Top Boss Faces Recall Vote

A union vote to recall Bhd. of Locomotive Engineers’ president Clarence Monin began May 28. The recall election was required by BLE’s constitution after receiving recall petitions from divisions representing approximately 34 percent of the membership. The petition was initiated by Division 782 in Tenn. which listed 28 reasons for recalling the top boss, including abuse of power and withholding information about a proposed merger with the United Trans. Union from BLE’s advisory board and the membership and allegations of financial mismanagement of the union. BLE is reportedly in financial trouble; the union operated in the red in 30 of the past 34 months. Monin sought a temporary restraining order to prevent the mailing of the ballots. However, the request was denied May 20 by U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich. The results of the recall will be known in Aug. 1999.

Talks over a possible merger between BLE and UTU came to a halt in May when BLE disputed the sharing of financial information. BLE said that its advisory board had unanimously agreed to terminate the talks with UTU on the advice of Monin. The key point cited by the BLE was the failure of the UTU to provide financial information by a May 1 deadline. The UTU called the financial report issue “a red herring” and an excuse to withdraw from the unification talks because Monin was facing a recall effort within the BLE membership. [BNA 5/26/99]