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Division 103 members pose with their original charter which they presented to the Wyoming State Archives. 

BLET Division 103 is celebrating its 155th anniversary. The Division is the oldest, still active union in the state of Wyoming. It was chartered on May 14, 1869, four days after the golden spike was driven for America’s first transcontinental railroad linking the nation’s coasts.

The Division was recently profiled in the Cowboy State Daily after presenting its original charter to the Wyoming State Archives for preservation and display. The framed document had been passed from Local Chairman to Local Chairman throughout the union’s history.

Division 103 represents engineers and conductors who travel between Cheyenne and Rawlins, and Cheyenne and Green River. The Division was established to help keep railroad workers safe at a time when Wyoming was still a territory and the American frontier was the “Wild West.” Today, Wyoming is a state and the West is tamer but worker safety remains a big motivator for BLET members to keep their union strong.

“It’s important to have an organization that will stand in solidarity and make sure all the rules are being followed. Tantamount to that is safety,” said Division 103 member and spokesman Brian Profaizer. “We want to make sure that everything is being done safely because we do have a pretty dangerous job and that’s our main goal — that we all look out for each other and that we make sure we all go home to our families after every shift.”

Read more about Division 103’s proud history here.