Assistant President, General Secretary & Treasurer
John Previsich, a member of Local 31 in San Jose, Calif., was born in Los Angeles in 1953. He attended college in Santa Cruz, Calif., then hired out on the Southern Pacific’s Coast District (now part of the Union Pacific) in 1973.
Previsich worked in yard, road and engine service, and currently holds seniority as a switchman, brakeman, conductor, fireman and engineer on the UP.
He also spent 10 years in commuter and long-distance passenger-rail service.
Previsich has held a number of local offices, including local chairperson (1987), vice general chairperson (1991) and general chairperson (1992; five times by acclamation).
As general chairperson Previsich represented brakemen, assistant conductors, conductors, firemen, hostlers, engineers and train dispatchers on short lines, passenger lines and Class I railroads.
Previsich also served as delegate from his local to UTU International conventions held in 1991, 1995 and 1999.
He also served on the peer support committee for UP’s Operation RedBlock from 1993 to 1998.
Previsich was appointed by UTU International to UP’s Safety Assurance and Compliance Program (SACP) in 1997.
He also served as chairperson of the UTU’s Union Pacific General Chairperson Association for three terms: 2002, 2004 and 2006.
He was elected UTU International vice president by delegates at the UTU’s convention in 2007 and re-elected to that office in 2011. He was elected to the office of assistant president by the board of directors in August 2012. In January 2013, he was named to the additional post of UTU general secretary and treasurer (GS&T) by the UTU Board of Directors.
To better serve his union, Previsich has completed courses at the George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Silver Spring, Md.
Previsich serves as the UTU representative on the Southern Pacific 401(k) Board of Directors.
He is currently assigned to assist general committees on the UP, BNSF Railway, Kansas City Southern, CSX, CN/IC, Canadian Pacific, Delaware & Hudson, San Joaquin Valley Railroad, Kyle, Nebraska Central, Birmingham Southern, Amtrak, Progressive Rail, Connex, Terminal Railroad of St. Louis, Louisiana and Northwest Railroad, Dakota Minnesota & Eastern, Great Lakes Aviation and Lynx Aviation pilots’ group.
Previsich also was assigned on a national basis to assist in the passage of H.R. 2095 (the Federal Railroad Safety Improvement Act of 2008). He also serves on the Rail Safety Improvement Act Rail Safety Advisory Committee, the FRA Medical Standards Working Group, the Positive Train Control Advisory Committee and the Close Call Reporting System (C3RS).
Previsich and wife Kathy live in Aptos, Calif. The couple has four children, all of whom live in California.