The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) has announced that members of its Chicago Passenger Federation (CPF) have voted to merge with its United Passenger Rail Federation (UPRF).
Combined, the groups will create “super system of passenger railroad maintenance-of-way members,” BMWED reported on Jan. 24. Approved by BMWED President Tony Cardwell in accordance with National Division by-laws, the merger will provide CPF’s Metra-employed BMWED members with a dedicated Vice Chairperson and an Executive Board member. They will join the current UPRF System Officers and Executive Board members already prescribed by the UPRF’s by-laws, according to BMWED. UPRF had previously represented only Amtrak-employed BMWED members.
“When Amtrak BMWED members voted last year to form a singular Amtrak federation, it was with the thought that commuter rail workers, while always genuine allies to our brethren on the freights, do deal with different complexities, such as government funding for operations, different track and safety standards, and so on,” said Anthony Sessa, UPRF General Chairman. “This merger with our brothers and sisters on Metra simply helps strengthen our union to deal collectively and decisively with passenger railroad issues when they arise. It is a true boon for Amtrak and Metra members to speak with one unified voice.”
“This merger provides us with additional resources and the support of full-time officers,” said Robert Shanahan Jr., CPF General Chairman. “We retain dedicated officers directly elected by Metra members familiar and knowledgeable on Metra issues, but gain the added advantage of working in concert with Amtrak officers with a wealth of knowledge on dealing with government-financed railroads and the machinations of that process. It is an advancement for our members, and I am excited to work in lockstep with them to represent members on both properties.”