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Rail News: Labor

BLET reaches tentative pact with Oregon short line, announces new legal counsel


The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has reached a tentative agreement with the Portland & Western/Willamette & Pacific Railroad (PNW), the union announced last week.

The contract would govern rates of pay, benefits and work rules for about about 70 PNW employees. Ratification ballots have been mailed and are due June 22, BLET officials said in a press release.

A Genesee & Wyoming Inc. subsidiary, the PNW is a 466-mile short line that serves the state of Oregon. Its top commodities include chemicals, plastics, lumber, forest products, minerals, stone, pulp and paper.

Meanwhile, BLET National President Dennis Pierce has appointed Joshua McInerney general counsel effective May 31. He will succeed Michael Wolly, who is retiring.

Wolly's retirement will mark "the end of an era" for rail labor, Pierce said. Wolly has provided legal services to BLET for more than 25 years, the past 10 as general counsel.

McInerney is a partner with Barkan Meizlish LLP of Columbus, Ohio. Over the past 20 years, he has represented a variety of labor unions at the local, state and national levels, including the BLET. 

Pierce also announced the appointment of Barkan Meizlish attorney James Petroff as BLET's associate general counsel. Petroff has 30 years of national practice experience in collective bargaining and traditional labor law for a variety of unions, including Railway Labor Act unions.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/26/2020