- United Transportation Union
United States, Canada
full_name= United Transportation Union
founded= January 1,
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Malcolm B. Futhey, president
website= [http://www.utu.org/ www.utu.org]
The United Transportation Union (UTU) is headquartered in
Cleveland, Ohio. It is a broad-based, transportationlabor union representing about 125,000 active and retired railroad, busand mass transitworkers in the United Statesand Canada.
With offices in
Ottawa, Ontario, and Washington, D.C., the UTU is the largest railroad operating union in North America, with more than 600 locals. The UTU represents employees on every Class 1 railroad, as well as employees on many regional and shortline railroads. It also represents bus and mass transit employees on approximately 45 bus and transit systems and has recently grown to include airline pilots, dispatchers and other airport personnel.
Membership is drawn primarily from the operating crafts in the railroad industry and includes conductors, brakemen, switchmen, ground service personnel, locomotive engineers, hostlers and workers in associated crafts. More than 1,800 railroad yardmasters also are represented by the UTU. The UTU's 8,000 bus and transit members include drivers, mechanics and employees in related occupations.
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 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
January 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
January 1 1969.
History of the UTU in Canada
Canadian railway workers followed a similar union organizing pattern to their brothers and sisters in the United States. The Brotherhood of Railroad Brakemen, the forerunner to the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, granted the first charter in Canada to a Lodge at Moncton, New Brunswick in 1885. Union organizing proliferated in Canada during this period, encouraged by intolerable working conditions and by organizing campaigns by the Engineers, Conductors, Firemen and Trainmen and on-board service personnel.The growth in bus transport as a feeder service and alternative to rail or automobile transport began later. Labour organizing drives were extended to bus operations that were affiliated with the railways and to several city and inter-city bus lines.
Beginning in early 1968 and until August of that year, former General Chairperson Paul LaRochelle served as the Canadian member of a committee, in exploratory talks which led to the merger of the four original brotherhoods, the Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and Switchmen's Union of North America.
On December 10, 1968, Canadian members overwhelmingly voted in favour of the United Transportation Union, whose Constitutional foundation is built on the autonomy and protection of all crafts who are part of the organization. The first International Officers of the United Transportation Union were the incumbent leaders of the four merging brotherhoods.The UTU today is one of the largest transportation unions in North America. In Canada, there are 5,500 members across the country.
2006, the United Transportation Union announced that it was entering into a strategic alliance with the United Steelworkers(USW), to address a range of common issues in the transportation industry. [ [http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20060706005782&newsLang=en United Transportation Union Signs Strategic Alliance with United Steelworkers] (July, 2006)]
Effective 2008 the UTU will merge with the
Sheet Metal Workers' International Associationto become the Sheet Metal, Air, Railroad, and Transportation Union (S.M.A.R.T.). As of January 4, 2008 the federal district court in Akron, Ohio issued a temporary restraining order until February 8, 2008, halting the implementation of this merger.
UTU International President Mike Futhey said the 30-day extension "was agreed to by parties so that we might explore all possibilities of resolution consistent with the interests of our members. I intend to use this period to clear up the lack of information and misinformation that previously was provided our membership." Complainants argued, among other issues, that the UTU membership, which ratified the merger in early August, had not been provided sufficient information.
* [http://www.utu.org/ UTU's Home Page]
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