1370 Ontario St. - Mezzanine, Cleveland, Ohio 44113 • (216) 241-2630 / Fax: (216) 241-6516

News and Issues
User Info

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) is a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). The BLET is the senior national labor organization in the United States and also North America's oldest rail labor union. The BLET is marking its 150th anniversary in 2013 and was founded in Marshall, Mich. on May 8, 1863, as the Brotherhood of the Footboard; a year later, its name was changed to The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. The BLE merged with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and became the BLET on January 1, 2004.


“The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen exists to promote and protect the rights, interests, and safety of its members through solidarity, aggressive representation, and education.”

Bylaws of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, 2010.


The BLET represents Locomotive Engineers, Conductors, Brakemen, Firemen, Switchmen, Hostlers and other Train Service Employees on numerous railroads in the United States. The BLET's total membership is more than 55,000 and growing. Since Jan. 1, 1992, Locomotive Engineers must be trained and tested to be federally certified and licensed to operate trains.


The BLET is the founding member of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.


Local units of the BLET are known as Divisions. Each Division elects five primary local officers — President, Vice President, Local Chairman, Secretary-Treasurer and Legislative Representative — each serving three-year terms. The BLET is comprised of more than 500 Divisions.

All the Local Chairmen on a particular railroad constitute the BLET General Committee of Adjustment on that system; this General Committee is autonomous and responsible for negotiating, making, interpreting and enforcing contracts between engineers and their railroad. Larger railroad systems may have more than one General Committee and General Chairman.

All the Legislative Representatives for Divisions within a state comprise the State Legislative Board. These Legislative Boards are responsible for educating legislators, policy makers and the public about the impacts of regulations and laws on transportation and public safety.

At the National Division, officers include the President, First Vice-President, National Secretary-Treasurer and eight Vice Presidents, who assist and offer resources to General Committees, State Legislative Boards and Local Divisions. National Division officers are elected to four-year terms.

One Vice President serves as the BLET's National Legislative Representative, administering the BLET's National Legislative Office on behalf of the National Legislative Board. Located in Washington D.C., the National Legislative Office also handles the federal legislative, regulatory and political activities of the BLET and coordinates the efforts of its various State Legislative Boards.

The BLET is governed by its Bylaws, which are set by delegates in session at convention once every four years. Convention delegates are elected by local BLET Division members. National Division officers are elected once every four years by a majority vote of all active members.


The BLET National Division is located at: Standard Building, 1370 Ontario St., Mezzanine, Cleveland, Ohio, 44113-1702. The National Legislative Office is located at Teamster Headquarters in Washington D.C.

For more information, contact the BLET Public Relations Department at the National Division office by calling (216) 241-2630, ext. 248, from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

© 1997-2015 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen


Decertification Helpline
(216) 694-0240

National Negotiations

Sign up for BLET
News Flash Alerts


Get the latest labor news: Read the Teamster Nation blog
CP Rail CEO sees ‘huge cash flow’ from selling Norfolk Southern land
No plans to move CP Rail headquarters out of Canada, CEO says
Japanese company investing $40 million in Dallas-Houston bullet train
Philadelphia area refiners cut crude by rail shipments in favor of imports
Teamsters reconvene carhaul negotiations
Genesee & Wyoming: The little railroad that could
California high-speed rail to hold open houses in Kings, Tulare counties
Pennsylvania lawmakers take no action on oil train safety
Metro-North adds trains for Thanksgiving
Operation Lifesaver Board of Directors elects new officers for upcoming term
American history preserved as photographer captured the railroad expansion in the 1860s
The importance of a current connection for Railroad Retirement benefits

More Headlines