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Delegates To Brotherhood Of Locomotive Engineers And Trainmen Convention Elect Officials


Delegates to the BLET’s Third National Convention have re-elected Dennis R. Pierce as their National President.  Pierce was elected, along with an entire slate of Advisory Board members, vice presidents, trustees and alternates to serve as the head officials of the union for the next four years.  Due to election procedures, the beginning of their terms will begin January 1, 2015.

“It is an honor to lead you,” Pierce said.  “We came in here a strong organization and we will leave here stronger.  In our dealings with railroads and thegovernment we have to be united and strong. Let’s make our union the strongest it can be.”

E. Lee Pruitt was re-elected to the position of First National Vice President and Stephen Bruno was elected as the next National Secretary-Treasurer as the incumbent, Bill Walpert, will be retiring after many years of distinguished service to the union on the local and national levels.

The director of the Teamsters Human Rights Commission, Antonio Christian, inspired the convention attendees in his speech to embrace the different physical and personal qualities that make individuals unique. “Diversity makes us strong.  And we need strength in order to fight back against the corporate interests that want working people to be left behind.”

Christian thanked Margo Storsteen, a BLET engineer in Boston, for her past service as a member of the Human Rights Commission, and welcomed Stephen Bruno as the new member of the Commission.  He also outlined the services provided by the Disaster Relief Fund and the Community Services department, which he also leads, in providing assistance to members and their families.

An official with the Federal Railroad Administration, Robert Lauby made a presentation to the delegates that included a section about an on-going safety issue of positive train control (PTC). “We need a failsafe backup for the engineer – and that’s what PTC can provide,” Lauby said. “The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires that by 2015 railroads must have the positive train control system in place.  This system is planned to prevent train to train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zones; and to prevent movement of trains by a switch left in the wrong position.  “I am impressed by the professionalism of your members.  All of us must support the cultural change the industry needs in order to create a safer environment for everyone.”