Brothers and Sisters:
It has come to our attention that the UTU is attempting a raid on the C.P. Engineers in Canada. A General Chairman has collaborated with the U.T.U. in an attempt to have them represent all C. P. Engineers in Canada.
A couple of years ago, I, amongst many other officers travelled across Canada to explain what the U.T.U. was doing in a forced takeover of the Brotherhood. Although the senior executive of the International B.L.E. masked the issues as an agreement between the BLE and UTU, it didn't take very long to realize that the UTU was intent on controlling the destiny of Locomotive Engineers. The new grouping would have been totally controlled by the UTU President, Byron Boyd.
All that one needs to do now ask is the question, what has changed in the last two years? The BLE Engineers soundly defeated the hostile takeover by the UTU as they understood that their destiny is under their control with Locomotive Engineers in charge of their affairs. The UTU officers are bent on power and control. Although the press release out of Vancouver concerning this raid, expresses the viewpoint that "The Canadian Locomotive Engineers find themselves in a position where their Canadian voices will not be heard because of the combined Canada/U.S. ballot on the proposed merger", this is an untrue statement as this issue has yet to be resolved. What will be done in Canada is what is best for the Locomotive Engineers in this country and there are several issues at stake, one of which is securing a proper share of the funds from Cleveland without having to engage in legal action, which is costly.
To suggest that we would be unable to control our own destiny by joining a "large non-rail union (the Teamsters)" and that we can if we join with the UTU is ludicrous. Thousands of hours of work have gone into creating a Rail Conference of the Teamsters of which the BLE Engineers and Rail Traffic Controllers in Canada would become. It should be noted that Teamsters Canada is a fully independent body of the Teamsters International as they control their own funds and regulate themselves. By becoming a Rail Conference in Canada, we would be the same as being an independent Canadian trade union, except we would have the force of Teamsters Canada behind us when required. Teamsters Canada, however, has no jurisdiction to tell the Rail Conference how to run their affairs or what is to go into a collective agreement. . A "friendly merger" whereby the interests of the membership are taken care of is always more desirable than succumbing to a "raid" initiated for the sole purpose of protecting the other parties interests. Do you really believe that the UTU is intent on protecting the interests of Locomotive Engineers?
Do not get sucked in to believing that this is a good move. Yes, the memberships of both the BLE and UTU get along very well. Do we want this to change? Absolutely not! However, there is quite a difference between a Locomotive Engineer and Conductor working together and the two Unions representing them getting together under hostile terms in order to protect their interests. If you respect your seniority as a Locomotive Engineer, DO NOT SIGN the UTU membership cards when they are presented to you.
More information shall be forthcoming as it presents itself.
Remember, you are Locomotive Engineers and are proud of your craft. DO NOT allow the UTU to take control of your future.Fraternally,Darrell H. ArnoldNational Advisor to Canadian Director
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
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