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2/7/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BRS mulls merger with sheet-metal workers union


Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) is contemplating a merger with 150,000-member Sheet Metal Workers' International Association (SMWIA).
BRS in November reached a merger agreement with SMWIA, under which BRS and its 9,400 members would keep autonomy, enabling signalmen to continue representing members of that craft in collective bargaining and arbitration cases.
BRS officials in late 2001 announced plans to mail merger ballots to members in second-quarter 2002; if members approve the proposed merger, BRS delegates will vote on an affiliation agreement at the union's annual convention, to be held in late July in Las Vegas.
"The merger agreement was developed in an atmosphere of mutual respect and goodwill, [and] fulfills the best interest of our membership and enhances the future of both organizations." said BRS President Dan Pickett in a prepared statement.
If the merger is approved, SMWIA officials agreed to create a railroad signalmen division within its rail division, which currently represents 6,000 railroad and shipyard workers.


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