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1896 BLE Convention in Ottawa, Ontario

On May 8, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) marks its 161st anniversary. The BLET and its members are proud of our heritage as the oldest labor union in North America. Our union was founded as the Brotherhood of the Footboard on May 8, 1863, in Marshall, Mich. A year later; the union changed its name to Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE), the name it retained for 140 years until merging with the Teamsters on January 1, 2004, when it became the BLET. Through the name changes and the passage of 161 years our Brotherhood’s Mission has remained the same — to promote and protect the rights, interest, and safety of its members through solidarity, aggressive representation, and education.

Last year, the BLET published a series of articles to honor the union’s 160th anniversary. Click here to read more.