At Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers' Seventh Quinquennial International Convention in Miami, delegates Sept. 27 brought change to the union's top post.
In a run-off election, International Vice President Don Hahs easily defeated incumbent International President Edward Dubroski 417-211 for the office of international president.
International vice president for five years, Hahs plans to try to smooth BLE's contentious relationship with United Transportation Union — and possibly get the unions' proposed merger back on track — as well as obtain a fair and equitable national contract, and improve BLE's financial status.
"We must demonstrate that we can serve the collective memberships of both organizations better by working together," said Hahs in a prepared statement, referring to UTU. "We have to find a common ground and stop wasting the memberships' money."
However, Hahs also promised to protect the BLE's right to exist, claiming "if we have to fight, I will personally be on the Kansas City Southern with every other ID officer and we will fight to win."
UTU Sept. 18 asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to order a representation election on KCS, enabling the railroad's train and engine service employees to decide whether to be represented by UTU or BLE.
All fields are required.