Bush Administration Continues Attack on American Workers

The Bush Administration Continues Its Attack on American Workers

The Highway Bill in the Senate has passed a recommendation put forth by the Banking Committee to weaken 13 (c) protections for workers. Section 13 (c) has existed for more than four decades and is designed to ensure that federal funds provided for transit assistance are not used to harm existing employees of transit operations.

The Senate Banking Committee has done serious harm to the 13 (c) protections provided to transit employees. They cut the protective period for financial assistance from six years to four years. They also reduced the right of transit employees to go to work for new employers when there is a change of private contractors providing transit services for a public body. In the existing law employees have a means of negotiating or arbitrating a preference for employment when a new contractor takes over. Under the Banking Committee amendment this right is substantially weakened.

Section 13 (c) protections have been intertwined over 40 years with the protections provided to rail freight employees. While the amendment contains language that the changes would not affect freight employees it is unclear exactly what this means.

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