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Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

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The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) is a labor union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 founded in Marshall, Michigan
Marshall, Michigan
Marshall is a city located in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is part of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 7,459. It is the county seat of Calhoun County...

, on May 8, 1863, as the Brotherhood of the Footboard. A year later, its name was changed to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, sometimes referred to as the Brotherhood of Engineers. In 2004, the BLE became the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), a division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT).

History


The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers was North America's oldest rail labor union when it merged with the Teamsters in 2004. It had members in the eastern half of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and parts of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Conductors were able to enter, but the union was not specialized to deal with their issues.

The BLE was the first of the "Big Four" of railroad worker brotherhoods:
  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE, 1864), organized as Brotherhood of the Footboard in 1863.
  • Order of Railway Conductors (ORC, 1868).
  • Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen
    Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen
    The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen was one of the railroad unions of the 19th century.-History:The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen was founded on December 1, 1873 in Port Jervis, New York by Joshua A. Leach and 10 other Erie Railroad firemen...

     (BLF, 1873), later the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen (BLFE, 1904).
  • Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen, (1883), later the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT).

In 1969, all except the BLE joined with the Switchmen's Union to become the United Transportation Union
United Transportation Union
The United Transportation Union is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. It is a broad-based, transportation labor union representing about 125,000 active and retired railroad, bus, mass transit, and airline workers in the United States....

 (UTU).

In the era after the founding of the Big Four, some sixteen other "brotherhoods" of railroad trades organized. Membership qualifications across trades shifted, and the alliances among the brotherhoods (and their chapters) are not always clear.

After 1877, the BLE was considered less militant than some other brotherhoods, as well as the Knights of Labor
Knights of Labor
The Knights of Labor was the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s. Its most important leader was Terence Powderly...

 and the American Railway Union
American Railway Union
The American Railway Union , was the largest labor union of its time, and one of the first industrial unions in the United States. It was founded on June 20, 1893, by railway workers gathered in Chicago, Illinois, and under the leadership of Eugene V...

.

See also

  • United Transportation Union
    United Transportation Union
    The United Transportation Union is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. It is a broad-based, transportation labor union representing about 125,000 active and retired railroad, bus, mass transit, and airline workers in the United States....

  • Great Railroad Strike of 1877
    Great railroad strike of 1877
    The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began on July 14 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, United States and ended some 45 days later after it was put down by local and state militias, and federal troops.-Economic conditions in the 1870s:...

  • Knights of Labor
    Knights of Labor
    The Knights of Labor was the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations of the 1880s. Its most important leader was Terence Powderly...

  • American Railway Union
    American Railway Union
    The American Railway Union , was the largest labor union of its time, and one of the first industrial unions in the United States. It was founded on June 20, 1893, by railway workers gathered in Chicago, Illinois, and under the leadership of Eugene V...

  • Samuel Cochrane
    Samuel Cochrane
    Samuel Cochrane was an American railroad engineer who, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, was a locomotive engineer working the Erie-Meadville, Pennsylvania line later awarded the Order of the Red Spot....


External links