Sheet Metal Workers, railroad union merger still on hold
April 16, 2008
Members of the Sheet Metal Workers and United Transportation Union will have to wait a while longer to see if a planned merger goes through.
On April 10, Akron, Ohio, federal District Judge John R. Adams extended his earlier order putting the planned merger of the two unions on hold. It now prohibits the merger through at least early June.
The court’s moves come in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of transportation union members who say they were not made aware of potential problems between the two unions’ constitutions before the vote.
The Sheet Metal Workers and UTU members approved the merger last summer. It was to have taken effect Jan. 1.
Transportation union President Mike Futhey has said a new constitution will be presented to members for another vote. In the meanwhile, former union President Paul Thompson, six vice presidents and the union’s national legislative director have asked to intervene in the court case.
The judge is expected to rule soon on their request and will then schedule a hearing to decide whether or not to allow the merger to go through.
If the unions are allowed to merge, the new group is to be called the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, and will go by the acronym SMART.