About Us

MORE ABOUT US

Representing YOU since 1937.

UNITE HERE, Local No. 43 is the successor to the Joint Council of Dining Car Employees founded in 1937. Prior to officially changing its name in 2014 the union was known as the Dining Car Employees, Local 43 and was formed in 1975 by the merger of two other dining car locals, those being Local 385 and Local 351.

In order to fully appreciate the rich history of the dining car workers, it is important to know that dining car waiters and cooks began organizing in the late 1800’s when train travel was the predominant means of travel in North America. By 1937, the various locals of dining car workers had formed the Joint Council of Dining Car Employees, an organization which at its peak represented 19 locals throughout the United States and boasted a membership of over 20,000 workers.

By this time, the Hotel and Restaurant Employees and Bartenders Alliance International Union (HERE) asserted jurisdiction over both the railroad dining and sleeping cars and thus the Joint Council fell under the jurisdiction of that International Union.

From their earliest beginnings the dining car workers, which consisted primarily of men of color (African Americans, Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Japanese Americans and Mexican Americans) created a sense of taste, refinement, style and culture on the great American dining cars that became world renowned. However, over time the plight of the railroad industry with its abandonments, consolidations and mergers slowly whittled away at the numbers of dining cars in operation and hence the members of the union.

All of this culminated with the creation of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) in 1971. By this time there were only a handful of dining car locals still in operation, and it was this group under the leadership of HERE International Vice President that negotiated the very first agreement with Amtrak for on board employees.

As Amtrak expanded and took over more rail lines, some of their workers were already represented by other organizations. Thus, in 1973 the Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees (HERE), the Transportation Communications Union (TCU) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) formed what is known as the Amtrak Service Workers Council (ASWC) and jointly became recognized as the collective bargaining agent for on board service employees.

This represents but a very abbreviated version of what is really a very long and richly interesting history of a group of workers that to this day struggle for fair and equitable recognition from their employer.

Meet the Team

Toya Batey
Toya Batey

Trustee

I look forward to making the union more united

James Gleeson, M.P.A.
James Gleeson, M.P.A.

Trustee

I have been with Amtrak for seven years as an LSA out of Chicago.

Reggie Howard
Reggie Howard

Trustee

I started out of Oakland as a sleeping car train attendant 06/04/1980 and

Peter Hudson
Peter Hudson

Trustee

I have worked at Amtrak for 30 years. I started in Boston working

Kathryn Hunter
Kathryn Hunter

Trustee

I am a wonderful product of my mother and father, my mother was

Ramon Vega
Ramon Vega

Trustee

I have worked with the company for 5 years as a coach attendant

Joshua Worley
Joshua Worley

Trustee

LSA is my job title. My role on the train is to manage