The Blue Green Alliance has launched a new website encouraging the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to Buy American and invest in American jobs when considering a $3 billion contract to build the next generation of BART train cars.
This week BART’s Board of Directors must decide between building the train cars using U.S. workers, creating thousands of new U.S. jobs and strengthening our economy, or outsourcing a large share of jobs to China, Mexico and other low-wage countries that undercut U.S. workers’ wages and operate with weak environmental standards and primitive safety rules.
One of the three finalists, Alstom Transport, pledges to exceed the Federal Transit Administration’s 60 percent Buy America minimum requirement and deliver rail cars that are 95 percent “Made in America.” Alstom would manufacture propulsion systems and conduct final car assembly at its Hornell, New York facility, America’s largest passenger rail production site. All other major components would be provided by U.S. suppliers.
Alstom’s commitment to “Make it in America” is expected to create nearly 3,000 jobs nationwide, including 500 jobs at Alstom’s Hornell facility, home to some of the most highly-skilled IAM members. The proposal would also create 50 jobs for Bay Area workers at Alstom’s Mare Island facility.
“We strongly commend Alstom for submitting a proposal that makes a huge investment in American workers,” said IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger in a letter to BART Board of Directors. “As the largest railroad union, we know this level of domestic content has been absent from the U.S. rail industry since the 1980’s.”
The Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO has also sent a letter to BART Board of Directors expressing “strong support” for the Alstom proposal.
Click here to tell the San Francisco BART Board of Directors to Buy American and invest in American jobs.