IAM Local Lodge 1635
Local Lodge 1635
Transportation Communications Union Affiliates with Machinists Union7/6/2005
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers (IAM) today announced an historic agreement that will bring
nearly 46,000 members of the Maryland-based Transportation
Communications International Union (TCU) into the Machinists Union.
Today's agreement concludes months of discussions between leaders of the
two AFL-CIO unions and will boost the IAM's membership to nearly 700,000
active and retired members.
"This affiliation makes sense on so many levels," said IAM
International President Tom Buffenbarger. "We're joined by our common
heritage as rail unions founded more than a century ago and by our
growth over the years to include workers throughout the transportation
industry. This 'union of unions' will also give us greater strength to
face the economic challenges that confront our members and workers
TCU represents workers at virtually every major rail company in
North America, including Amtrak, CSX, Norfolk Southern, BNSF, Union
Pacific, Canadian National and most commuter rail lines. The IAM
represents more than 11,000 rail workers among its 140,000 airline and
railroad members across North America.
TCU was founded in 1899 as the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks and
grew over the years to include a diverse roster that includes clerks,
carmen and supervisors. Among the unions that joined the TCU since its
founding were the Order of Railway Telegraphers, the American Railway
Supervisors Association, the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen and the
legendary Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.
"The men and women of TCU come from many backgrounds, but we
share the dreams of working people everywhere," said TCU International
President Bob Scardelletti. "This affiliation with the IAM gives each
one of us a better shot at turning those dreams into reality."
The Machinists Union was founded by railroad workers in 1888 and
today represents workers in dozens of industries under more than 4,000
individual agreements. Both unions are politically active, calling for
fair treatment for rail workers governed by the Railway Labor Act. "That
law is being undermined by an anti-worker political agenda aimed at
rolling back hard-won collective bargaining rights," said IP
Buffenbarger. Earlier this year, the IAM sued the National Mediation
Board (NMB), charging the federal agency with obstructing negotiations
for rail workers.
The IAM-TCU action comes as AFL-CIO member unions debate
voluntary affiliations versus forced mergers. "This voluntary
affiliation between two AFL-CIO unions serves as a good example of the
kind of consolidation that honors our democratic traditions and avoids
the complications of forced mergers," said Buffenbarger.
For information about the Transportation Communications
International Union, visit www.tcunion.org.
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Last modified: 2/18/2010
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