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Rail News: Labor

BMWE to poll members on potential Teamsters merger

A second rail-labor union is contemplating a merger with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). On Sept. 8, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE) officers voted unanimously in favor of opening merger talks with the AFL-CIO's largest component and North America's largest transportation union.

BMWE and IBT plan to jointly conduct a mail and phone survey of BMWE members to gauge support and determine merger-agreement priorities.

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers has been exploring an IBT merger since February 2002. If approved by BLE members — a proposal is expected to be mailed out soon — the union would be renamed Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and become a division of newly created U.S. and Canadian rail conferences within the Teamsters.

BMWE has attempted to merge with other unions in the past. Members twice rejected a proposed marriage with the International Brotherhood of Boilermaker, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers in November 2002 and September 2001.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/15/2003