Mission Statement

 

To unite into one labour organization all railway workers eligible for membership, regardless of

religion, race, creed, colour, national origin, age, physical disability or sex;

 

To engage in organizing workers to provide the benefit of unionism to all workers and to protect

and preserve the benefits obtained for members of this organization;

 

To secure improved wages, hours, working conditions and other economic advantages through

organization, negotiations and collective bargaining, through legal and economic means, and other

lawful methods;

 

To provide educational advancement and training for employees, members and officers;

To safeguard, advance and promote the principle of free collective bargaining, the rights of railway

workers, and the security and welfare of all the people by political, educational and other

community activity;

 

To engage in cultural, civic, legislative, political, fraternal, educational, charitable, welfare, social

and other activities which further the interests of this organization and its membership directly or

indirectly;

 

To provide financial and moral assistance to other labour organizations or other bodies having

purposes and objectives in whole or in part similar or related to those of this organization;

 

To protect and preserve the Union as an institution and to perform its legal and contractual

obligations;

 

To carry out the objectives of the international Union and Teamsters Canada as an affiliate thereof

and its duties as such as an affiliate;

 

To receive, manage, invest, expend or otherwise use the funds and property of this organization to

carry out the duties and to achieve the objectives set forth in these Bylaws, the International

Constitution and the Bylaws of Teamsters Canada and for such additional purposes and objects not

inconsistent therewith as will further the interests of this organization and its members, directly or

indirectly.

 

It is recognized that the problems with which this labour organization is accustomed to deal cannot

be resolved in isolation but require achievement of a broad spectrum of economic and social

objectives as set forth above and as the Union may determine from time to time; we, therefore,

determine and assert that the participation of this labour organization, individually and with other

organizations, in the pursuit and attainment of the objectives set forth herein are for the benefit of

the organization and its members.

 

 

 

 


 

History of TCRC

TCRC History

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This historic marker placed at the birthplace of the BLE, the one-time home of Jared C. "Yankee" Thompson. Along with William D. Robinson, Thompson spearheaded the founding of the BLE in Marshall, Mich. It was in that house at 633 West Hanover St., Marshall, Mich., that, in April of 1863, a group of Michigan Central engineers gathered to lay plans for a protective organization for locomotive engineers.


The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers is the senior railway labour union in the western hemisphere. It was founded in 1863 and has provided the highest quality of representation for locomotive engineers and now for other crafts of rail employees, for 140 years. In addition to providing representation for its members, the BLE aggressively participates in the labour movement with other unions and organizations in promoting the interests of working men and women and their families. The goal of improving the wages, benefits and working conditions of railroad employees has not changed during the 140 years of the BLE’s existence.

Safety in the railroad industry has always been an issue of concern to the BLE. Our officers and members continue to work with government agencies, public officials and railroad management in a continuous effort to increase safety for our members and for the general public. While one tragic railroad accident is too many, the number of such accidents have decreased immeasurably during the years of the existence of our organization. These efforts will never cease.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, as the name implies, is at once a fraternal and a labour organization. It was fraternal in character because early meetings were held in secret for fear of reprisals from management. But its main purpose was – and is – to maintain the prestige of a highly skilled craft and to insure that its members are compensated accordingly.

“To stimulate the political education of the members, to understand their political rights and use the ballot intelligently to the end that the government may be a government of, for and by the people and not to be used as a tool to further the ends of combinations of capital for its own aggrandizement.”

Intolerable conditions brought on a strike

But the engineer’s job was always subject to the whim of management. An engineer could work for years to obtain a good run, and then find it wiped out overnight by the discrimination of an official or through the consolidation of one road with another.

It was against this background that engineers on the Baltimore & Ohio went out on strike in 1854. As a result, 16 engineers lost their jobs and were replaced by inexperienced men. It was claimed that accidents resulted directly from the employment of these poorly-trained replacements.

Later, after two fruitless attempts to hold organizational meeting, 68 engineers representing the B&O and 44 other railroads in 13 states met in Baltimore in 1855 and declared themselves the “National Protective Association of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers of the United States.” By-laws were drawn up and officers elected. Thus the firing of 16 B&O engineers provided the momentum toward organized labour on the rails. 

Informal discussions and potential merger

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1998 – First meetings between Teamsters (IBT and Teamsters Canada) and the officers of the International Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (IBLE). 
 

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1999 – Formal meetings between Teamsters and IBLE. The discussions addresses several subjects, especially the autonomy of the Rail Conference.
 

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2000 – The merger fails after the IBLE’s members vote. However, Teamsters does not give up in their efforts to reunite all railway workers under the same banner. 
 

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2003 – The discussions resume and this time it looks good. The members and officers of the International Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers are confident to succeed in ratifying the agreement before the end of the year. 
 

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July 2003 – The United Transportation Union (UTU) who firmly opposes the merger between the IBLE and Teamsters Canada undertakes a raid at CP which will lead them to ask an automatic accreditation to the Canada Industrial Relations Board for the CCROU workers at CP. 
 

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October 2003 – BLE Canadian members vote in favour of the merger with Teamsters Canada at more than 60%. « It is an historic vote », said Robert Bouvier and Gilles Hallé, respectively President of Teamsters Canada and BLE Canadian Director. 
 

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January 2004 – The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers officially becomes the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC). 
 

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February 2004 – The votes required by the UTU shows cause to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and by a majority vote the conductors, trainmen and yardmen join the TCRC. Now, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference has almost 10 000 members with the addition of CP workers affiliated to the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way and the Rail Traffic Controllers. 
 

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August 2008 - Over 3,000 Canadian National conductors, trainmen, yardmen and yardmasters join the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference by way of a Certification vote ordered by the Canadian Industrial Relations Board. More than 95% of the UTU members voted in favour of joining the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. TCRC President Dan Shewchuk said he was “extremely happy” with the outcome of the voting process. With this most welcome addition, the Teamsters Union will represent over 16,000 workers in the rail industry.