IAM Rail Division Attends Brightline West Groundbreaking in Las Vegas

Brightline West broke ground recently on its union-built and serviced high-speed train project connecting Las Vegas to Southern California. According to a press release from Brightline, the 218-mile system will be constructed along I-15 and will cut travel time between Las Vegas and Southern California to just over two hours. The project secured $3 billion in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.

The groundbreaking ceremony was a historic event that featured remarks from a host of notable figures who have played pivotal roles in the development of the high-speed train project. These included U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Brightline Founder Wes Edens, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, U.S. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen, U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar, Senior Advisor to President Biden Steve Benjamin, and Vince Saavedra of the Southern Nevada Building Trades.

IAM Special Assistant to the International President for the IAM Rail Division Josh Hartford, TCU/IAM National President Artie Maratea, Carmen Division General President Don Grissom, IAM National and Legislative Director Hasan Solomon, and TCU/IAM National Legislative Director Dave Arouca were among those representing the IAM Rail Division at the ceremony.

“The Biden-Harris administration continues to deliver for American workers,” said Josh Hartford, IAM Special Assistant to the International President for the IAM Rail Division. “We continue to advocate for IAM Rail Division playing a vital role in extending U.S. high-speed rail transportation across our nation.”

The project is expected to create over 900 union jobs, with approximately 500 being TCU/IAM members.

“This is the beginning of something great,” said TCU/IAM National President Maratea. “True high-speed rail that will be union-built and union-operated. President Biden’s administration continues to invest in good union jobs. Brightline West will create hundreds of good-paying union careers.”

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