June 13, 2023 The Honorable Joseph R. Biden President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear President Biden: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and the totality of rail labor as represented by our affiliated unions, I write to reaffirm our strong support for […]
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) request for comment on a petition from BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) for a waiver of compliance from the “hands-on” component of periodic refresher training required by 49 CFR 232.203(b)(8). TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing many kinds of transportation workers, including BNSF employees. We therefore have a vested interest in this petition. Because virtual training is not a sufficient substitute for hands-on training, we ask that the FRA deny the petition.
Current regulation requires refresher training every three years for railroad employees that perform brake system inspections, tests, or maintenance. BNSF’s request for relief would allow it to continue to use its Air Brake System Virtual Training Environment (ABSVTE) simulation training for brake inspections instead of hands-on refresher training on mandatory brake inspection and equipment. TTD opposes this waiver extension, which is consistent with TTD’s previous opposition to replacing hands-on training requirements with virtual training.
WASHINGTON — More than 30 U.S. transportation labor union leaders gathered at a legislative summit to set key policy goals that will improve the safety and well-being of the nation’s transportation systems and the workers who build, operate, and maintain them. Attendees welcomed keynote remarks from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and National Transportation Safety Board […]
WASHINGTON—During the pandemic, Congress temporarily paused arbitrary federal reductions to rail worker unemployment and sickness insurance program benefits, until 30 days after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. When Congress passed legislation declaring an end to the Covid-19 national emergency, which President Biden signed on April 10, it set in motion the 30-day countdown to […]
WASHINGTON – Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), issued this statement after the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a safety advisory regarding accident mitigation and train length: “We welcome recent rail safety actions from the Federal Railroad Administration, including the safety advisory drawing attention to the complexities of […]
WASHINGTON — Today, 14 U.S. rail labor organizations, representing more than 100,000 freight rail workers, launched a public safety campaign demanding that U.S. freight rail corporations halt all stock buybacks until safety improves across the industry. The No Stock Buybacks campaign, and the accompanying petition, is available at NoStockBuybacks.org. Since 2015, the six publicly-traded U.S. […]
WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), a Chief Deputy Whip and a senior member of the House Budget Committee, alongside Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Deb Fischer (R-NE), introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Railroad Employee Equity and Fairness (REEF) Act, which would remove sequestration constraints on […]
WASHINGTON — Greg Regan and Shari Semelsberger, President and Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), released this statement as the House Aviation Subcommittee holds a hearing on “FAA Reauthorization: Examining the Current and Future Challenges Facing the Aerospace Workforce“: “Today, the nation’s largest transportation labor federation, representing 37 unions and millions of workers […]
WASHINGTON, DC – Nobody wants to experience a nightmare at 30,000 feet, trapped in close quarters aboard an aircraft with a violent passenger who is brawling their way into the ‘air rage passenger hall of shame.’ But sky-high levels of disgraceful violence directed at flight crews and fellow passengers has become rampant. Now, a bipartisan group of […]
March 24, 2023 John Karl Alexy Associate Administrator for Railroad Safety Federal Railroad Administration 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE Washington, DC 20590 RE: Petition for Extension of Waiver of Compliance, ARRC Docket No. FRA-2008-0161 Dear Mr. Alexy: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the […]