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Transport Topics reports on transportation labor leaders’ call for federal funding and high labor standards in new infrastructure package

Unions Call for Federal Funds, High Labor Standards in $1 Trillion Infrastructure Package

As published by Eugene Mulero in Transport Topics

The Trump administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure funding proposal should significantly rely on federal funds and include provisions designed to protect rights of employees, transportation labor leaders said March 13.

“Every sector of the transportation industry faces massive change and significant job loss from the development and deployment of automated technologies,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the transportation trades department at AFL-CIO.

“Our priority going forward is to ensure that these technologies are tools for frontline workers to enhance safety, security and service, rather than enablers of massive job and wage destruction,” he added.

AFL-CIO called for investments in the freight rail sector’s workforce and enhanced protections for airline customer service agents at airports. The group also pressed for federal regulations aimed at shielding jobs from automated technologies that present the potential of replacing people.

“Automated technologies will drastically change the nature of work in transportation industries, will put millions of jobs at risk and pose new safety and security threats requiring rigorous federal regulations,” the group noted.

While the administration finalizes an infrastructure funding proposal, this week officials intend to present to Congress a budget request expected to outline funding specifications for highway programs for fiscal 2018.

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