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Some BLE members oppose UTU merger


Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and United Transportation Union officials recently discovered opposition to their proposed merger — from within.
Three BLE members Aug. 30 filed suit in a Baltimore federal court seeking to void the BLE-UTU merger vote, naming UTU as an interested party.
BLE and UTU officials believe the unions have adequate suit defenses and plan to respond by Sept. 10, as ordered by the court.
The court will hold a brief hearing Sept. 14 to consider the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction. The three BLE members late today are required to provide the court just cause for filing and hearing the suit in Baltimore.

Meanwhile, a group of BLE members calling themselves BLE Democratic Vote Council Aug. 30 submitted to the union a document for publication containing opposing views to the proposed merger.
BLE decided not to reject the publication, provided it’s a "complete, objective, accurate and informative document, which analyzes the terms of the merger," union officials said in a prepared statement.
Although the document doesn't strictly conform to those conditions, BLE posted it online at http://www.ble.org/dvc1 without editing.
The union only will post the document to its Web site and not publish the council's views in BLE's newsletter, says John Bentley, the union's public relations director.

If approved by both unions' members, the merger would become effective Jan. 1, 2002. UTU-BLE would represent about 185,000 workers.