The fight to secure full funding for Amtrak and to preserve the nationwide passenger rail system continues in Congress.TCU’s Legislative Department has redoubled its efforts to assure that Amtrak survives and that members keep their jobs.
In meeting after meeting with Senators and Representatives “we have explained that America must have a nationwide rail passenger system as a key part of a full transportation system,” explains International Vice President and National Legislative Director Bob Davis. “In fact, Amtrak is more important now than ever these days as the price of gasoline skyrockets and the nation looks for transportation alternatives.”
Unfortunately the fight is not just for Amtrak funding; the struggle is to defeat other proposals masking as “reforms” by Amtrak’s Board of Directors: these would allow Amtrak to outsource union jobs, putting all Amtrak workers’ employment at risk. This Board, solely appointed by President Bush, continues to try to kill Amtrak.
International President Robert A. Scardelletti has directed TCU’s Legislative Department to make this fight the number one priority for TCU. “Our members working for Amtrak deserve to know that they are working for a company that appreciates their effort and wants to make Amtrak the best passenger rail service in the world,” says Scardelletti. “We stand ready to work with Amtrak to achieve this goal, but we will fight them at every turn if they continue to propose so-called reforms that will hurt our members and their families.”
Appropriations for Amtrak are due to be taken up in the very near future.