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BLE, UTU mine merger deal; plan to soon seek membership approval

After three-and-a-half years of on-again, off-again negotiations, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and United Transportation Union July 23 reached an agreement to merge the two unions, subject to ratification by each organization's members.
The merged union would be named United Transportation Union-Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (UTU-BLE), retaining the BLE and UTU logos.
BLE and UTU are preparing a unification agreement, constitution and ratification ballot, which the unions soon will mail to each organization's active members.
If approved, the merger would become effective Jan. 1, 2002. UTU-BLE would represent about 185,000 members and act as the bargaining representative for all unionized rail operating employees in the United States and Canada; yardmasters; Canadian rail traffic controllers; and thousands of other U. S. and Canadian rail, bus, air and mass transit workers.
"The merged union would produce substantial financial savings by ending hostilities that have distracted both of us from doing what we're paid to do — represent our members' interests with railroads and other transportation companies — and by providing for streamlined operations," said BLE International President Edward Dubroski and UTU International President Byron Boyd Jr. in a joint prepared statement. "Most importantly, the new union would vastly enhance our power and influence at the bargaining table, in state legislatures and provincial parliaments, and in the halls of national legislatures in Washington and Ottawa."

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More News from 7/23/2001