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Rail News: Labor

Members have spoken: BMWE phone poll shows majority support proposed Teamsters merger

Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE) recently polled 500 U.S. and 400 Canadian members by phone to gauge support of a proposed merger with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

Conducted by a third party, the poll showed 59 percent of U.S. members approve the merger, 14 percent disapprove and 26 percent were undecided, while 35 percent of Canadian members favor the proposal, 25 percent disfavor it and 36 percent were undecided.

Sixty percent of U.S. and 26 percent of Canadian respondents were aware of a pending merger between the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and IBT.

A vast majority of members in each country agreed that "rail labor and the traditional railroad brotherhoods will continue to decline in power if we do not get together and pool our resources in another, larger transportation union," according to a prepared statement.

A majority of members also acknowledged that a merger with the Teamsters would provide BMWE added bargaining and organizing power.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/29/2003