, Chairman of the Massachusetts State Legislative Board; Daniel Lauzon, First Vice-Chairman of the Massachusetts State Legislative Board; Walter Nutter, Secretary-Treasurer of the Massachusetts State Legislative Board; and Pat Johnson, Legislative Representative of BLET Division 125 (Clinton, Iowa).

"Our Brotherhood is well-represented here and we have been able to discuss a number of important issues with labor-friendly leaders this week," President Hahs said. "The power and influence of the Teamsters has proved to be a tremendous benefit, arranging meetings and opening numerous doors for our leadership this week."

In all, about 50 BLET and Teamster representatives are in attendance. The Teamsters are led by; James P. Hoffa, General President; Mike Mathis, IBT Director of Government Affairs; Fred McCluckie, IBT Political Director; and Carl DiPietro, IBT State Legislative Coordinator, East Region.

President Hoffa addressed the entire DNC on July 27, giving a speech on behalf of America's working families. He is optimistic that a pro-working family ticket will win election in the fall.

"Come January, I look forward to gathering with all of you again - this time in Washington, D.C. - to celebrate the inauguration of President John Kerry and Vice President John Edwards," Hoffa said. "God bless America. God bless working families. And God bless the Teamsters - The union makes us strong!"

BLET President Hahs and the rest of the BLET and Teamster representatives have met with many prominent senators and congressmen too numerous to list. The BLET President met with Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH); Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI); Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA); and Teresa Heinz Kerry.


© 2004 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen