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Teamsters/BLE to represent Iowa, Chicago & Eastern workers

On Dec. 30, International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)/Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers won the right to represent about 300 Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad Corp. (IC&E) workers.
"This victory clearly demonstrates the strength our unions have by working together," said Teamsters President James P. Hoffa in a prepared statement.
When Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp. purchased I&M Rail Link (IMRL) in July and changed its name to IC&E, the regional abolished IMRL's union representation, which included many BLE members, IBT and BLE said.
In fall, the unions jointly filed a motion with National Mediation Board (NMB) to organize IC&E.
On Nov. 18, the joint IBT/BLE Rail Operating Employees' Council held its first-ever rally in Davenport, Iowa, targeting IC&E employees as they reported for work. Ballots were distributed to IC&E workers in late November; NMB counted ballots Dec. 17.
In February 2002, BLE and IBT agreed to seek a merger, which hasn't yet been approved by either union's members. In the meantime, the joint IBT/BLE council enables the unions to join forces in organizing efforts.

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