IBT/BLE chalks up another shortline organizing win

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters/Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers Rail Operating Employees' Council (IBT/BLE) scored a shortline organizing victory on October 2 after workers at the previously non-union Great Western Railway of Colorado selected IBT/BLE as their designated collective bargaining representative.

The National Mediation Board released election results on October 2, reporting that 83 percent of voters selected IBT/BLE.

"I welcome these new Brothers and Sisters to the House of Labor," said BLE International President Don M. Hahs. "I wish to thank everyone at the Great Western Railway for their hard work during the organizing campaign and I thank them for voting. Our new Brothers and Sisters will benefit from the strength of bargaining collectively and having a strong, unified voice on the job."

President Hahs recognized the efforts of Tommy Miller, the BLE's Director of Organizing. Brother Miller thanked the Great Western employees and also thanked Terry Sutton, Local Chairman of BLE Division 186 (Denver), and Frank Bruner, also of Division 186, for their assistance.

The Great Western Railway win is the latest in a string of shortline organizing victories for the IBT/BLE, which has organized nearly 600 new members since last year.

On August 1, the IBT/BLE successfully organized the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad. Other shortline organizing wins dating back to August of 2002 include the Utah Railway; the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad; the Indiana Southern Railroad; and the Texas-Mexican Railway.

Great Western Railway (GWR) operates a total of 80 miles of its own track and trackage rights and serves a diverse base of customers including Amalgamated Sugar, Anheuser-Busch, and Eastman Kodak.

It operates freight service from Loveland, Colo., to Longmont. It has branch lines from Johnstown to Milliken, Colo., and from Officer Junction to Windsor, Colo.

Traffic includes agricultural, paper, plastic, sand, forest products, brewing grain, beer and miscellaneous byproducts - about 12,000 cars a year.

GWR is owned by OmniTRAX of Denver.



© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers