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4/21/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Surveys say: Majority of BLE members back Teamsters merger


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More than 75 percent of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers members support a merger with International Brotherhood of Teamsters, according to results of an independent telephone poll and membership survey released by BLE April 17.


Conducted in January by LRA Consulting, the phone poll (comprising more than 1,000 calls) showed 78 percent of 400 randomly selected BLE members approve a merger.


In February and March, LRA Consulting mailed surveys to 11,000 BLE members, of which about one-third were returned, showing 77 percent of respondents believe the Teamsters and BLE were "good match" and 78 percent were comfortable with "the prospect of a merger."


In both surveys, members indicated that a merged organization would generate strength in collective bargaining, organizing and lobbying.


"BLE members are especially supportive of the affiliation because they feel that it will allow them to share in the strength of the Teamsters while maintaining autonomy," said BLE International President Don Hahs in a prepared statement.


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