The Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM) and IAM District 19, which combined represent tens of thousands of railroad workers, are charter members of the IAM Rail Division and remain separate entities with the same current authority over all Local Lodges within their jurisdiction.
The IAM Rail Division is a fulfillment of the 2012 merger agreement between TCU/IAM and the IAM, which clearly stated that both parties would create a Rail Division comprised of TCU/IAM and IAM District 19. The creation of this division makes the IAM a powerhouse in the rail sector and encourages additional growth.
The IAM Rail Division represents the similar interests of TCU/IAM and IAM District 19 members, including bringing the following benefits:
- Autonomy and Prestige: Creating a separate Rail Division that reports directly to the International President provide railroad workers with more autonomy in deciding their direction within the IAM.
- Resources: TCU/IAM and District 19 share resources to organize within the rail sector and coordinate to achieve more affiliations with other railroad unions. The Rail Division increases coordination with IAM departments to ensure members have all the support they need.
- Strength at the Table: More solidarity and cooperation lead to more strength at the negotiating table with employers.
- Legislative Strength: While TCU/IAM and District 19 have cooperated on legislative issues in the past, this structure allows the Rail Division to address legislative issues distinctive to rail workers.
- History: The IAM, which was founded as a railroad union in 1888, has not forgotten its roots. A Rail Division restores this historical significance and returns the IAM to many decades in which it had a Rail Division.