UTU Internal Trial  

Haven't been following this as closely as I'd like (I've been busy with other things, sorry), but a friend sent this to me and I wanted to at lest provide the update on it. From RailwayAge

UTU merger opponents win another round

U. S. District Judge John Adams issued a preliminary injunction in Akron, Ohio, on June 26 restraining the United Transportation Union from completing a merger with the Sheet Metal Workers International Association pending settlement of a case challenging some of the events leading up to a vote last summer in which the merger was approved. Of an estimated 68,000 UTU members eligible to vote on the ratification, 12,097 cast votes, and 8,625 voted to approve the merger.

As Judge Adams noted, "There was immediately unrest within the UTU" that culminated in the legal challenge brought by four rank-and-file members. A temporary restraining order in December prevented the scheduled consummation Jan. 1, 2008, of the merger, which would have created the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) Workers. That has now been followed by the preliminary injunction, which means that the merger may not be consummated until the legal challenge to its validity and any subsequent appeals are settled.

In issuing his latest order, Judge Adams commented that the plaintiffs "have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on their claim that they were deprived of a meaningful vote." A major claim was that sufficient information was not provided prior to the vote on the new constitution that would govern UTU members after the merger.

In a statement Friday, current UTU President Mike Futhey commented, "This confirms my view that if the merger should proceed, it should be the merger promised members and all conflicts should be resolved in a SMART constitution poor to submission to the members for ratification." (Judge Adams observed that prior to succeeding Paul Thompson as president of the UTU, Futhey had “submitted a declaration on behalf of the plaintiffs in their motion for a preliminary injunction, and had expressed opposition to Thompson’s method of promoting the merger and proceeding to a vote on the issue.)

I have no new news on the internal trial. The Canadian Site, Running Trades has more on these UTU merger issues.

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