Update from President Pickett - PLEASE READ

Brothers & Sisters,

This past August, we had one of the most difficult conventions to date. Someone who is not a brother, nor a gentleman, pulled off a victory after lying to the commuter railroads, and many other railroads as well. How do we move forward without being divisive, yet still inform our locals? Does it make us just as bad for decrying the actions of this liar or is the liar the divisive one? OUR PRESIDENT, W. Dan Pickett, will speak for himself and all of us as well.

Your Local 56 Committee

Dear Sirs and Brothers,

I am dismayed to learn of the cancellation of my retirement party, and I would like an explanation. It has been a long past practice to throw a celebration of career for each Grand Lodge Officer and each Member of the Grand Board of Trustees that retire. Additionally, the date is always of the honoree’s choosing, and they are consulted before making any arrangements. Brothers, December 15 was not an arbitrary date, it was chosen specifically so I and my family could attend. That date worked with my calendar and that of my family, and we have all been making plans around holding that date.

I have done my best to stay out of the day-to-day business of the Brotherhood since my retirement on September 30, and all I have heard from my Brothers at other unions and within our own, not at Grand Lodge, is that Mr. Mason has had a vendetta, working to undo my legacy and tenure, piece-by-piece. Cancelling my retirement party and forcing Mr. Boles and Ms. Lasky to clean up his mess is beyond egregious. I also understand that he has decided Cynthia Haley will plan it, whenever he deems it will be scheduled. To my understanding, that date is March 29, and I am unavailable. I, respectfully, request that my party happen on December 15, or another date that I am consulted on prior to signing a contract for the venue, and that Ms. Lasky under the direction of Secretary-Treasurer Boles be the team that plans this party, just as they worked with me on all other functions of this nature, in recent memory.

Lastly, I have heard from members, and I want to express my profound disappointment that my farewell to the members, who I served as President for 26 years and as an officer far more than that, was not run in the third quarter journal. Because Mr. Mason decided to run roughshod over a journal I had approved in September, and was held for some unknown reason, our members did not get the most valuable piece of information, the political endorsements. This election was important for working people. Our members, who have come to count on the political endorsements from our organization, were not in receipt of this information prior to the election, and many races are being decided by close margins. It is a disappointment, to say the least.

I am profoundly disappointed in what has transpired in the last 6 weeks, I hope something is done soon to “right the ship” for our members. BRS has a long, proud history as leaders in the rail industry, rail labor, and labor as a whole and that does not seem to be a primary focus and concern of this new President, and I request that you, Brothers, help him bring that into view.

W. Dan Pickett