The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) was officially founded in 1903 when two rival organizations, the Team Drivers International Union (formed in 1899) and the Teamsters National Union of America (formed in 1903), united to improve working conditions for drivers and cargo handlers.
For a complete history of the origins of the Teamsters, please continue here.
Birth of Teamsters Canada
1903: Teamsters Union is formed. Workers from Canada and United States join the Union.
1976: The Canadian Conference of Teamsters is formed within the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in recognition of the needs, interests, and aspirations of its Canadian membership, then numbering 74,000.
1992: A proposal is submitted to the Canadian Conference of Teamsters’ Executive Committee to change the name “Canadian Conference of Teamsters” to “Teamsters Canada” to acknowledge the unique and specific needs of Canadian members.
1994: A Teamsters Canada convention results in changes to the union regulations, granting Teamsters Canada a greater role in administering the affairs of its members and those of Canadian unions affiliated internationally.
1995: The International Constitution regarding Canadian Sovereignty is amended, granting Teamsters Canada more independence and control over issues affecting Canadian members and creating the position of President of Teamsters Canada. Candidates for this position are now elected by the Canadian membership.
2001: A historic agreement between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Teamsters Canada formally establishes autonomy for members, local sections, joint councils and the national governing body in Canada. In other words, Teamsters Canada is now an autonomous organization affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The Horses & the Wheel
Our logo reflects the merging of two unions in the transportation industry – the Team Drivers International Union (formed in 1899) and the Teamsters National Union of America (formed in 1902). They united in 1903 to improve working conditions for drivers and warehouse workers.
The wheel in our logo represents the buggy carrying goods. At that time, a “teamster” was the driver who steered a team of horses. Today, Teamsters Canada strives to improve the working conditions and the quality of life of workers in a variety of industries; the wheel represents our momentum in moving these industries in the right direction.
Together, the horses and wheel are a symbol of our unstoppable drive: we are the engine of change.