About TCU / IAM Lodge 146
Effective January 1, 2012 TCU/IAM FULL MERGER is complete!
TCU/IAM members are now “Fighting Machinists”.
Norfolk Southern Railway
Operations Service Support (OSS)
TCU Lodge 146 represents all agreement clerical employees in the Norfolk Southern Railway Centralized Yard Operation (CYO) office in Midtown Atlanta, Ga. as well as several employees at Norfolk Southern Brosnan Yard site in Macon, Ga.
TCU’s Lodge 146 is a local lodge that comprises approximately 450 members who are all proud members of the Transportation Communications International Union (TCU) which represents approximately 46,000 members.
In July 2005 TCU affiliated with the International Association of Machinists (IAM) representing 730,000 members, with the full merger to occur no later than January 2012.
Our dedicated Brothers and Sisters are on duty 24/7/365 to help ensure that America’s freight moves safely, economically and efficiently on trains that travel Norfolk Southern vast rail network, and beyond.
The Transportation Communications Union: A Union of Unions,
Dedicated to Progress and Prosperity for All Members
The union we call TCU today took root back in 1899 when on a cold winter’s evening
shortly after Christmas, 33 railroad clerks gathered in the back room of Behrens’ cigar
shop in Sedalia, Missouri. That night, December 29, they formed Local Lodge Number
1, of a union they named the Order of the Railroad Clerks of America. Since then, men
and women from many different crafts have brought their dedication and strength to
our union. Our range is extensive and complex, on and off the railroads throughout the
transportation industry. But the union still runs on those same simple principles of
democracy and full membership participation that it always has.
Ninety years ago the union’s name was the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks. Then in
1919, we became the Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers,
Express and Station Employes. The name was expanded more when, in 1967,
Convention delegates added the word “Airline”–making us the Brotherhood of
Railway, Airline, Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employes,
otherwise known as BRAC. But in the years since then, our union has welcomed into its
ranks the members of half a dozen labor organizations–among them the
Transportation-Communication Employees Union (once known as the Order of
Railroad Telegraphers), the United Transport Service Employees Union, the Railway
Patrolmen’s International Union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the American
Railway and Airway Supervisors Association, the Western Railway Supervisors
Association, and the Brotherhood Railway Carmen.
Naturally, as these other groups merged, strengthening the union and building it in
its diversity, the question of adding their names kept coming up. Many thought that
rather than making the name even more unwieldy, we ought to find a way to simplify,
to express our unity.
Delegates to the 1987 Convention found the solution. Today the “Transportation
Communications International Union”–known as TCU– includes us all.
Here are brief profiles of some of those labor organizations which are now part of
The Brotherhood Railway Carmen of America was founded on September 9, 1890, in
convention at Topeka, Kansas.At that time, repairers made 10 or 15 cents an hour. There
was no compensation for injury, and there were no pensions and no laws protecting
worker rights. The work week was usually seven days, 12 hours a day. There was no
overtime. In that year, founder William Ronemus wrote, “Every day we see where
monopolies have formed trusts, corporations and have consolidated–then why (should)
not the laboring men unite to aid and protect each other?”
In June 1934 railworkers won a victory when President Roosevelt signed legislation
strengthening the Railway Labor Act. The amendments established National
Adjustment Boards with awards enforceable in court; company unions were outlawed;
and a new National Mediation Board was created.
Since then, hard-won victories have continued and, in 1986, the Carmen voted to
merge with TCU. Members in this craft today are part of TCU’s Carmen Division, which
operates under its own By-Laws. The Division President serves on the Executive
Council as a Vice President of the full Union. In addition, one of the Division’s top
officers is selected at their Convention to serve as a Member of the Union’s Board of
The American Railway and Airway Supervisors Association (ARASA) – On
November 14, 1934, 29 supervisors at the Chicago & North Western Railway met at
Harmony Hall in Chicago. There they founded what would become the American
Railway Supervisors Association (later adding the word “Airway”).
One of the founders, John Nuter, recalled that in 1934, the supervisors “worked not
less than 10-12 hours a day. We were assigned two rest days a month and most of the
time we worked the rest days with no additional compensation.” Ironically, those
railroaders working under their supervision already had the benefits of unionization
and were paid more for fewer hours.
The Supervisors’ first contract was signed in 1936, and from that beginning ARASA
went on to organize supervisors at railroads around the country. In 1980 the
Supervisors Union merged with TCU and a separate Supervisors’ Division, often called
ARASA, operating under its own by-laws, was established.
Western Railway Supervisors Association –Yardmasters on the Southern Pacific
organized in 1938, joining the Railroad Yardmasters of America in 1941. A dozen years
later yardmasters on the SP Pacific Lines joined another Union, the Railroad
Yardmasters of North America. In 1967 SP yardmasters withdrew from the RYNA and
formed their own independent Union, the Western Railway Supervisors Association.
WRSA’s ranks grew in 1974 when yardmasters on the St. Louis SouthWestern voted to
affiliate.WRSA voted to merge with TCU in 1983. Its members now constitute System
Board 555 and, like other groups within the Union, they also operate under their own
The famed Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters became a part of TCU in 1978.
Founded in 1925, the pioneering Union was led by A. Philip Randolph, who was also
one of America’s great civil rights leaders. In an epic struggle, the Porters fought the
bitterly anti-union Pullman Company for 12 years before the Union was recognized and
a contract signed. When the Porters merged with our Union, they formed the Sleeping
Car Porters System Division. Today, these and other on-board Amtrak workers are
represented by System Division 250.
The Railway Patrolmen’s International Union was an AFL-CIO Union that represented
rail police officers on a number of railroads. Realizing the gains to be achieved through
merger with a large organization, RPIU became a part of our Allied Services Division in
1969. Today members are found on railroads ranging from the Burlington Northern
Santa Fe to the Delaware and Hudson.
The United Transport Services Employees Union was founded in 1937 as the
International Brotherhood of Red Caps. (The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
assisted in the formation of this Union.) In 1940 the Union changed its name to the
UTSE and in 1942 it joined the CIO. Three decades later, in 1972, the Red Cap and Sky
Cap members of UTSE merged with our union as part of the Allied Services Division.
The Order of Railroad Telegraphers was founded in June 1886 at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
In 1965 the Union changed its name to the Transportation Communication Employees
Union and, in 1969, the TCEU telegraphers merged with what was then BRAC and
many years later became TCU.
TCU agreed to merge with the International Association of Machinists and
Aerospace Workers in mid-2005. Today we are an affiliate of the Machinists,
retaining autonomy as we move toward full merger no later than January 2012.
This page revised 11/16/2013 by web steward rkw