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Rail News: Labor

BMWE members to vote on proposed Teamsters merger


Yesterday, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE) announced its grand lodge officers have unanimously agreed to seek a member ratification vote on a proposed merger agreement with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

If the agreement — initially reached in December 2003 and recently finalized by BMWE's merger committee — is approved by members in the ballot referendum, BMWE will become an autonomous division of IBT's Rail Conference.

"The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers [and Trainmen] already have joined the Teamsters, and if the BMWE also [joins] the Teamsters Rail Conference, over 40 percent of rail labor will be united in one union," said BMWE Acting President Freddie Simpson in a prepared statement.

Next month, BMWE officials plan to mail the merger agreement and related documents to all active members. Ballot results will be released in late October or November.

BMWE represents about 40,000 U.S. and Canadian rail workers who build, maintain, inspect and repair tracks, bridges and other railroad infrastructure throughout North America.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/24/2004