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9/28/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BLE installs new international president at Miami convention


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.


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