IAM Rail Division Heads to Capitol Hill to Push for Railway Safety Act, Protect Earned Rail Worker Benefits

IAM Rail Division leaders and other allied unions recently took to Capitol Hill on Rail Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., to push for the Railway Safety Act and to stop cuts to railroad worker earned benefits.

“It’s important that we take the time to personally explain our issues to members of Congress, so they know exactly what rail workers are going through,” said Josh Hartford, IAM Special Assistant to the International President for the IAM Rail Division.

Harford was joined by IAM District 19 General Chairs Danny Tavares and Heath Jacobs, as well IAM Assistant Legislative and Political Director Ty Richardson.

The group educated members of Congress on the importance of qualified rail inspectors being proposed in the IAM-championed Railway Safety Act. Qualified union rail mechanics could have spotted the signs of excessive wear that was a contributing factor to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio in February 2023.

“We want to bring safety back to the railroads,” said Jacobs. “I think members need to know that we’re here and we’re dedicated to making a change through the law to benefit them in any way possible.”

TAKE ACTION: Tell your Senators to support the Railway Safety Act

The IAM Rail Division also lobbied to stop Railroad Retirement unemployment and sickness benefit cuts. Sequestration measures enacted in 2011 reduced railroad unemployment and sickness insurance benefits by 5.7%. Those reductions were suspended while Covid relief legislation was in place, which has since expired, reviving the benefit cuts.

“This is how laws and bills get passed,” said Tavares. “We’re here to explain to the people who will actually be voting on the bills about what is really happening.”

Share and Follow: