The following is a statement by Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa and General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen:
“We want to congratulate the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen on attaining 150 years of strong union representation for countless hardworking men and women in the rail industry across North America.
“As America’s earliest labor union, the BLET’s perseverance guided and protected the employees who worked the railroads, creating the early foundations of our country’s economy. No amount of praise should be spared when congratulating you on 150 years of solid representation. As the first union to hammer out a contract with the railroads, the BLET set the standard for others to follow. Teamsters are honored to count BLET members among our Teamster brothers and sisters.
“James R. Hoffa, was born 100 years ago this year on February 14, 1913. Part of his legacy was realized when you chose to affiliate with our union in 2004, thus joining the most powerful union in North America and the union that truly represents the entire transportation and product-delivery system. From port workers to truck drivers to airline pilots, and now with the loyal membership of the BLET within our great union, we truly are the most comprehensive labor organization when it comes to passenger and product transportation from both coasts.
“We salute your founding President, William D. Robinson, for his vision and the thousands of rank-and-file members of the BLET who have stepped forward over the years to continue the legacy of strong leadership and membership protection that have been hallmarks of your union.
“The men and women of the BLET are among the most dedicated members in the Teamsters Union. Thank you for that, and keep up the good work. We look forward to the successes ahead in the next 150 years of the BLET.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Teamsters.