The Labor Organization that has come to be known as Local 2001 of the Transport Workers Union of America can trace its roots to the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1952 with the United Railroad Workers of America. The United Railway Organizing Committee was chartered in 1941 to organize non-operating workers on the railroad. Unlike the single craft unions which were affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL), the Committee organized many different non-operating crafts. Carmen, Car Inspectors, Food Service Workers, Maintenance of Way, and Maintenance of Equipment employees were organized by the Committee.
The Committee believed in the strong, militant, union ideals of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) of which the Transport Workers Union under founding TWU President Mike Quill was an early member. The Committee fought racial discrimination and promoted racial equality in the strong traditions of both the CIO and the TWU. By the 1950s, the Organizing Committee was known as the United Railroad Workers of America (URRWA). The URRWA represented 40,000 workers on the Pennsylvania Railroad and a number of shortline railroads. However, the URRWA was but a small voice in the labor movement of railroad brotherhoods pitted against the rail companies. In 1954, the URRWA voted to affiliate with TWU and the Railroad Division of TWU was formed. On July 1, 1955 Local 2001 of the Transport Workers Union was officially chartered by the TWU International Union. Local 2001 was chartered to serve the members on the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the PRR owned Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company.
The most significant events in the early history of Local 2001 were the strikes that were conducted against the PRR in 1960 and 1966. The September 1960 strike against the PRR marked the first time that the PRR was shut down in its 114 year history. As a result, TWU represented workers won a Scope Rule, severance pay, a ban on contracting out, and improved wages.
In 1966, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey bought the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company. The result of this purchase was the formation of the Port Authority Trans Hudson Corporation (PATH). Local 2001 represents and negotiates contracts for Maintenance of Way and Structures Employees on PATH, as we did under the old H&M.
Local 2001 continued to protect our members as the PRR merged with the New York Central and the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad to form PennCentral in 1968. As a result of the merger, TWU was forced to participate in a representation election to determine which union would represent railroaders in the Carman Craft in the merged PennCentral. TWU was victorious in this election and added the Carmen and Coach Cleaners in the territory of the former New York Central. It was at this point that Local 2001 acquired the vast territory over which we represent railroaders today.
The PennCentral declared bankruptcy in 1970. As a result, Amtrak was formed in 1971 to provide a National Passenger Rail System. The PennCentral finally ceased being a railroad in 1976 with the formation of ConRail. ConRail assumed the freight and commuter operations of the now defunct PennCentral, while Amtrak assumed the Intercity Passenger Operations, including the operation of the NorthEast Corridor. In 1983, Conrail ceased to be the operator of commuter services, and MetroNorth and New Jersey Transit were born as commuter railroads. Local 2001 has been negotiating collective bargaining agreements with MetroNorth and New Jersey Transit since 1983.
Local 2001 has been a major collaborator in the history of the Railroad Division of the TWU. Past Local 2001 Presidents Al Terriego, Tom McAdams, and John Feltz went on to serve as Directors of the TWU Railroad Division. Past Presidents James Sherlock and Peter McMahon served as members of the TWU International Executive Council.
Today’s Local 2001 represents over 1600 railroaders in four states on seven different railroads under eight different collective bargaining agreements. The scope of our territory can be expressed by our outermost points from Morrisville, PA to Stamford, CT to Selkirk and Rensselaer, NY. We represent a wide variety of railroad workers in a vast array of job titles. We negotiate wages and benefits for railroaders and their families. We are Local 2001 of the Transport Workers Union of America. Union Strong! Union Proud! We Are TWU!