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U.S. district judge grants three BLE members preliminary injunction


The proposed Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers/United Transportation Union merger hit a legal snag.

The U.S. Court for the Northern District of Ohio Sept. 17 granted three BLE members a preliminary injunction, effectively halting the unions' merger process.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich ordered American Arbitration Association — a neutral party — to impound all ballots cast by BLE members, refrain from revealing any ongoing or final tally results to any of the involved parties or a third party, and hold the ballots under seal pending the lawsuit's resolution.

"It's unfortunate the judge has chosen, in effect, to interfere with our international convention by prohibiting our delegates from knowing the decision of the membership with regard to the merger question," said BLE International President Edward Dubroski in a prepared statement.

BLE plans to hold its seventh quinquennial convention Sept. 23-28 in Miami.

The three BLE members Sept. 10 filed their lawsuit with the district court in Cleveland after a similar suit seeking to void a BLE/UTU merger vote was dismissed Sept. 7 in a Baltimore district court. At this time, Judge Aldrich hasn't set dates for further proceedings.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/18/2001