Brother J.J. Vara retires from Texas-Mexican Railway
J.J. Vara (seated, left), retiring president of BLE Division 244 (Laredo, Texas) holds the plaque presented to him by members of his division to commemorate his years of service. He is pictured here with Cesar Carrera (standing), the incoming Division President, who conducted the retirement ceremony.
Brother Vara was also presented with a letter of appreciation from BLE International President Don M. Hahs.
Vara was pleased with the plaque and letter, and expressed his thoughts in an October 22 letter to BLE President Hahs.
"I have enjoyed my association with the BLE and the many good people who are members of our fine organization," he said. "I will continue to attend meetings and support the BLE as a retired member.
"I am pleased with the progress here on the Tex-Mex since the BLE assumed the representation rights," Brother Vara said. "There is a great deal more to be done, and I know we can count on (President Hahs') continued support to remake the Tex-Mex working conditions and pay much better for our BLE members here.
"I also want to thank (President Hahs) and the International for staying with us to achieve victory on the Tex-Mex. I also want to again thank Tom Miller and Dave Ditzel for their help, as well as (our) new assignment to the property, (Vice-President Merle) Mr. Geiger.
"I look forward to working with you in the future. Do not hesitate to call on me if I can be of assistance to the Brotherhood."
Division 244 members are employed by the Texas-Mexican Railway and work in Laredo, Corpus Christi, Houston and Beaumont, Texas. The BLE won the right to represent Tex Mex workers in a National Mediation Board representation election on July 15.
© 2002 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers