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21 months and rolling

Total BLE membership exceeds 57,000

CLEVELAND, Nov. 11 -- With significant membership increases during the past two months, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers has achieved 21 consecutive months of net membership growth.

The oldest labor union in North America welcomed 197 new members into its organization in September and 113 new members in October. Total BLE membership is now 55,000, and when the American Train Dispatchers Department of the BLE is figured into the equation, overall BLE membership is more than 57,400.

BLE President Clarence Monin said one reason for the BLE's 21-month growth streak is the success it has had in organizing shortline railroads.

Since 1997, the BLE has a 100 percent success rate when it comes to organizing non-union shortline railroads. The most recent organizing win came in September as 100 workers on the Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad chose the BLE as their collective bargaining representative.

Other shortline and regional railroads organizing victories include Wisconsin Central, Indiana Railroad, Atlantic & Gulf Railroad, and the Georgia & Florida Railroad.

"There are tens of thousands more workers on other shortlines in the U.S. and Canada," BLE President Monin said. "A large supply of potential BLE members can be found in our shortline systems."

Monin also said an increase in rail traffic accounts for the growth streak.

"The carriers need FRA-certified locomotive engineer to run their trains," he said. "CSX and Norfolk Southern both predict that they will need to hire more locomotive engineers following their purchase of Conrail.

"It is a testament to the quality and integrity of the BLE that these new engineers join our Brotherhood," he said. "We have a tradition of excellence that dates back to 1863, and the new hires recognize a good thing when they see it. They join us and they stick."

This month in BLE history...

Bogus efficiency tests still plague engineers

75 years ago...

In spite of all the modernization and computer technology used in today's railroad industry, some things still haven't changed.

In the November 1923 issue of the Locomotive Engineers Journal, Grand Chief Engineer Warren S. Stone reported on a rash of bogus "efficiency tests" used by railroad carriers.

And in the July 1998 issue of the Newsletter, it was reported that trick efficiency tests are still a plague upon locomotive engineers.

Warren Stone

Portions of Stone's 1923 report are as follows:

"About every so often we have an epidemic of 'surprise tests' under the guise of so-called 'efficiency tests,' and generally we find, upon running them down, that they are the result of some over-ambitious young official who wants to make a record for himself and who does not feel that he is carrying out the making of 'efficiency tests' or is doing what his company requires of him unless he manages to catch some engineer.

"The organization does not object to 'efficiency tests' when made in the proper manner. It does object to some of the so-called fool surprise tests that are being made, and which are going to keep on, on some of these roads, until one of these nights some engineer whose nerves are shattered by one of these surprise tests is going to beat up some official who is hid out in the darkness and who springs one of these surprise tests on him and then laughs to think how he has 'jolted' him, as he expresses it."


JANUARY 31-FEBRUARY 5, 1999 BLE Local Chairman Workshop. The first expanded local chairman training workshop of 1999 will be held at the St. Louis Airport Hilton in St. Louis, Mo. It is a valuable training tool for all new and experienced local chairmen. For further details, contact the Education & Training Department at: (216) 241-2630, ext. 253.

JUNE 20-24 BLE Southeastern Meeting Association. Convention Chairman Darvin Faust welcomes everyone to Biloxi, Miss., for the 72nd annual SMA. Hotel reservations can be made by calling the newly-constructed Beau Rivage at (888) 567-6667. Write Brother Faust for convention details at: 709 Burke St., Saraland, AL 36571; or call (334) 679-4818.

JULY 5-8 BLE International Western Convention. Chairman Allan McGunigal announced that Calgary, Alberta will be the host city for the 1999 IWC. Guests will stay at the Holiday Inn Downtown, and can make reservations by calling (800) 661-9378. For details, write: 8989 Macleod Trail South, Suite 309, Calgary, Alberta, T2H 0M2, Canada; or call (403) 640-4115; or fax (403) 640-4140.

AUGUST 9-13 BLE Southwestern Convention Meeting. The 64th annual SWCM will be held at the Fairmont Hotel in New Orleans, La. Chairman Bill Morris will welcome early arrivals on August 8, but registration and the annual golf tournament will begin on August 9. General sessions for the BLE and GIA will be held on August 10-12 and the final business meeting is on August 13. The Fairmont Hotel is adjacent to the French Quarter, and reservations can be made by calling (800) 527-4727 (U.S. only) or (504) 529-7111.

AUGUST 18-22 BLE Eastern Union Meeting Association. Currently scheduled for August 18-22, 1999, at the Hershey Lodge & Convention Center in Hershey, Pa. Details to follow. Write Arrangements Chairman John Rupp at: 333 W. Main St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055; or call (717) 766-5723.

Advisory Board October Activity

By action of the delegates at the Fifth Quinquennial Convention, summaries of BLE Advisory Board members' activities are published monthly:
International President Clarence V. Monin International Office: General supervision of BLE activities, meetings; BLE advisory board mtg.; Rail Labor Division, TTD, AFL-CIO, Washington; Mexico trilateral agreement; Rail Safety Advisory Committee mtgs.; BLE-UTU talks; AFL-CIO executive council mtgs.; EUMA.
First Vice-President & Alternate President Edward DubroskiInternational Office. Assisted president supervising BLE activities; U.S. Nat'l Legislative Board; Mobilization; Advisory Board mtg.; Washington D.C., Railroad Retirement subcommittee; BLE-UTU talks, Seattle, Wash.; Insurance rates, Washington D.C.
General Secretary-Treasurer Russell W. BennettInternational Office: Supervision of BLE and BLE Building Assn.; Financial depts.; Records Dept.; BLE Job Bank; BLE/UTU Finance & membership committee mtg.; Joint BLE/UTU mtgs. w/ Oversight, Structure, Constitution & Bylaws committees; EUMA; SWCM.
Vice-President Paul T. Sorrow International Office, Assisted president and first vice-president in performing duties in connection with Chief of Staff position; CSX/NS/ Conrail transaction; SBA 1063; PLB 5392; Visited BLE Divisions 273, 607, 831, 385, 551, 548, 537, 106, 447, 78, 435 and 365; GTW Section 6 meetings; Advisory Board mtg.; Assisted CSX, NS and GTW GCofAs.
Vice-President Joseph A. Cassidy Jr. New York & Atlantic Rwy. mtg.; Study & paperwork; Port Authority Trans Hudson mtgs.; Metropoliton Transportation Authority mtgs.; Long Island Rail Road mtgs.; Paperwork; Advisory Board mtg.; Mtg. w/ Division 163; Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Rwy.; Missabe Division mtg.; Iron Range div. mtg.; New York Susquehanna & Western mtg.; Deleware & Otsego Corp. mtg.
Vice-President & U.S. Nat'l Legislative Representative Leroy D. Jones Washington D.C. Office; High Speed Ground Transportation Assoc. Government relations cmte. mtg.; Full RSAC mtg.; Amtrak reception; AFL-CIO admin mtg.; TTD legislative mtgs.; TTD/Rail Div. leg. mtgs.; AFL-CIO political directors mtgs.; Amtrak Reform Council mtgs.; H. Con. Res. 52 hearing; Fast track rally, U.S. Capitol; Mtgs. & receptions w/ various members of House & Senate.
Vice-President James L. McCoy PLB 4450; UP-SP merger mtgs.; San Antonio hub negotiations mtgs.; Assisted IC GCofA; Advisory Board mtg.; SAC-P mtgs.; Assisted KCS GCofA; Metra Section 6 mtgs.; UP LA hub; 18 hr. undisturbed rest rule mtgs.
Vice-President William C. WalpertInternational Office; BLE Education & Training Dept.; Internal Organizing, Mobilizing & Strategic Planning Dept.; Publications Committee; Public Relations Dept.; BLE Safety Task Force; BLE Special Reps.; National Mobilization Team; UP mobilization mtg.; Special Rep mtg.; Mtg. w/ National Mediation Board; E&T presentation, Div. 435; Grant research, Washington D.C.
Vice-President Edward W. Rodzwicz Conrail GIA luncheon, Cleveland; Conrail Div. 157/ GCofA financial info; BLE/UTU membership & finance report; Conrail districts A-G mtg.; Finance Docket 33388 mtgs.; UP-SP mtgs.; Advisory Board mtg.; Vacation; New York Dock arbitration on PC&Y; Railroad Retirement Board conference.
Vice-President Don M. Hahs UP/SP east, San Antonio hub; General office duties; BNSF, Okla. City work equity; UP-SP mtgs.; Advisory Board mtg.; UP upper lines GCofA mtg.; UP system negotiations, work/rest, 18 hour rule; UP/SP west LA hub seniority issues.
Vice-President Richard K. RadekInternational Office; BLE Decertification Helpline services; Director of Arbitration Dept; National Railroad Adjustment Board (NRAB), Chicago, admin.; 240.409 proceedings, Docket EQAL 96-75, 97-98, 98-21, 97-03; Metra claims/grievances assistance, seniority/engineer certification dispute; Advisory board mtg.; Section 3 subcommittee; SBA, GTW, awards adoption/ executive session, starting time dispute.
Vice-President & Canadian Director Gilles HalléOttawa Office; RCTC contract negotiations; Mtgs. re: Training School, Saskatoon; Mtg. w/ K. Heller, CN, G. Scarrow, UTU & CCROU; Advisory Board mtg.; Mtg. w/ shortline railways; Follow-up mtg. w/ CN Rail, re: negotiations; Mtg. w/ Paul Tellier, CN Rail.
Vice-President & Canadian National Legislative Representative T. George HuckerOttawa Office; Canadian National Legislative Board; EUMA; BNR fatigue planning mtg.; BLE-UTU committee mtgs.; Statutory holiday; VIA regulatory affairs mtg.; Mtg. w/ RailTex; Mtg. w/ Algoma Central Wisconsin Rwy.; Kawartha Lakes Rwy. Advisory Board mtg.; GCofA, CN-C; CPRail mtg.; Go Transit fatigue mtg.

BLE Publications Committee:

Clarence V. Monin, International President
Edward Dubroski, First Vice-President & Alternate President
Russell W. Bennett, General Secretary-Treasurer
Leroy D. Jones, Vice-President & U.S. National Legislative Representative
William C. Walpert, Vice-President & Editor
John Bentley Jr., Associate Editor




is published monthly by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers,

1370 Ontario Street, Mezzanine,

Cleveland, OH 44113-1702.



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