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Rail News: Labor

Federal court temporarily halts UTU/sheet metal workers merger


The United Transportation Union's (UTU) merger with the Sheet Metal Workers International Association (SMWIA) won't occur on Tuesday as long planned. Yesterday, a federal district court in Akron, Ohio, temporarily halted the merger pending a hearing, which will be scheduled next week.

The court will decide whether to lift the temporary injunction and permit the merger to proceed, or make the injunction permanent. Earlier this month, four UTU members filed a lawsuit in a U.S. district court in Illinois seeking to prevent the merger on the grounds that the UTU would have no treasury of its own, the union's constitution would not remain intact as promised and UTU members didn't receive all the necessary information to accurately evaluate the merger before casting a ratification vote.

The proposed merger was unanimously endorsed by UTU's board in June and ratified by members in August. The UTU and SMWIA plan to combine to form the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/28/2007