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Our History
Posted On: Jan 03, 2021

From colonial times to the turn of the century, the men who drove horse-drawn wagons formed the backbone of North America's wealth and prosperity. Despite their essential roles as guardians of trade – the economy's lifeblood – they remained unorganized and exploited.

In a teamster's life, work was scarce, jobs were insecure, and poverty was commonplace. In 1900, the typical teamster worked 12-18 hours a day, seven days a week, for an average wage of $2 per day. A teamster was expected to haul his load and assume liability for bad accounts and lost or damaged merchandise. The work left teamsters carrying all the risks with little chance for reward. 

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, creating the Teamsters National Union.

Click here to learn more about Teamster History.

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