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California State Legislative Board
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I received a message yesterday afternoon at about 4:30 PM. Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law the Two Person Crew Bill we sponsored. Effective February 1st 2016, every freight train in California and every light engine will be occupied by at least two people in the cab…a certified Locomotive Engineer and a certified Conductor. It was the right thing to do!
This is a huge milestone for rail labor in California and perhaps may be a stepping stone for the rest of the states and nation. My team and I worked very hard on this bill. The railroads put up a strong opposition to the very end. On a side note, they will probably litigate this new law through the courts. We will deal with that as it arises, but for right now we must celebrate! It has been a long time coming.
I would like to thank my 1st Vice Chairman, Ryan Snow; 2nd Vice Chairman Sean Morgan; our S/T Scott Long; our Teamster Brothers Barry Broad and Shane Gusman of the CT PAC; President Dennis R. Pierce and VP-NLR John Tolman; BLET Chief of Staff Tom Pontolillo; the SMART/UTU Legislative Dept. JP Jones and Mike Anderson; the BLET Auxiliary and their 1st VP Susie Burrola and VP/NLR Kathleen Bisbikis; the NARVRE group; the California Labor Federation and Sara Flocks; and many more who had a hand in this fight to pass this public safety bill! I would especially like to thank each of you and those you’ve asked to help us during this time of need. The phone calls, emails, letters and dialogue you provided were the icing on the cake and sent a clear message to the legislators that we all stand together in this battle for SB 730 to rightfully become law in California.
My effort on this bill started last summer and continued throughout this legislative session. This great outcome would not have been possible without the author of of the bill, a very brave Senator, Lois Wolk and her Chief of Staff, Jim Metropolis. The three of us started this dialogue last summer and the end results are this new law. I am very proud of their courage and efforts to take on the railroads in this matter, and will always be grateful for their hard work. Thank you Senator Wolk and Chief of Staff Metropolis.
Congratulations to the BLET and the members we so proudly serve! Please share this message with our members and SMART/UTU members and anyone who may be interested.
Fraternally and in solidarity,
Timothy Smith, State Chairman
CSLB/BLET/IBT Rail Conference
SB730 2 Person Bill Passed into law 09/08/15
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen
Timothy L. Smith ~ Chairman
610 Auburn Ravine Rd. Suite C
Auburn Ca. 95603