IBT Member Groups

While the majority membership of the IBT has historically been male and white, the union has from its beginnings made room for minority groups and women. In the 1970s efforts were launched to increase the number of minority and female members. Minority and female members themselves also took the initiative to strengthen their numbers and voices within the IBT. The Teamsters National Black Caucus was officially formed in 1975 (although the caucus idea dates back to 1971). The first Women’s Conference was held in 1986; the International Teamster Women’s Caucus was formed in 1991; the National Hispanic Caucus was formed in 1989; and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Caucus was formed in 2004. These groups work to make their constituencies heard at all levels of the Teamsters organization.

Retirees are also an active group within the IBT and at the local union level. The IBT Retiree Affairs Department was established in 1983 and Retiree Clubs flourish in most Teamster locals. Teamsters for Tomorrow, a committee of younger members, was formed at the 2008 Women’s Conference to address the issue of how to encourage young members to become more active in their locals.