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About The Unions

American Train Dispatches Association

The American Train Dispatchers Association is an AFL-CIO-affiliated craft union representing employees in the nation’s railroad industry who safely and efficiently operate and dispatch trains, and supply the electric power for those railroads which use electricity for train propulsion and signalling. This union was founded in 1917, in Spokane, Washington. Its present International Headquarters is located in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) is a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The BLET represents Locomotive Engineers, Conductors, Brakemen, Firemen, Switchmen, Hostlers and other Train Service Employees on numerous railroads in the United States. The BLET’s total membership is more than 57,000. Since Jan. 1, 1992, Locomotive Engineers must be trained and tested to be federally certified and licensed to operate trains.

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Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division/IBT

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE) is a Division of the Rail conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The BMWED represents the workers who build and maintain the tracks, bridges, buildings and other structures on the railroads of the United States.

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Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen

The Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS) was founded in 1901 as a trade union representing railroad employees working in what was then the new craft of signaling. As railroads increasingly turned to the new technology of signal systems to improve the safety and efficiency of their operations, the BRS expanded and eventually grew into a national organization representing the men and women who install and maintain signal systems for most of the nation's railroads. BRS represents over 10,000 members working for railroads across the United States and into Canada. Signalmen install, repair and maintain the signal systems which railroads utilize to direct train movements.

The BRS represents most of the signal employees on both the freight railroads and the passenger and commuter railroads.

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Brotherhood of Railway Carmen

The Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC) is a division of the Transportation Communications Union (TCU). BRC members repair and inspect rail cars and brakes.

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International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

With nearly 600,000 active and retired members, the
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is one of the largest and most diverse labor unions in North America. From Boeing and Lockheed Martin to United Airlines and Harley-Davidson, you will find IAM members across all walks of life.

IAM members inspect, maintain, repair, and rebuild locomotives and other rail equipment.

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International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Iron Ship Builders, Forgers and Helpers

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB) represents more than 50,000 skilled craftsmen and women and industrial workers who work in heavy industry, shipbuilding, manufacturing, railroads, cement, mining, and related industries.

IBB members inspect, maintain, repair, and rebuild locomotives and other rail equipment.

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International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) represents approximately 775,000 active members and retirees who work in a wide variety of fields, including utilities, construction, telecommunications, broadcasting, manufacturing, railroads and government. The IBEW has members in both the United States and Canada.

IBEW members inspect, maintain, repair, and rebuild locomotives and other rail equipment.

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National Conference of Firemen and Oilers

The National Conference of Firemen & Oilers (NCFO), which is now a district of SEIU 32BJ, represents working men and women in a wide variety of occupations and industries, including building services, food processing, distilleries, manufacturing, federal parks and recreation areas, utilities, public services and both passenger and freight rail.

NCFO members perform the fueling and sanding of locomotives and shop maintenance.

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SMART-Mechanical Division

Union sheet metal members work in freight and passenger rail transportation. SMART-Mechanical Division (SMART-MD) members maintain and rebuild locomotives that move freight, long-distance passenger train equipment and equipment used in commuter rail service. Additionally, members of the sheet metal craft maintain heating and ventilation systems, as well as pipefitting and plumbing, within the railroad shops, yards and buildings.

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SMART-Transportation Division

SMART-Transportation Division (SMART-TD), with more than 450 Locals in the United States, has more members than any other railroad labor union and holds some of the best freight rail contracts in North America.

The vast majority of SMART’s railroad members work in the U.S. freight rail industry: moving goods and materials across the nation, 24 hours a day and seven days a week as locomotive engineers, conductors, yardmasters, and more.

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Transport Workers Union

The Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), AFL-CIO represents more than 150,000 members across the airline, railroad, and transit, university, utility and service sectors.

TWU members repair, inspect rail cars and brakes, and do terminal brake tests.

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Transportation Communications Union

The Transportation Communications Union (TCU) represents approximately 35,000 members in the United States, most employed in the railroad industry. In 2012, TCU affiliated with the IAM.

TCU members are accounting/revenue/payroll clerks, utility clerks, intermodal workers, crew dispatch, crew haulers, purchasing and material, IT, and others.

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