Members vote on Division size initiative

As part of the merger document with the Teamsters, BLET members will consider a constitutional provision this month that may impact the size of local divisions.

In question is Section 37(b) of the Brotherhood's bylaws, which calls for a membership vote on whether they want to keep divisions at their current size or merge them with other divisions if active membership in the division falls below 25.

Divisions that have less than 25 members are protected by a grandfather clause contained in Section 37(b), identified as Note 1. If members vote to remove this protection, then divisions with less than 25 members may be merged with other divisions on the same seniority district or a division under the same general committee of adjustment. Currently, there are 94 divisions that have less than 25 members.

The BLET National Division is required to put this question to a membership vote by Note 2 of Section 37(b).

Section 37(b) reads as follows:

"37 (b) If the membership of any division falls below twenty-five (25) active members, the National President shall investigate the cause; and unless the interests of the organization require the continuance of the division, he shall have the authority to order it to be merged with another division on the same seniority district or a division under the same GCA.

"NOTE 1: Divisions chartered before the effective date of these bylaws will retain the previous threshold level of twelve (12) active members.

"NOTE 2: Within two (2) years of the effective date of these bylaws, a ballot will be sent to the active membership under the Initiative process to decide whether to eliminate Note 1."

Ballots on this measure were mailed on July 22 and all votes must be in by August 26. Members may return the ballot via U.S. mail in a pre-paid envelope that will be provided; or they may also vote online via the BLET website at:

Online voting requires a username and password, which is the same login information to access the members area of the BLET website.


© 2005 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen