Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen
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About BLET Local 706The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) is a Division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). Its predecessor union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, was the senior national labor organization in the United States and also North America's oldest rail labor union. The BLE marked its 140th anniversary in 2003 and was founded in Marshall, Mich. on May 8, 1863, as The Brotherhood of the Footboard; a year later, its name was changed to The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. The BLE merged with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and became the BLET on January 1, 2004. The BLET represents Locomotive Engineers, Conductors, Brakemen, Firemen, Switchmen, Hostlers and other Train Service Employees on numerous railroads in the United States. The BLET's total membership is more than 59,000. Since Jan. 1, 1992, Locomotive Engineers must be trained and tested to be federally certified and licensed to operate trains.