Transportation Trades Department, AFL–CIO

Full name Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Founded February 1990
Affiliation AFL–CIO
Key people Edward Wytkind, President
Larry I. Willis, Secretary-Treasurer
Office location Washington, D.C.
Country United States

The Transportation Trades Department, AFL–CIO (TTD) is a constitutionally mandated department of the AFL–CIO. It was founded in February 1990[1] to provide AFL-CIO-affiliated unions whose members work in the transportation industry or who build transportation infrastructure a unified policy-making voice on transportation issues.[2] The TTD had 33 member unions as of August 2013.[3]

The TTD is divided into five sections, each of which covers a different area of transportation: Railroads, trucking, aviation, mass transit, and maritime transportation.[2] Each section is headed by a president of a union in that transportation sector.[1] By 2014, many maritime unions - who used to be members of the Maritime Trades Department, are now members of the TTD.


Efforts to create a department within the AFL-CIO which united all transportation unions began in the 1960s.[4] The effort received a boost two decades later when Richard I. Kilroy, President of the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks, and James Kennedy, President of the Transportation Communication Union, began advocating for a new, unified transportation trades department after the abolition of the Railway Employees Department in 1980.[1] The idea was not well-received until after 1987, when the Teamsters (a major transportation union) reaffiliated with the AFL-CIO.[1]

At its founding, the TTD represented 1.4 million (10 percent) of the AFL-CIO's 14 million members.[1][4] Richard I. Kilroy was named the first president of the new department.[1] Walter Shea (director of the Eastern Conference of Teamsters in Washington, D.C.) was elected Secretary-Treasurer.[5] James Kennedy, who was also the executive director of the Railway Labor Executives' Association, was named the TTD's first (and, at the time, only) full-time professional staff person.[1]

The United Transportation Union did not join the TTD at its formation.[2]

The TTD's inaugural convention was held in early October 1990 in Washington, D.C., with representatives from its 24 member unions (who represented more than 1 million members).[6] The largest delegations came from the Teamsters, the International Association of Machinists, and the Association of Flight Attendants.[6] Other unions well represented at the convention included the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Communications Workers of America, International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, Transport Workers Union, Transportation Communication Union, United Auto Workers, and the United Steelworkers of America.[6] Richard Kilroy was elected to a five-year term as TTD President.[7]

Presidents and Executive Directors

In July 1991, Kilroy was defeated for re-election as president of his home union by Robert A. Scardelletti.[7] James Kennedy resigned from the TTD in the wake of Kilroy's defeat, and Edward Wytkind, assistant executive director of the department, became executive director.[8] Although Kilroy stepped down (as expected) as TTD president at the department's October executive board meeting, the TTD did not immediately name either an interim or permanent successor.[5] Instead, the TTD said Secretary-Treasurer Walter Shea would "assume the duties of the presidency" until February 1992.[5] The TTD executive board subsequently elected Shea president and V.M. Speakman (president of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen) Secretary-Treasurer.[9]

Shea's term of office ended in 1995, and Ron Carey, President of the Teamsters, was elected to take his place.[10] But Carey was expelled from the Teamsters in July 1998 by federal government monitors after allegedly accepting illegal donations for his Teamsters re-election campaign,[11] and Sonny Hall, President of the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), was elected TTD president.[10]

Hall retired at the end of his five-year term in 2003, and Edward Wytkind was elected president of the Transportation Trades Department.[12]

New member unions

The Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO originally had 24 member unions at its formation in 1990. It has had several new members join over the years. The United Transportation Union joined in 1992, becoming the 26th union affiliated.[13]

The International Longshoremen's Association and its autonomous division, the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, affiliated in 2001, bringing the TTD's membership total to 32.[14]


Two of the main purposes of the Transportation Trades Department are to influence national transportation policy and to speak as a unified voice for the concerns of organized labor on transportation issues. Included among the more notable issues in which the TTD has played a major role are:


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Abramson, Howard S. "AFL-CIO Creates Transport Trades Unit." Journal of Commerce. November 17, 1989.
  2. 1 2 3 Abruzzese, Leo. "Union Leaders Plan Transport Labor Group." Journal of Commerce. September 26, 1989.
  3. "TTD Member Unions." Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO. No date. Accessed 2009-11-18.
  4. 1 2 Abrams, Alan. "Labor Pains Year In Review: Turbulence Rocks Transport Unions." Journal of Commerce. September 3, 1991.
  5. 1 2 3 Kaufman, Lawrence H. "AFL-CIO Transport Unit Puts Off Leadership Vote." Journal of Commerce. October 11, 1991.
  6. 1 2 3 Vail, Bruce. "New Transport Union Federation Calls for Striker Protection Law." Journal of Commerce. October 3, 1990.
  7. 1 2 Brown, Geoffrey H. "Rail Labor Union Chief Defeated In Election." Journal of Commerce. July 19, 1991./
  8. Kaufman, Lawrence H. "AFL-CIO Names E. Wytkind to Head Transport Trade Unit." Journal of Commerce. September 18, 1991.
  9. Brown, Geoffrey H. "Transport Labor Group Elects Leaders." Journal of Commerce. February 13, 1992.
  10. 1 2 "Personnel News." The Bulletin's Frontrunner. September 24, 1998.
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  14. "ILA, Pilots Union Affiliate With AFL-CIO." Journal of Commerce. January 16, 2001.
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