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Union merger developments.

Members of the International Typographical Union rejected a merger with the Teamsters union, leading to the possibility that the Typographical Union might renew merger talks with the Graphic Communications International Union. The vote tally was 34,234 to 17,547.

The outcome was a victory for Typographical Union President Robert S. McMichen and two other members of the union's executive council who had contended that the Teamsters could not be trusted to respect the merger agreement, including the autonomy of the new unit. McMichen also pointed out that AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland had warned that if the merger occurred, the unit could not remain in the AFL-CIO because the Federation's constitution prohibits its affiliates from merging with a union that is not a Federation member. (The Teamsters union was expelled from the AFL-CIO in 1957 for refusing to sign its code of ethics, and 1980 negotiations on a return were unsuccessful.)

Typographical Union secretary-treasurer Thomas Kopeck and the other member of the union's executive council backed the merger, contending that the Teamsters were sincerely trying to aid the ailing Typographical Union. They also contended that becoming part of the Teamsters union would greatly increase the Typographical Union's ability to bargain with employers. (The union currently has about 74,000 members--including 30,000 retirees--compared with more than 100,000 members in 1964, reflecting the introduction of new methods in the printing industry.)

After the vote results were announced, McMichen said that he looked forward to working with Kopeck on a more appropriate merger, ideally with Graphics Communications, which has 200,000 members and is an AFL-CIO affiliate.

The complex developments leading to the merger vote began at the Typographical Union's 1984 convention, when former Typographical Union President Joseph Bingel urged the delegates to reject a proposed merger with the Newspaper Guild. At Bingel's request, Teamsters' President Jackie Presser addressed the delegates and urged them to vote for merger with the Teamsters. The delegates rejected the proposed merger with the Newspaper Guild. Bingel ran for reelection on a pro-Teamsters plank but was defeated by McMichen, who advocated merger with Graphic Communications. Early in 1985, the Graphic Communications Executive Board rejected a merger agreement, after which the Typographical Union submitted the proposed Teamsters-Typographical agreement to the membership vote in an attempt to end the controversy.

The Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union (OCAW) and the United Paperworks International Union will merge on January 1, 1986, subject to approval by delegates to a December convention of the Paperworkers. The new union, already approved by the OCAW, would be named the United Paper, Energy and Chemical Workers International Union and would be located in the Paperworkers headquarters building in Nashville, TN. The union would be headed by Paperworkers President Wayne E. Glenn, with OCAW President Joseph Misbrener becoming senior executive vice president. The Paperworkers has about 255,000 members and OCAW, about 115,000.

Members of the Railroad Yardmasters voted to become a department of the United Transportation's Union. The move is subject to final approval at United Transportation's next convention in 1987, but the union's board of directors has unanimously approved it. United Transportation's President Arch T. Otto and secretary-treasurer Robert J. Culver will retire, and Donald Carver, Otto's assistant, will head the department. Culver's post was abolished.

United Transportation has 130,000 active members in the United States and Canada, while the 67-year-old Yardmasters has 2,400.
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Title Annotation:International Typographical Union and Teamsters
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Nov 1, 1985
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Next Article:Woman wins key electrical union post.

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