CLEVELAND, Jan. 30 -- Setting past differences aside, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the United Transportation Union (UTU) have agreed to work together on a joint campaign to ensure a successful outcome to the current round of collective bargaining.

    During negotiations, the major rail carriers have attempted to use past differences between the BLET and the UTU as a wedge to reduce crew size. Reducing crew size puts the lives of all rail workers and the general public in danger. It also seriously threatens the financial security of the Railroad Retirement system.

    BLET President Don M. Hahs and UTU President Paul C. Thompson announced the joint campaign in a letter dated Jan. 27, 2006.

    "Our two organizations have had their differences, but when it comes to protecting our members' jobs and safety, we must stand together against the hostile attacks of the carriers' expressed intent on eliminating jobs," the Presidents said.

PDF link to letter

Text copy of letter