Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Transportation Communications International Union
The Transportation Communications International Union or TCU is the successor to the union formerly known as the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks and includes within it many other organizations, including the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters that have merged with it since 1969.
The union was founded in 1899 by a number of railroad clerks meeting in Sedalia, Missouri who formed an organization named the "Order of Railroad Clerks of America". The organization renamed itself the "Brotherhood of Railway Clerks", in line with other railway "brotherhoods" of the time. In 1919, it renamed itself the "Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employes" to reflect its broadened jurisdiction. In 1967 it changed names again to the "Brotherhood of Railway, Airline, Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express and Station Employes", commonly known as BRAC. Finally, in 1987, after absorbing members from a half dozen other unions that merged with BRAC, the organization adopted its current name.
Its merger partners
The Railway Patrolmen's International Union represented rail police officers on a number of railroads. RPIU merged with BRAC in 1969 and is now incorporated in its Allied Services Division.
The United Transport Services Employees Union was founded in 1937 as the International Brotherhood of Red Caps, representing baggage handlers at railroad stations. A largely African-American union, it was founded with the support of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. It changed its name to UTSE in 1940 and joined the Congress of Industrial Organizations in 1942. The Red Cap and Sky Cap members of UTSE merged with BRAC in 1972 and are also part of its Allied Services Division.
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters became a part of BRAC in 1978. Founded in 1925 by A. Philip Randolph, the Porters organized for twelve years—largely in secret and in the hostile racial climate of those years—before winning a collectiver bargaining agreement with the anti-union Pullman Company. BSCP members, including Edgar Nixon, played a significant role in the U.S. civil rights movement in the decades that followed. When the Porters merged with BRAC, they formed the Sleeping Car Porters System Division. Today, these and other on-board Amtrak workers are represented by System Division 250.
The American Railway Supervisors Association, later renamed the American Railway and Airway Supervisors Association, was founded on November 14, 1934, by a group of supervisors on the Chicago & North Western Railway. ARASA merged with BRAC in 1980 and continues as a separate Supervisors' Division, operating under its own By-Laws, within TCU.
The Western Railway Supervisors Association was founded by a group of Southern Pacific yardmasters who origninally organized in 1938, then after joining and splitting from several other yardmasters unions, merged with BRAC in 1983. Its members now constitute System Board 555 and, like other groups within the union, operate under their own By-Laws.
The Brotherhood of Railway Carmen was founded on September 9, 1890 in Topeka, Kansas by ralroad employees engaged in the repair and inspection of railroad cars. The Brotherhood merged with BRAC in 1986 and is now part of TCU's Carmen Division, which operates under its own By-Laws with a Vice-President who holds a seat on TCU's Executive Council.
Robert A. Scardelletti is the International President of TCU. First elected at the 1991 Convention, he was the first leader in more than 75 years to successfully challenge an incumbent. TCU's headquarters are in Rockville, Maryland.
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