In a recent release from the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) of which TCU is a member:
The freight railroads have played a critical role in our national freight network and economy, serving as a major driver of job creation and economic expansion. That is why transportation labor has always fought for smart policies that ensure this industry remains strong and continues to support middle class jobs.
Some of the policies we have pursued – such as critical safety reforms – faced stiff opposition from the rail industry lobby. We will continue to press the railroads to cooperate with their employees and their unions on proposals that will make rail transportation safer. We must adopt reforms that mitigate severe employee fatigue, establish a two-person train crew minimum standard, ensure inward-facing recording devices are used for their intended safety purpose and not unfair disciplinary action, install devices to help protect workers from railway hazards, and properly regulate the transportation of hazardous materials and ensure first responders have the tools and training they need to deal with accidents.
Today, freight railroads and their skilled workers move a significant portion of the goods that Americans ship each year and contribute to $274 billion of annual economic activity, according to the most recent available data. The strength of the nation’s freight railroads is in no small measure due to the 170,000 skilled employees who operate and maintain the rail network and its signal systems, and repair and overhaul the equipment and rights-of-way. For more than a century, the rail unions have negotiated strong collective bargaining agreements that provide middle class wages, quality health care and other benefits, and have led efforts to preserve and strengthen the Railroad Retirement System.
Click here to read the full release from the TTD.
Click here to read the release on the TTD website.