Are all the union designation systems the same?
Saint Paul railroad employee injury attorney William Jungbauer reflects on different union designation systems.
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Unfortunately, no. I can give you two examples that are well known. The BLET or Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, part of the teamsters, now has changed – they’ve eliminated their designated legal counsel system that was just for their lawyers and they say anyone who’s a member of ARLA, the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys is qualified to represent their members. But then, and most importantly, the BLET has a list of questions for members or their families to ask lawyers so they know whether or not any ARLA member is qualified for them. To contrast that, the United Transportation Union, which is now Smart Transportation Division still has its own designated legal counsel system and lawyers are allowed to comment on who should come in or not come in to their system and that has the potential for a problem because some lawyers don’t want to recommend competitors even if they’re very good.