Retired former General Chairperson Robert E. Swert, 89, of Port Charlotte, Fla. and formerly of West Chester, Pa. died August 20, 2015, in Port Charlotte.

After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Swert hired out as a brakeman with the New York Central Railroad. Swert began his rail career as a member of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT), and later became a member of United Transportation Union (UTU) Local 2 in Toledo, Ohio.

Swert served on the BRT Health and Welfare Committee which negotiated the first national health and welfare plan for operating employees.

Later, Swert moved to the management side as director of labor relations and eventually retired as vice president of Conrail Labor Relations. Although Swert moved into management, he kept his union membership with the UTU and paid full dues up until his retirement.

Swert is survived by his wife Connie, one daughter, two stepdaughters, two grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, two sisters and one brother. Swert was preceded in death by his first wife Rexine and his parents.

Swert’s brother is former UTU Assistant President Lloyd “Corky” Swert.

A graveside military service with military honors is planned for 11 a.m., Saturday, August 29, at Toledo Memorial Park, Sylvania, Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 269, Alexandria, VA 22314, or to Tidewell Hospice Inc., 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238.

Click here to view Swert’s obituary or to leave condolences for the family.