SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (PAI) — By unanimous vote, officers of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE) recommended on Aug. 24 that its members approve a merger with the Teamsters.

If approved in a mail ballot among active BMWE members in the U.S. and Canada, the union would be part of the Teamsters’ Rail Conference, but would otherwise keep its structure, acting BMWE President Freddie Simpson said.

“This merger will unite two unions with long histories in the transportation industry, working to protect and increase the power of transportation labor,” Simpson wrote in a letter to local lodge presidents.

“The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers already joined the Teamsters, and if BMWE also votes to join the Teamsters Rail Conference, over 40 percent of rail labor will be in one union, speaking with one voice for the rank-and-file. That’s solidarity our members expect and deserve,” he said.

BMWE said it has 40,000 members in the U.S. and Canada, while AFL-CIO figures put U.S. membership at 26,690.