WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2023 – The 600,000-member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is applauding a landmark $3 billion U.S. Transportation Department grant to support a high-speed railway between Las Vegas and California.
The IAM is similarly urging that train cars for the 218-mile Las Vegas to southern California route fulfill DOT and Federal Railway Administration Buy America standards and be built by union labor in the United States. The IAM is proud to represent workers at Alstom’s modern high-speed train facility in Hornell, N.Y.
“It’s time to unleash the true potential of American-made high-speed rail,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Machinists Union members at Alstom have the knowledge and experience to make the Brightline West project a model for the rest of the nation.”
IAM Local 2741 members at Alstom in Hornell currently build the Avelia Liberty for Amtrak, which once in service will add to nearly 2,300 high-speed trains in service built by Alstom or built with Alstom parts and technology. The company currently works with over 1,500 U.S. suppliers and has invested more than $590 million in 27 states on the Liberty project alone.
“The Biden administration can continue to make good on its promise to stand with American workers and strengthen domestic production by allowing IAM members at Alstom the opportunity to build the future of high-speed rail right here at home,” said Josh Hartford, IAM Special Assistant to the International President for the IAM Rail Division. “Now is not the time to grant Buy America waivers and give taxpayer dollars to a competitor that will produce this critical technology overseas.”
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The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries.