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10/4/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BLE's Hahs amends union's merger approach, hopes to mend fences with UTU


Newly elected Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers International President Don Hahs didn't waste much time implementing changes to the union's constitution and bylaws to help prevent future snafus to merger plans with other labor organizations — such as the legal and counter actions that bogged down BLE's proposed combination with United Transportation Union.
Hahs, who won a Sept. 27 run-off election over incumbent president Edward Dubroski, received delegate approval at BLE's annual convention to amend the union's constitution, setting specific balloting procedures and timelines the president must follow when considering a merger.
But Hahs' quick action might have come too late to save the troubled BLE-UTU combination.
"With the ballots currently impounded, we are in limbo with respect to the UTU merger," he said in a prepared statement. "However, if the judge orders that the ballots be destroyed and the merger process has to start from scratch, then we will be obligated to abide by the new requirements of the BLE constitution and bylaws."
Hahs plans as soon as possible to schedule a meeting with UTU International President Byron Boyd Jr. to discuss the unions' current and future relations.
Possibly helping Hahs in this cause will be Edward Rodwicz, who was elected first vice president and alternate president at BLE's convention.


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