BLE-IBT merger: Frequently asked Questions

Q-1: What will be the name and organizational structure of the merged union?

A-1: The Merger Agreement (MA) establishes a Rail Conference in the United States and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference in Canada as affiliates of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The Rail Conference will be comprised of individually chartered, independent and autonomous craft divisions with jurisdiction over all rail industry employees in the United States.

The present International Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (IBLE) in Canada will become the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) and be directly affiliated with Teamsters Canada of the IBT. The jurisdiction of TCRC shall include all railway employees within Canada including, but not limited to, all locomotive engineers, all trainmen and all related operating personnel within Canada.

The IBLE is the first rail union to merge with IBT and will become a craft division in the Rail Conference renamed as the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) with jurisdiction over all engineers, trainmen and related operating personnel in the United States. The BLET will no longer be an international union; therefore, the present International Division of the IBLE has been renamed the National Division (ND) of BLET.

The Rail Conference is structured as an umbrella organization with separate bylaws and a Policy Committee designed to coordinate the representation efforts of IBT members within the rail industry in the United States. Several other rail unions have expressed an interest in joining the Rail Conference and negotiations with IBT have begun.

(MA-Sec. 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1 & 5.2)

Q-2: What will happen to IBLE assets and funds?

A-2: The BLET National Division and TCRC shall retain and maintain control of all IBLE assets and funds. All BLET and TCRC general committees, legislative boards and local divisions shall retain control of their assets and funds as well.

(MA-Sec. 4.7.1 & 5.6.1).

Q-3: Where will the headquarter offices of the National Division (former International Division) of the BLET be located?

A-3: The headquarter office will remain in the Standard Building in Cleveland, Ohio.

(MA-Sec. 4.3).

Q-4: Where will the National Legislative Office of BLET be located?

A-4: It will remain in Washington, D.C., but will be moved to the IBT headquarters building on Capitol Hill.

(MA-Sec. 4.7.6).

Q-5: Will ownership of the Standard Building change if the merger is approved?

A-5: No, the IBLE Building Association shall continue to operate under its current Articles of Incorporation and shall maintain the same relationship to the BLET as it currently has with IBLE.

(MA-Sec. 4.7.1).

Q-6: Will the merger change the relationship between the various bodies of the BLET and TCRC?

A-6: No. The BLET National Division and TCRC will have the same responsibility and authority over the activities of its subordinate general committees, local divisions and legislative boards as the IBLE.

(MA-Sec. 4.7 & 5.6).

Q-7: What effect will the merger have on current officeholders and elections?

A-7: All current officers will maintain their current offices, and elections will be conducted as currently scheduled under the procedures set forth in the applicable BLET and TCRC Bylaws.

(MA-Sec. 6.4 & 6.9).

Q-8: Will BLET and TCRC still have control over their own contract negotiations, administration and ratification?

A-8: Yes, and it is anticipated that IBT will provide valuable assistance in these areas when requested.

(MA-Sec. 4.7.4, 5.6.4 & 6.12).

Q-9: What effect will the merger have on the existing dues structure and other financial obligations within the BLET and TCRC?

A-9: They will remain unchanged. The dues of each subordinate body will remain the same and can be changed only in accordance with the applicable bylaws.

(MA-Sec. 4.6 & 5.5).

Q-10: Will the UTU be able to merge with IBT and join the Rail Conference?

A-10: No, not without BLET consent. Jurisdiction over all rail industry operating personnel has been vested in the BLET craft division of the Rail Conference of IBT. In order for UTU to be considered for admission to the IBT Rail Conference, it will require the consent of BLET. The BLET shall obtain such consent only through a referendum vote of its membership.

(MA-Sec. 6.21).

Q-11: Will the salaries of any BLET or TCRC officers change as a result of the merger?

A-11: No. Every level of the BLET and TCRC will retain control over salaries through the provisions of their respective bylaws (refer to BLET and TCRC Bylaws).

Q-12: What effect will the merger have on the National Division convention schedule?

A-12: The next convention will be held as currently scheduled in 2006 and every four years thereafter as required by federal law.

(MA-Sec. 4.5).

Q-13: Will the BLET and TCRC send representatives to the IBT Convention?

A-13: Yes, delegates will be allocated and elected pursuant to Article III, Section 2 of the IBT Constitution and Sections 6.16 and 6.17 of the Merger Agreement.

(MA-Sec. 6.16 & 6.17).

Q-14: What happens to the BLE PAC Fund if the merger is approved?

A-14: The BLET will continue to maintain and control the fund and will have to coordinate political contributions with IBT to avoid exceeding legal limits.

(MA-Sec. 6.19).

Q-15: Will the merger in any way change our members' rights and benefits under the Railroad Retirement System?

A-15: No. The Railroad Retirement Act is federal legislation that can only be changed by Congress.

Q-16: Will the membership retain the right to recall its officers?

A-16: No. The IBT Constitution does not provide for the recall of officers. Instead, the IBT Constitution and BLET and TCRC Bylaws provide for filing charges and conducting a trial to remove an officer. ·

 

 

© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers