H.R.7H.R.7More than 2,000 Amtrak workers could lose their jobs if the House version of the Surface Transportation Bill (H.R. 7) is passed into law. At a time when Amtrak ridership is at record highs, privatizing those positions will adversely affect service, safety and security on every train.
In addition to privatizing the Amtrak jobs, many of which are currently performed by IAM and IAM-TCU members, the measure includes cuts to pensions of federal employees who have already made significant sacrifices to ease the burden on our national debt.
While the stated purpose of the bill is to improve and repair the nation’s transportation infrastructure, it removes vital protection for freight employees who handle hazardous materials and strips money from transit agencies and forces them into public/private partnerships.
The GOP-sponsored legislation also requires states to put any grant funded rail project up for bid; eliminates OSHA protections for hazmat workers and dramatically lowers the bar for companies with poor safety records to receive exemptions. The bill also makes permanent more than 5,000 hazmat exemptions issued over the past six years.
The Obama Administration has expressed serious concerns with H.R. 7, declaring the bill would make America’s roads, rails, and transit systems less safe, reduce the transportation options available to America’s traveling public, short circuit local decision-making, and turn back the clock on environmental and labor protections.
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