Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Records
The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (BMWE) was founded at Demopolis, Alabama, in July, 1887 under the name of the Order of Railroad Trackmen, and eventually came to include all workers who build and maintain the tracks, bridges, buildings and other structures of the railroads. Its Grand Lodge headquarters was permanently established in Detroit, Michigan in 1913, and is comprised of System Divisions or Federations, each of which has under its jurisdiction one or more railroad systems and the Subordinate Lodges located on those systems. In 2004, the BMWE merged with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, to become the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Part 1 of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Collection consists primarily of outgoing presidential correspondence for the years 1899-1900 and 1912-1914, preserved in letterpress copybooks, Grand Executive Committee meeting minutes and proceedings for the years 1918-1920, and BMWE Ladies' Auxiliary convention proceedings as well as minutes and correspondence of the Denver and Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) Auxiliaries.
Part 2 of the records are a comprehensive documentation of the organization’s activities related to the growth and decline of railroad systems on an international, national and divisional scale. Organizational documentation includes governing documents, correspondence to and from Presidents and union members, and agreements from 1906-2004, which give insight into a union that at one time had more than 350,000 members. Records specifically document the organization’s founding and history, its administration, and the evolving activities of its members.
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