Decertification Helpline: (216) 694-0240

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, May 11 — The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) is mobilizing its members in the State of New York to lobby in favor of a statewide two-person crew bill. Earlier this month, S3953B was introduced in the State Senate and a companion bill, A1287B, was introduced in the State Assembly.

Brother William J. Fleischmann, Chairman of the BLET New York State Legislative Board, said the bills would mandate that all freight trains have at least two persons on the train: a certified locomotive engineer and a certified conductor. The Senate bill was introduced by Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy (D-63). The Assembly bill was introduced by Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli (D-129).

A summary of the Senate Bill reads in part: “… [N[o person operating or controlling any Class I railroad or Class II railroad shall allow the operation of any railroad train or locomotive for the movement of freight unless such railroad train or locomotive has a crew of not less than two individuals; provides exemptions; defines terms; imposes civil penalties.”

Brother Fleischmann said rail carrier lobbyists are working in fierce opposition to these necessary safety requirements. All BLET Members, Auxiliary and families in the state of New York are urged to immediately contact their State Assemblyperson and Senator and politely ask them to support the Two Person Crew Legislation, so that it may receive a positive vote on the State Assembly and Senate Floors and move to the Governor’s desk.

BLET members can use the Take Action legislative outreach tool available on the new BLET website to find and contact their State Senator or Assemblyman. Members can share their own personal story in support of the bills or submit a pre-written statement to their legislator.

Members may also call their elected representatives. You may not actually speak with your Senator or Assemblyperson, so ask for the staff member who handles labor or transportation issues. Please be respectful to them, just as you would if speaking with your Senator or Assemblyman personally. Tell them that you would like them to co-sponsor S3953B in the Senate or A1287B in the House, and let them know that safe freight operations depend on two certified crew members to ensure the safety of train movements and timely responses to emergencies when they occur.