Railroad Retirement Board clarifies UTU falsehood

Legal opinion debunks Trust Fund allegations

The Legal Department of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board has come forth and denied a major falsehood being spread by the United Transportation Union regarding the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Railroad Retirement Trust Fund.

In particular, the Board has provided a legal opinion that denies the UTU's false allegation that the Teamsters will be able to divert funds from the Railroad Retirement system to Teamster pension plans by merging with rail labor unions.

"A merger between any rail labor union and the Teamsters would not make railroad retirement benefits available for payment of benefits under the Teamsters' pension plan," wrote Steven A. Bartholow, General Counsel of the Railroad Retirement Board. "Historically, changes to the Railroad Retirement Act have been based on joint recommendations of rail labor and rail carriers. Rail labor and rail management have worked hard over the years to ensure that the railroad retirement system is financially sound any change in the system that would jeopardize the current and future payment of benefits under the Act must be seen as extremely unlikely."

The UTU, facing an uncertain future, has resorted to mudslinging and scare tactics in an effort to stem the tide of dwindling membership. The BLET/Teamsters have defeated the UTU in numerous head-to-head shortline representation elections over the past three years, and an ever-increasing number of former UTU members have joined the BLET/Teamsters each month for the past nine months.

"It should be clear now that the false allegations being spread by the UTU are pure bunk, dreamed up by UTU spin doctors in an effort to discredit the BLET and Teamsters," said BLET National President Don Hahs. "It is a shameful that the UTU's leadership would resort to such tactics."

Counsel Bartholow's legal opinion is available at: http://www.ble-t.org/pr/pdf/rrb.pdf .



© 2004 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen