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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BRS to soon tally ballots, announce members' merger verdict


Today's the day for Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen members: Ballots are due June 6 to decide the fate of the union's proposed merger with Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA).
BRS officials plan to count the ballots June 7 at 9 a.m. at the union's Mount Prospect, Ill., headquarters.
The union plans to post preliminary and official results on its Web site ( as soon as they're available, and publish results in July's Signalman’s Journal Update.
If a majority of members approve the merger, union delegates would consider the issue at BRS' annual convention to be held July 29-Aug. 2 in Las Vegas; delegates' endorsement would clear the proposal's final hurdle.
BRS in November reached a merger agreement with 150,000-member SMWIA, under which BRS and its 9,400 members would keep autonomy, enabling signalmen to continue representing members of that craft in collective bargaining and arbitration cases.
SMWIA would create a railroad signalmen division within its rail department, which currently represents 6,000 railroad and shipyard workers, and assign a full-time organizer to the division to help reverse declining membership.
BRS President Dan Pickett would become the rail department's director and an SMWIA vice president; BRS vice presidents would become international representatives.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/6/2002