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BMWE files motion to dismiss Labor Department's call to overturn officer elections


Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE) recently filed a motion in federal court seeking to dismiss a U.S. Department of Labor complaint that aims to overturn the election of three union officers that occurred at BMWE's July 2002 convention in Las Vegas. The union also wants the Labor Department to pay its legal fees.

"It is BMWE's position, in part, that the court lacks jurisdiction and the Department of Labor Secretary lacks standing to challenge elections in this case," said union officials in a prepared statement. "The alleged violations are not supported by the facts developed thus far or by law, and there is no legal basis for granting the relief requested … [because] BMWE believes any violation that might have occurred — which, to date has not been established — did not affect the outcome of any election."

Labor department officials believe two officers used union funds to promote their candidacy; one used union office equipment to prepare campaign literature, and the other used "union office equipment and secretarial help to prepare and electronically transmit campaign literature," according to the complaint.

The department also alleges that a third officer used "employer funds," relying on an unnamed employer to pay a campaign consultant's fee. The three officers' names weren't disclosed.

"The Department of Labor has been less than forthcoming with specifics regarding what information it might have which purportedly provides the basis for the complaint," BMWE officials said. "It seems premature to take any action until more factual information is developed."

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/9/2003