The employees were formerly represented by UTU, but their collective bargaining agreement was terminated in 2010 when the railroad's former owner, Weyerhaeuser, sold the company to Patriot Rail.
"It is great to see that these workers sought to return to the UTU-SMART. They never wanted to lose their representation and we did not abandon them. Their agreement with the railroad was terminated," said SMART TD Director of Organizing Rich Ross.
D&ER and Texas, Oklahoma & Eastern Railroad are two connecting railroads that operate as one over a total of 91 track miles in southeast Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas. They interchange with BNSF via the Kiamichi Railroad at Valliant, Okla.; Kansas City Southern in DeQueen, Ark., and Union Pacific at Perkins, Ark.
D&ER hauls around 35,000 rail carloads a year, primarily forest products, gypsum board, grain and paper.