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Rail News: Labor

Rodzwicz becomes BLET's national president after Hahs' ouster


The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has a new national president. Yesterday, the union announced that on March 20, it "removed from office" former leader Don Hahs by order of BLET parent the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) and installed First Vice President Ed Rodzwicz as national president according to union bylaws.

The BLET made the leadership change based on recommendations from a hearing panel that was appointed to investigate embezzlement charges against Hahs, who has appealed the IBT's decision. Last year, Hahs began serving a six-month suspension from office after reaching an agreement with IBT officials to settle a spending dispute. A union review board investigation determined Hahs spent union funds for non-union purposes between 2004 and 2006, according the BLET.

Although the hearing panel didn't conclude that Hahs committed embezzlement, it determined he violated his fiduciary duties to the BLET and its members in connection with his use and control of union funds.

In line with the panel's recommendations, the IBT imposed the following penalties on Hahs: removal from office and a prohibition from holding any office or employment with the BLET or any affiliated benefit fund and the IBT or any IBT affiliate until his current term of office expires in 2010; suspension from membership in the BLET and IBT, and knowing contact with officers, employees and members for one year; and a $44,963.97 fine.

The IBT decision must be approved by the union review board and the federal court, the BLET said.