UTU seeks sell-out f BNSF yard engineers in Washington, Oregon
Once again showing its willingness to sell out operating crafts, leadership of the United Transportation Union has proposed eliminating locomotive engineer jobs on BNSF Railway lines in Washington and Oregon.
To reduce its operating costs, the BNSF is seeking to short line large portions of its territory. BNSF management recently advised that certain portions of the yard operations at Pasco, Wash., and Portland, Ore., were potentially up for sale or lease unless the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and UTU were able to come up with an agreement to reduce costs.
The BLET proposal was one of compromise. BLET suggested that the carrier operate with two man crews in the yard - one BLET-represented locomotive engineer and one UTU-represented remote control operator.
The UTU proposal, however, was one of self-preservation. UTU provided the carrier with a contract proposal that totally eliminates the yard engineer position and uses foremen to operate locomotives conventionally.
It's just another case of UTU leaders promising one thing but then doing another.
"While the UTU puts out its spin after spin fabricating what BLET would do if it had the representation rights for ground men, they have now put in writing the steps that they are willing to take to eliminate even more yard engineers," said BLET General Chairman Dennis R. Pierce, who represents engineers in the effected territory. "While these actions no longer come as any surprise to us, we must make every effort o insure that all operating employees are aware of the steps that UTU is willing to take to survive as an organization."
The BLET has advised the carrier that any action toward considering the UTU proposal will lead to swift action to protect BLET's work rights in conventional operations.
© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen