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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BMWE, IBB delay merger ballot deadline due to tragedy


Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE) and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) officials Sept. 13 extended the deadline to receive and count members' merger ballots due to last week's terrorist actions.

The unions now plan to receive ballots until Sept. 24 at 8 a.m. EDT; ballots will be counted Sept. 24 at 8:30 a.m. EDT at Four Points Sheraton Pentagon Hotel in Arlington, Va.

Ballots previously were due from members Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. EDT, but the terrorist strikes led to U.S. and Canadian mail service delays and flight disruptions, said union officials in a prepared statement.

If ratified, the merged organization would represent about 150,000 American and Canadian skilled tradesmen in six industrial sectors: railroading, manufacturing, stove/metal, shipbuilding/repair, cement and construction.

Under a proposed merger agreement, BMWE's 50,000 members would become an IBB division headed by an international executive vice president, but BMWE would retain its name, autonomy and organizational structure. Post-merger, BMWE plans to continue representing its members through collective bargaining, arbitration, safety concerns, and legislative and legal issues.

The merged organization's name would be amended to include a railroad-worker reference due to the large contingent of rail employees that would enter the combined union.