Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes

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Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division
Full name Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division
Founded July 1887 (July 1887)
Members 36,025 (2014)[1]
Affiliation International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Country United States

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWE) – later to become the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (BMWED) – is a national union representing the workers who build and maintain the tracks, bridges, buildings and other structures on the railroads of the United States.


John t wilson.jpg

Founded by John T Wilson in July,1887, at Demopolis, Alabama. Wilson met with other section foreman to discuss mutual problems of low wages, the hazards of their work, and the insecurity of their families. They decided to form, the Order of Railroad Trackmen to assist fellow railroad workers in times of sickness and financial trouble.[2] Once an international union with over 350,000 members in the United States and Canada, automation, the rise of the trucking and airline industries, coupled with railroad mergers have depleted the ranks of the BMWED to under 40,000 members.

In 2004 the BMWE merged with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and consolidated its strength with that of the 1.4-million-member Teamsters Union.[3] They are in the Teamster Rail Conference along with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.


Freddie N. Simpson[4][5] serves as the national president as well as a member of the Teamsters General Executive Board, and Perry K. Geller serves as secretary-treasurer.

BMWE accomplishments[edit]

Right of Representation, Rules Agreements, Overtime Pay, Unemployment Benefits, Paid Vacations, Union Shop, Off-Track, Vehicle Accident, Insurance Coverage, Accidental Death, Dismemberment and Loss of Sight Benefits, Job Security, Health Insurance, Checkoff of Dues, Dental Insurance, Bereavement Leave, Protection against Discrimination, Eight-hour day, Retirement Benefits, Sickness benefits, Forty-hour Week, Holiday Pay, Life Insurance, Improved Wage Rates, Travel Time and Away-From-Home Expenses, Jury Duty Pay, Supplemental Sickness Benefits, Early Retiree Major Medical Benefits, Personal Leave

Employe spelling[edit]

When the union was started in the late 1800s, employe and employee were both valid spellings. The union has never changed the spelling in honor of tradition.[6]


  1. ^ US Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. File number 000-062. Report submitted June 18, 2014.
  2. ^ Hertel, D.W. (1955). History of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes. Washington D.C.: Ransdell INC. p. 3.
  3. ^ "Rail union approves merger with Teamsters". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 09/07/2017. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ "BMWED's Simpson Retains Seat on Teamsters' Executive Board". Progressive Railroading. March 29, 2012. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
  5. ^ Biography of Freddie N. Simpson
  6. ^

External links[edit]