ABOUT SMART 953
(formerly United Transportation Union)
In 2014 the first SMART General Convention was held in Las Vegas, NV, bringing to fruition a merger of the SMWIA (Sheet Metal Workers International Association) and the UTU (United Transportation Union). As was stated by General President Joe Nigro at the close of the Conventin:
We closed the convention on Aug. 15 as one union. We are not divided and we will not let anything divide us. A house divided will fall and we will never go that way. We have a combined legacy of 270 years. We must build on what previous generations have passed to us by furthering our mission to make this union even stronger in servicing our members.
This built upon a legacy of strengthening mergers of the former United Transportation Union. In 1968 exploratory talks among the four brotherhoods’ interested in forming one transportation union proved fruitful and plans were formulated for merging of the four operation unions into a single organization to represent all four operating crafts.
In August of 1968, the union presidents announced that after nine months of planning, a tentative agreement had been reached on all phases of unity. It was further announced that the name of the new organization would be the United Transportation Union and the target date for establishing the UTU was Jan. 1, 1969.
In Chicago on Dec. 10, 1968, the tabulation of the voting revealed an overwhelming desire by the members of the four crafts to merge into a single union, and the United Transportation Union came into existence on Jan. 1, 1969.