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The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) has named John Previsich president of the Transportation Division to succeed Mike Futhey, who retired on Monday.Previsich becomes the second president of the SMART Transportation Division and eighth leader of an organization that formerly was the United Transportation Union. He became assistant president in 2012 and assumed the responsibilities of general secretary and treasurer on Jan. 1."I recognize the immense responsibility that comes with this office and I pledge to all of our members that I will continue, as I have always done, to serve in a transparent and effective manner, with the strong leadership that is essential to secure and protect the interests of our membership," said Previsich in a press release.Previsich began his railroading career as a train service operations employee for Southern Pacific Transportation Co. He later transferred to engine service and achieved certification as both a conductor and locomotive engineer.Previsich became a local union officer in the 1980s and a general chairperson in the early 1990s. He was elected international vice president in 2007 and re-elected to that post in 2011.Previsich is the SMART Transportation Division's representative on the Federal Railroad Administration's Rail Safety Advisory Committee and is a cabinet-level appointee to the National Freight Advisory Committee, which reports directly to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on MAP-21.At the conclusion of the SMART Transportation Division's regional meeting in Boston on July 3, Futhey announced he would soon step down as president and retire, ending a 42-year railroading and union career. He was elected president in August 2007, assumed office on Jan. 1, 2008, and was re-elected in August 2011."The associated duties have afforded the opportunity to sit with the most powerful kings of industry, politics and organized labor," Futhey wrote in a farewell letter to union members. "I had the honor of representing the motor, our members, that run the economic engine that provides the foundation for the power enjoyed by all those listed."
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