Frequently the Local’s truck can be found providing assistance when there is a job to do requiring a truck. From moving supplies in support of disaster relief, transporting school supplies, and moving toys for the Toys for Tots program our truck has done it all. The truck is also present at school career days, rallies supporting working men and women, and various parades and events in our communities.
Recently Ken Kertesz, who is the Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Legislative Board for the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), which is part of the Teamsters Rail Conference, contacted Local 776 Secretary-Treasurer Ron Hicks asking if the Local could help them move some train parts from Scranton, Pa to Silva, NC for restoration. The parts are for an old steam engine that is being rebuilt at the Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton. Once the steam engine is rebuilt it will be displayed at the Steamtown railroad museum located in downtown Scranton.
“The size and strength of Local 776 allows us to have this truck to promote and support the Teamsters and Local 776. We always look forward to helping out our fellow Teamsters from other divisions of the IBT”. Commented Hicks.
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Court Victory Vindicates BLET Position On Two-Person Train Crews
CLEVELAND, April 2015 — In a major legal victory to protect two-person train crews, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled in favor of Brotherhood Locomotive Engineer and Trainmen’s (BLET) position that the Wheeling & Lake Erie’s (WLE) use of managers in place of Union conductors is a major dispute under the Railway Labor Act. The ruling, which occurred yesterday, vindicates BLET’s decision to strike over the issue more than 18 months ago.
In September 2013, the BLET went on strike over the W&LE’s repudiation of Collective Bargaining Agreements that cover the locomotive engineer and trainmen operating crafts. Specifically, the Carrier ignored longstanding crew consist agreements and operated single-person operations in an effort to eliminate Trainmen.
When W&LE challenged the strike, the District Court ruled the dispute to be a minor one and granted the Carrier a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). While the TRO put the BLET members back to work, the District Court conditioned it “on WLE’s agreement not to use supervisors or other management employees in place of engineers or conductors in the operation of its trains.” The TRO was later converted into an injunction.
A unanimous three-judge panel on the Sixth Circuit reversed the District Court. It found that W&LE’s “claim that the Trainmen Agreement allowed it to man trains without union conductors is frivolous or obviously insubstantial, and the dispute is major.” The Court of Appeals also vacated the injunction and remanded the case back to the District Court with instructions to dismiss the W&LE’s complaint.
“The favorable ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit constitutes a major victory for all BLET members, especially our Brothers and Sisters at the W&LE,” said Dennis Pierce, National President of the BLET. “They have fought the good fight for many years now and have stood strong against the carrier’s wishes to implement one-person train operations. They deserve our thanks for holding the line on this all-important safety issue.
“I would also like to thank General Chairman Dewayne Dehart, retired General Chairman R.H. Linsey, Local Chairmen Kevin Nahrebecki and Lonnie Swigert and the members of Division 292 for standing strong. I want to thank General Counsel Mike Wolly and his team for helping to secure this major court victory on behalf of our members,” Pierce said.
A copy of the court ruling is available for download from the BLET National Division website (PDF).
The PA Conference of Teamsters continues to grow
The PA Conference of Teamsters is proud to announce that all 19 PA Divisions of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen have affiliated with the PA Conference. With a concerted effort between Brother Ken Kertesz-Chairman PA State Legislative Board, BLET, the PA Conference and the Conference's legal advisor, all BLET Divisions have now affiliated with the PA Conference. This brings in over 1,800 new members. Welcome BLET..all aboard!
The Conference would like to especially thank Brother Ken Kertesz for his help and support in facilitating this affiliation.