Sheet metal workers will have to get used to a new name for their union if a proposed merger with the United Transportation Union goes through.
The transportation union, which represents mostly railroad, bus and mass transit workers, are currently voting whether to allow its 125,000 members to join the 230,000-member Sheet Metal Workers union.
The new group would be called the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, and would go by the acronym SMART.
The UTU’s board unanimously recommended the merger June 11, calling it “the right merger at the right time.” Members have until Aug. 7 to cast ballots.
The Sheet Metal Workers general executive council OK’d the merger June 13. Under its bylaws, a membership-wide vote is not required.
In a July 17 speech to UTU members in Washington, D.C., Joe Nigro, general secretary and treasurer of the Sheet Metal Workers union, said joining forces would increase political clout and protect jobs for both groups.
“First and foremost, this merger will more than double your political power in Congress,” Nigro said. “You already have the best legislative department and the SMART merger will give you added punch on Capitol Hill, in state legislatures and with regulatory agencies.”
If approved by transportation union workers, it will take effect Jan. 1.