LAS VEGAS – SMART GEC Member and Transportation Division (TD) Vice President Jeremy R. Ferguson of Local 313 (Grand Rapids, Mich.) was elected President – Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, shortly after the opening August 11th of the union’s Second Transportation Division Convention at the Mirage Resort in Las Vegas.
Ferguson was challenged for the office by fellow TD Vice President John England (Local 1674, Los Angeles, Calif.) and Robert “Bob” Keeley, former general chairperson of GCA 342 (CSX – Northern District) out of Local 1951 (Albany, N.Y.). Ferguson received 380 votes of the 440 ballots cast.
“Get ready to go to work … It’s going to take the upmost dedication and determination, but we will fight the injustices to the end,” Ferguson said. “We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, and I will lead from the front. Your voices will be heard, and you will hear my voice.
“General chairpersons, state directors – you deserve more from us, and we will deliver.”
Alternate National Legislative Director Gregory Hynes (Local 1081, Phoenix, Ariz.) was elected National Legislative Director, defeating Utah State Legislative Director F. Jay Seegmiller (Local 166, Salt Lake City, Utah) in a 255-to-185 vote. Hynes will succeed John J. Risch III, who previously announced he would not seek re-election.
Incumbent TD Vice Presidents Brent Leonard (Local 202, Denver, Colo.), Calvin Studivant (Local 759, Newark, N.J.) and John D. Whitaker III (Local 1106, Rocky Mount, N.C.) were returned to office by acclamation.
Also elected TD Vice President by acclamation were Alternate TD Vice President Chadrick Adams (Local 331, Temple, Texas), Executive Board Member and GCA 049 General Chairperson Jamie Modesitt and Joe M. Lopez, general chairperson of GCA 009 (BNSF).
Additionally, General Chairperson D.B. Wier, Jr., (GCA 919, Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis) of Local 469 was elected TD vice president, defeating General Chairperson Tom Pate (GCA 20, BNSF), president of Local 1081 in Glendale, Ariz., and General Chairperson Billy Moye (GCA CSX-SCL) of Local 1971 in Atlanta, Ga.
Meanwhile, Alternate Vice President Bus – East Alvy Hughes (Local 1596. Charlotte, N.C.) defeated Bonnie Morr (Local 23, Santa Cruz, Calif.) and incumbent Vice President Bus Adhi Reddy (Local 1785, Santa Monica, Calif.) for TD Vice President Bus.
Article 21B, Section 35, of the SMART Constitution provides for a successor to the president of the Transportation Division in the event a vacancy occurs between conventions. To provide for such a contingency, delegates chose TD Vice President-elect Leonard to that position.
Kentucky State Legislative Director Jared Cassity was elected Alternate National Legislative Director. Waverly Harris, TD Alternate Vice President Bus – East, was elected to that position by acclamation.
Alternate Vice President Bus – West Guillermo Rosales was returned to that office, defeating Erskins Robinson, general chairperson of GCA SMB, out of Local 1785.
Among five candidates for four TD alternate vice president positions, Scott Chelette, Gary Crest, Larry Miller Jr. and Christopher Bartz were elected.
SMART TD Board of Appeals members elected by acclamation are Tim Flynn (engine services), Tessa Collins (road service), Rick Pauli (commuter), and Brenda Moore (bus).
Incumbent Kevin Smith won an election and will return as the Board of Appeals yard representative.
Elected to the TD Executive Board by acclamation were California Assistant State Legislative Director Mike Anderson, Dale Gerkin, John Dunn, Rex Allen and New York State Legislative Director Sam Nasca.
Ohio State Legislative Director Stu Gardner was elected Alternate to the Executive Board by acclamation.
The newly elected officers assume their roles officially on Oct. 1.
The negotiating team representing SMART Transportation Division members on the Kyle Railroad has reached agreement with the carrier on a proposed contract for all crafts under its jurisdiction. The Transportation Division represents engineers, conductors, brakemen, maintenance of way employees, signal employees, mechanics, helpers and apprentices, carmen and welders.
General Chairperson Brent Leonard, who was assisted by Local 44 President and Chairperson William Strickland, Local Secretary & Treasurer Dustin Meiller and Vice Local Chairperson Jacob Dougherty, led the negotiating team.
Assistant President John Previsich, who participated in the negotiations, praised the team for its efforts. “This round of negotiations was made more difficult by the sale of RailAmerica to Genesee and Wyoming partway through the process. The sale introduced a number of new concerns regarding preservation of benefits and pay that weren’t present at the start of the negotiations.
“The team did an excellent job of securing the current benefit levels while obtaining new provisions that guarantee pay and time off, along with excellent improvements to wages and working conditions.”
“The proposed agreement contains new working conditions that provide for a quality of life unseen on Class I railroads,” said Leonard. “For the first time on the Kyle Railroad, our members can secure a guaranteed level of benefit and a cost-sharing cap on their health insurance plan.”
The tentative agreement and ballots have been mailed to affected members and ballots must be returned no later than April 22, 2013.
The Kyle Railroad is a short line railroad operating from north central Kansas into eastern Colorado, with 625 miles of track. It interchanges with BNSF Railway, Nebraska, Kansas & Colorado Railway and Union Pacific.
Commodities moved on Kyle include wheat, soybeans, milo maize, alcohols, siding asphalt and roofing granules.
The UTU Board of Directors made additional appointments:
* UTU Alternate Vice President Troy Johnson becomes an International vice president, succeeding International Vice President Paul Tibbit, who retired Dec. 1.
* UTU Alternate Vice President John England becomes an International vice president, filling a position vacated by Strunk.
* Vice General Chairperson Jeremy Ferguson (CSX, GO 049) and General Chairperson Brent Leonard (Union Pacific, GO 953) become alternate vice presidents, filling the positions of alternate vice president vacated by Johnson and England.
Additionally, the United Transportation Union Insurance Association (UTUIA) Board of Directors elected Bruce Feltmeyer as general secretary and treasurer of UTUIA, succeeding Kim Thompson in that position. Feltmeyer also holds the position of director of staff at the UTU Headquarters in North Olmsted, Ohio.
Biographies of the new officers are available – or will become available in the case of Ferguson and Leonard – at http://www.utu.org/ by clicking on “About the UTU,” then clicking on “officers” and scrolling down to the names.
Feltmeyer’s biography is available at http://www.utu.org/ by clicking on “About the UTU,” then clicking on “UTU/UTUIA Staff” and scrolling down to his name.