BLE prepares membership survey in IBT merger proposal

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers is making final preparations to mail surveys to all of its members in the next 30 days regarding the proposed merger with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The purpose of the survey is to assist BLE leadership in structuring the best possible merger agreement.

All BLE members will receive survey information through the mail while approximately 1,000 will also be contacted by phone.

Negotiations regarding the merger are still not complete. Information obtained from the survey will assist BLE and Teamster leaders in the ongoing negotiations.

"Things are moving forward as expected," BLE International President Don Hahs said. "Working with the Teamsters is a rewarding experience, and the BLE has already benefitted from the use of its magnanimous resources - legal, governmental affairs, organizing, research and strategic planning."

The Finance committee as well as the Constitution & Bylaws committee have meetings scheduled for the week of January 20. The Legislative Committee met the week of January 13, "and their work is almost concluded," President Hahs said.

President Hahs said that all members of the joint IBT-BLE committees are completely dedicated to reaching an agreement that is 100 percent supported by everyone on the negotiating teams.

"The difficulty in putting together a package like this is that it takes time," President Hahs said. "Each and every individual member of the joint committees is devoted to making sure we secure the best possible deal for our members, who will have the final say on whether or not we merge with the Teamsters."

President Hahs could not speak to the specifics of the negotiations, but said the BLE is looking to obtain an agreement that protects BLE autonomy while allowing BLE to take advantage of the Teamsters' resources.

As the meetings are still in the drafting stage, the Chairmen of the Subcommittees agreed that all content of discussion should remain confidential.

"Negotiations are not complete," President Hahs said. "It would be inappropriate and unprofessional to report details of our negotiations until completed."

Once final documents are approved in accordance with Section 1 (e) of the BLE Constitution & Bylaws, they will be distributed to BLE members for ratification.



© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers