Andrew Sandberg, IAM District 19 Assistant to the President, went to Capitol Hill yesterday to testify before the U.S. House subcommittee on rail policy.
A massive operational change, known as Precision Scheduled Railroading (PSR), is currently upending the railroad industry—threatening the jobs, health and safety of IAM members. It is also significantly impacting the massive freight network.
“Our union supports efforts to efficiently operate our nation’s railroads. We want our employers to be profitable—as profits lead to raises and quality benefits for our members,” said Sandberg. “However, we are concerned that current PSR schemes are detrimental to the long-term outlook of the rail industry, putting short-term gains ahead of long-term success—furloughing thousands, while degrading safety. PSR schemes are designed to increase short-term profits for shareholders, at any cost.”
“I thank District Lodge 19 and Assistant to the President Sandberg for their relentless advocacy for both jobs and safety on our nation’s railroads,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “PSR schemes are designed to reduce the rail workforce and benefit shareholders at the expense of railroad safety.”
IAM District 19 represents 11,000 active machinists across the country at every Class 1 commuter railroad, Amtrak and others. Members primarily maintain and repair locomotives and track maintenance equipment both in shops and on the line of road. They also perform complete overhauls of locomotives and many assemblies and sub-assemblies used in all aspects of railroading.
The Transportation Communications Union (TCU-IAM) represents approximately 46,000 members in the U.S., most employed in the railroad industry.
Watch an excerpt of the hearing here.