U.S. railroad unions set to unite
A merger of railway unions is a step closer to reality after the leadership of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees voted in late August to become a division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The proposed merger agreement must still be ratified by the union’s 40,000 members. Voting is expected to be completed in October.
The unions hope to gain bargaining and political leverage by presenting a united front on labor issues. Last December, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers voted to join the Teamsters rail division.
“We need to use the strength that we have collectively, and we must get bigger, badder and stronger by joining together,” said Don Hahs, president of the Teamsters’ Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, in a statement.
More than 40 percent of rail labor will be united in one union if the track maintenance workers vote to join the Teamsters.