- Labor Organizations
- Railroad Labor Organizations
Railroad Labor Organizations, various brotherhoods and trade unions in the United States that represent about 340,000 workers on the railroads. This figure reflects a decline of some 40 percent since 1970; over the years since World War II the decline has been more than 80 percent.
Operating workers, or those engaged in engine, yard, and train service, are represented by two unions. The United Transportation Union, organized in 1969 by a merger of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen, the Order of Railway Conductors and Brakemen, and the Switchmen's Union of North America, was affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) for some 15 years, until its withdrawal in 1985. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers did not participate in the merger, although there have been recent efforts to merge both unions. Non-operating workers those engaged in clerical and shop work and in maintenance of way are also represented by unions, some of which have members in the nonrailroad sector of the economy. These unions are affiliated with the Railway Labor Executives' Association, which is concerned mainly with influencing legislation and with other government-related issues. In the mid-1980s, several of these unions showed an interest in merging with the United Transportation Union. Jurisdictional conflicts reflect the substantial decline in railroad employment and the curtailment of the political and economic influence of the unions.