What's Inside
Volume 14 - Number 11

AFL-CIO rallies Cleveland voters

DC Feedback: Can noise levels inside the locomotive cab cause hearing loss?

FRA calls 1993-99 safest years in rail history; BLE says work still needs to be done

Local Chairmen urged to register for 2001 workshops

Secretary-Treasurer training tentatively scheduled for 2001

BLE Job Bank: Canadian Nationa/ Illinois Central

Amtrak plans November debut for Acela Express high speed service

North Platte engineers reject UP scheduling plan

BLE general counsel charter member of dispute resolution Board

AFL-CIO do-buy list

How dual benefit reductions impact Railroad Retirement

Retirees to get cost of living adjustment in 2001

Retirees who work can earn more in 2001

Carrier income statements for 2000 third quarter

BLE gets arbitration victory in First Division interchange switching case

United Healthcare to hold open enrollment in December

Advisory Board August Activity

Calendar & Events

  Senate Republicans kill Railroad Retirement bill

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers learned on October 26 that the Railroad Retirement & Survivors Improvement Act of 2000, H.R. 4844, would not become law this year as the Senate will not vote on it before adjourning for the year.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), with the backing of three ultra- conservative Senators, refused to attach 4844 to any bill. However, in an act of support for the nation's rail carriers, Lott attached the 4.3 cent diesel fuel tax repeal measure to a separate tax bill, H.R. 2614.

Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM), Phil Gramm (R-TX) and Don Nickles (R-OK) successfully convinced Senator Lott to hold the bill from consideration by the full Senate.

Their opposition was based on two factors. One was a desire by ultra-conservative legislators to completely privatize the Railroad Retirement system as a prelude to a plan to privatize Social Security. The second concerns the fact that - under the federal government's unitary budget scoring system - transfers of Railroad Retirement funds from the U.S. Treasury to the new Railroad Retirement Trust Fund could be scored as a reduction in assets on the federal books.

Complete Story

Presidential election still too close to call

The outcome of the tightest Presidential election in U.S. history was still undecided as this issue of the Locomotive Engineer Newsletter went to press.

With 47 states reporting, Al Gore leads George W. Bush in the Electoral College vote 255 to 246. Of the three states that have not been called, however, Florida is the only one that matters. With its 25 electoral votes, the candidate who claims Florida will have the necessary 270 electoral votes required to become President. (Oregon and New Mexico combine for only 13 electoral votes, and neither would effect the outcome of this election.)

When all of the ballots had been counted in all of the precincts in Florida, Bush had 1,784 more votes than Gore - a tiny margin considering the large numbers of people who voted in the entire state.

Because the difference between the two candidates was less than one-half of one percent, the ballots had to be recounted, in accordance with Florida law. So on November 8, recounting began in all of Florida's 67 counties. When it was over, Bush led Gore by only 300 votes out of nearly 6 million cast, according to Florida's Secretary of State. Although this seemed as if Bush "won" the state, the numbers didn't take into account absentee ballots.

Complete Story

Engineers overwhelmingly approve SEPTA contract

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers General Chairman Steve Bruno reports that BLE members on Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract.

Complete Story

Four BLE members elected on November 7

Four BLE members were elected to political office on November 7, but a potential fifth lost in a race similar to the Al Gore versus George W. Bush nail-biter in Florida.

Complete Story


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