The Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO represents nearly 140,000 members across the airline, railroad, transit, universities, utilities, and services, and gaming sectors.
TWU founding president Michael J. Quill formed the union in New York in 1934. It was the height of the Great Depression, and through his active, militant approach to organizing, Quill brought together thousands of the city’s transit workers to fight back against the greedy companies taking advantage of them and of the nation’s dire economic situation. Workers were being hired and fired at will, they were underpaid, they were overworked, and they were mistreated; several previous attempts to organize a union had failed.
During that time, Quill led strikes and sit-ins that helped TWU win its battle for New York City transit workers.
TWU then began expanding its reach outside of New York, organizing transit and railroad workers in cities across the country in the 1940s.
The union has since added members in new sectors, fighting for equality in the workplace. TWU members are mechanics, car cleaners, baggage handlers, disease control inspectors, bus operators, card dealers, flight attendants, and more.