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BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce was reelected by acclamation as Chairman of the Cooperating Railway Labor Organizations (CRLO) during October 28’s CRLO business meeting. The CRLO is a group of 12 Rail Labor unions that sit together to oversee the collectively bargained health and welfare benefits contained within the National Agreements, on behalf of railroad members.

TCU/IAM National President Arthur P. Maratea and American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA) President F. Leo McCann also were reelected by acclamation to serve the CRLO as Vice-Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively. “I am proud to continue working alongside Brothers Maratea and McCann, as well as all other members of the CRLO. I will do my utmost to preserve, protect and expand the health care benefits enjoyed by railroad workers,” President Pierce said.

Also reelected to another 3-year term as National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust (NRRIT) Trustee is retired BLET member William C. Walpert. Brother Walpert served for decades as a BLET officer, retiring in 2014 after more than 13 years as the Brotherhood’s Chief Financial Officer.

The CRLO administers the health and welfare plans that are negotiated by the participating organizations in all national negotiations over matters pertaining or related to health and welfare benefit issues. It was founded so that Rail Labor could work together collectively to achieve better health and welfare benefits, rather than each union bargaining individually. According to the Preamble of the CRLO Bylaws: “We, the several organizations of railroad employees, recogniz[e] that through united action the interests of railroad employees are strengthened and are better advanced though coordinated policy and cooperation on all matters of mutual interest; and that such united action is particularly essential in the area of health and welfare benefits for our members….”

The 12 unions that make up the CRLO are: American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA); Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET); Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED); Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS); International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM); International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Shipbuilders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers (IBB); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); National Conference of Firemen & Oilers/SEIU (NCFO/SEIU); SMART Mechanical Department (SMART MD); SMART Transportation Division (SMART TD); Transport Workers Union (TWU); and Transportation Communications Union/IAM (TCU/IAM).