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It was a split decision on May 9 as Norfolk Southern shareholders elected some board nominees from hedge fund Ancora Holdings to the railroad’s board of directors, but not enough to unseat current CEO Alan Shaw.

The three BLET General Chairmen at Norfolk Southern — Scott Bunten (NS-Eastern Lines GCA), Dewayne Dehart (NS-Northern Lines GCA) and Jerry Sturdivant (NS-Southern Lines GCA) — told the Associated Press: “Alan Shaw and his team showed real leadership after the East Palestine disaster and made major moves to make the railroad safer and more competitive. However, changes in his team and strategy in recent weeks left many stakeholders and shareholders feeling uncertain about the railroad’s future direction.”

Ancora made commitments to expand the C3RS incident reporting program systemwide and they were committed to improvements in training programs, among other positive changes. They made it clear they had no issue with maintaining two-person crews.

Now that the dust has settled in this proxy battle, the General Chairmen say that they look forward to working with the new board and the railroad’s leadership on strategies that will grow the railroad, and make it more competitive and safer for both workers and the communities served. But the BLET leaders warn, “We also will not hesitate to call out decisions that are not in the best interests of investors and union railroaders.”

BLET represents about 3,000 locomotive engineers at NS.

Photo courtesy of Cory Rusch, BLET Division 659