IAM Rail Division activism and solidarity was on full display this week at the 2023 IAM North American Transportation Conference. This was the first appearance at the IAM Transportation Conference since the launching of the new division in early 2022, which resulted after the 2012 merger agreement between TCU/IAM and the IAM, which comprises TCU/IAM and IAM District 19.

IAM and TCU/IAM leaders provided passionate addresses to the conference delegates from both IAM-represented air transport and rail industries. 

Josh Hartford, IAM Special Assistant to the International President for the Rail Division, made note of the importance of bringing railroading back into the Grand Lodge to honor the legacy of the origins of the IAM.

“We now have a Rail Division that can speak distinctly to rail issues and provides a better opportunity to support and fight for our members,” said Hartford.  “This unifies us to speak with one voice that brings more strength when discussing and explaining our issues.”

WATCH: Hartford’s highlights here.

TCU/IAM National President Artie Maratea also highlighted how the merger not only unified members but also gave them the tools and resources to fight for better opportunities.

“We now have a powerful, unified Rail Division comprising District 19 and TCU/IAM that promises renewed strength and growth to our membership,” said Maratea.

WATCH: Maratea’s highlights here.

The conference also showed the camaraderie amongst District 19 and TCU/IAM members who have worked closely with each other for a long time and have become closer since the creation of the IAM Rail Division.

“We must keep our foot on the gas. Rail labor is in a very unique position.  One we haven’t seen in decades,” said Hartford. “Politicians, shippers, and the media are all looking at us.  Finally listening to what we have been saying for years.”

“Our shared experience, no matter how difficult it may have been, reminds us all  of what we share in common,” said Maratea.

Both Hartford and Maratea provided an overview of the latest rail victories around wages, paid sick leave and other benefits including historic agreements with Amtrak, CSX, Disney, National Freight and others.

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