SINGLE RAIL UNION PROPOSAL FACES A FIGHT

SINGLE RAIL UNION PROPOSAL FACES A FIGHT

Nearly all rail unions condemned a move by the United Transportation Union to force an election that could create a single labor organization representing train crewmembers.

The Rail Labor Division of the Transportation Trades Department, part of the AFL-CIO, overwhelmingly approved a resolution that outlined multiple steps meant to halt a UTU effort that could swallow up its longtime rival, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.The UTU earlier this week asked the National Mediation Board to call an election that would allow members of both unions to vote on the single union proposal, which could consolidate the separate unions that now represent train crew employees.Because the UTU has more members than the BLE, it would have a numerical edge if an election were called.

The resolution said the UTU ''has precipitated a false crisis'' with a ''a backdoor attempt to achieve representation rights it has not been able to obtain through legislation or negotiation.''

Just one of the 12 rail unions voting opposed the resolution.

The TTD unit urged AFL-CIO President John Sweeney to support efforts by other unions to defeat the UTU's petition and sought sanctions if the UTU refused to halt its effort.

The resolution also asked the National Mediation Board to reject the petition.