Amtrak Board of Directors’ Report Once Again Targets Workers
Under date of March 2006 the Amtrak Board of Directors presented Congress with a report entitled “FY07 Grant and Legislative Request.” Once again the Board of Directors of Amtrak has attacked the Amtrak workers, who have always been the backbone of Amtrak and who have continually sacrificed to keep the company alive.
On page 2 of the “Legislative Request” the Board makes the following statement, More than 80 percent of our passenger revenues are consumed by labor and benefit costs alone. Moreover, operational flexibility is severely constrained by work rules established during the steam engine era that are not suited to modern railroad operations. These constraints need to change.
The Board points out that the way to achieve cost efficiencies would be outsourcing and strategic partnering with initial areas of focus being food & beverage services, equipment maintenance and deployment, reservations and sales, crew utilization. In other words the Amtrak Board wants to use federal tax dollars to outsource the jobs of our members!
While the Board has requested $1.5 billion for FY 2007, it is obvious that the all out attack on labor will continue from last year. This year’s request is not as blatant as last year’s which called for changes in the Railway Labor Act and Railroad Retirement, but the implications of the report are every bit as apparent.
Our Legislative Department will continue to fight for full funding for Amtrak and at the same time it will fight equally as hard to preserve our members’ jobs.
All TCU members both active and retired should email, call and write to their Senators and member of Congress expressing outrage at the Amtrak Board’s proposal and urging the legislators to oppose the Amtrak Board’s attack on Amtrak workers.