CHANTILLY, Va. - The United Transportation Union (UTU) membership ratified a merger with the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA), establishing the 230,000-member International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART) workers. Currently, the UTU has a membership of 81,000 members, while the SMWIA has some 150,000 active members.
The general executive council of the SMWIA on June 13 approved the merger. Under the SMWIA constitution, SMWIA membership ratification was not required for this merger. The merger, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2008, creates the 21st largest (of 4,000) transportation political action committee (PAC) and the 7th largest PAC among labor unions.
More than 71 percent of UTU membership voted in favor of the merger. The UTU board of directors called SMART “the right merger at the right time.” Mike Sullivan, SMWIA general president, will become general president of SMART.
Created within SMART will be a transportation division, whose senior officers will be those elected at the UTU quadrennial convention later this month. Those officers will have the same duties as they do under the UTU constitution. The SMART transportation division will include the UTU’s air, bus, and rail members, but not existing rail and shipyard divisions of the SMWIA.
Other labor organizations have indicated an interest in joining SMART but according to a joint statement released by UTU and the SMWIA, they have asked not to be identified at this time.
For more information, visit www.smacna.org.