Our History

Founded in 1903, the Teamsters mission is to organize and educate workers towards a higher standard of living.

There are currently 1.4 million members under 21 Industrial Divisions that include virtually every occupation imaginable, both professional and non professional, private sector and public sector.

In 1901, frustrated and angry drivers banded together to form the Team Drivers International Union (TDIU), with an initial membership of 1,700. The following year, some members broke away, forming a rival group, the Teamsters National Union.

Samuel Gompers, leader of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), was concerned by what he saw as a waste of resources and energy, and convinced the competing unions to meet and work out their differences. Agreeing that they were stronger in solidarity than separately, they re-joined forces to create the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) at a joint convention in Niagara Falls, N.Y. in August 1903. Cornelius Shea was elected its first General President.