BMWED Passenger Rail Member Federations Merge

Published: Jan 24 2023 2:59PM

The Chicago Passenger Federation (CPF) representing BMWED members employed on the Chicago-based commuter railroad Metra has voted to merge with the United Passenger Rail Federation (UPRF), creating a “super system” of passenger railroad maintenance of way members.

CPF General Chairman Robert Shanahan Jr. and UPRF General Chairman Anthony Sessa announced the merger earlier this month. It was then approved by BMWED President Tony Cardwell in accordance with National Division by-laws.

The merger provides Metra-employed BMWED members a dedicated Vice Chairperson and an Executive Board member from the Chicagoland property. Those two will join the current UPRF System Officers and Executive Board members already prescribed by the UPRF’s by-laws.

“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,” Brother Sessa said. “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.”

Brother Shanahan agreed, stating that aligning with the UPRF provides more resources and strength for Metra members. “This merger provides us with additional resources and the support of full-time officers. 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 and advancement for our members and I am excited to work in lockstep with them to represent members on both properties.”