The Northwest Conference (NWC) of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) encompasses transit Union Locals in the western half of the United States (excluding California) to include Minnesota to the east. The Northwest Conference also encompasses western Canada in the Provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan to include Greyhound Operators throughout the western half of Canada.
Represented members of the Local Unions include Bus (local, intercity, and over the road), Rail, Light Rail and Paratransit Operators, as well as Dispatchers, Mechanics, Facilities maintenance, Security, Customer Service Representatives, and Administrative positions.
The NWC has evolved from a legislative into an educational conference. In the late 60’s it began as the Northwest Joint Conference Board (NWJCB), a forum for Local Presidents and Business Agents to gather and discuss legislative issues. The name of the organization was changed from the Northwest Joint Conference Board (NWJCB) to the NWC approximately six (6) or seven (7) years ago. Over time with the encouragement of Mel Schoppert International Vice President (deceased) of 757 Portland, Oregon, the level of participation increased as ATU Local memberships continued to grow spurring an increase in attendance at both the January Executive Board meeting, and the June Conference The legislative agenda was phased out in the 70’s with the creation of the Amalgamated Transit Union Legislative Council (ATULC).
The January meeting agenda of the Executive Board includes discussion of negotiated contractual agreements, trends or changes in working conditions common to the represented properties, changes that have taken place at Provincial, State and Federal levels pertinent to the transportation industry in the US and Canada, proposed by-law changes, training classes, seminars and presentations for the June conference.
January Executive Board meeting locations have varied in the past, however, since January 2008, they have been slated to be held in and hosted by Phoenix Local 1433. The January 2007 meeting was held in San Diego hosted by ATU Local 1309. Prior to 2004 January meetings have been held in Tacoma Local 758, Bellingham Local 843, Everett Local 883, Seattle Local 587, Calgary Local 583, Edmonton Local 569, Denver Local 1001 and Spokane Local 1015. The June meetings have been hosted by Portland Local 757, Edmonton, Alberta Local 569, Calgary, Alberta Local 583, Calgary 1374 (Greyhound) Alberta, Boise Local 398 and Minneapolis/St.Paul Local 1005 to name a few.
In the International Convention election year(s) which are every three (3) years, a joint June NWC and California Conference Board (CCB) meeting is held which is deemed the Western States Conference. The reason for the joint conference with the California group is twofold. It encompasses all the Locals from the western region of the US and Canada, and it increases the size of the Western States and Canadian Provinces delegation, and allows both conferences in the West to reach consensus on the endorsements for the International Executive Officers and International Vice Presidents IVP(s) at said Convention.