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Rail News: Labor

Belden, the 'heart and soul' of UTU's national legislative office, dies


On Oct. 12, Scott Belden, chief of staff for the United Transportation Union’s (UTU) national legislative office, died following a bout with cancer. He was 62.

Belden also served as Utah state legislative director — a position he held since 1980 — and member of UTU Local 1366 in Salt Lake City. After beginning his railroading career in 1964 with Union Pacific Railroad as a switchman/brakeman, he joined UTU predecessor union Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen.

“[Scott’s] work ethic extended to the legislative office, where he was always the first in the office and among the last to leave,” said UTU International President Paul Thompson in a prepared statement. “He will be so very, very missed.”

As chief of staff, Belden assisted with lobbying efforts, represented the union at congressional staff and regulatory agency meetings, drafted letters to lawmakers and regulators on behalf of members, and served as general office manager.

“Scott was the heart and soul of this office,” said UTU National Legislative Director James Brunkenhoefer. “Many of us regarded Scott as a mentor. Many of us are better people today for having known him.”

Scott and his wife, Charlotte (“Charlie”), participated in several motorcycle rides honoring 9/11 victims and spent many weekends traveling the East Coast on their Harleys.

In addition to his wife, Belden is survived by a daughter and son.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/17/2005