Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are often touted for their potential to increase safety, improve transportation access, produce environmental benefits, and create new American jobs in the manufacturing and technology sectors. Yet, for all the benefits touted by its cheerleaders, we too often overlook the serious impacts AVs will have on workers, safety, and equity if not properly regulated by the federal government. Reports estimate that as many as 3 million transportation workers may lose their jobs, face a severe degradation of their wages and bargaining power, or otherwise have their job functions fundamentally altered by self-driving vehicle technology.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and our 33 affiliated unions, who together represent millions of workers across all sectors of the transportation industry, I urge you to oppose Senator Thune’s automated vehicles (AV) amendment to the Endless Frontier Act if he requests a vote in today’s committee markup.
The Labor movement stands united in our support for good, middle-class jobs, policies that address climate change, and safe transportation that brings equitable benefits to communities across the country. As our infrastructure evolves and adapts to new challenges, new technologies, processes, and business models meant to face these challenges must advance these goals. Today, our nation is grappling with the challenge of transitioning to zero-emission transportation vehicles and infrastructure over the next few decades. We cannot let the Wall Street and multinational corporations alone decide how to move forward on these issues. While we will all continue to advocate for modal and union specific concerns, the undersigned unions have come together to adopt the following principles that will guide our policy advocacy, collective bargaining, and organizing efforts as we all work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our industries and advance racial and environmental justice.
On behalf of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA), the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the Rail Labor Division (RLD) of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), we write in support of funding for the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) in the fiscal year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill at $148.371 million. Based on the RRB’s FY 2022 budget submission and taking into account what the agency received from H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan, this modest funding request will ensure the agency is able to meet the needs of our nation’s railroad workers and their families. Additionally, annual appropriations to the RRB come directly from the agency’s own trust funds that are funded solely by employer and employee payroll taxes—not the general revenue.
We, the undersigned, write in support of the Railroad Unemployment Equity and Fairness Act (REEF Act), S. 545, introduced by Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Deb Fischer (R-NE). This bipartisan bill would eliminate the legacy sequester on railroad unemployment and sickness benefits that has unfairly short-changed railroad workers and their families for nearly a decade.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), our 33 affiliated unions, and millions of frontline transportation workers, I urge you to support the confirmation of Polly Trottenberg to Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), and the millions of frontline transportation workers represented by our 33 affiliated unions, we urge the Senate to move swiftly to pass the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and send it to the President’s desk. We also urge every Senator to reject proposals that would cut critical provisions from this package and undermine the relief so many working families desperately need.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), and the millions of frontline transportation workers represented by our 33 affiliated unions, we applaud members of the House and Senate for advancing the joint budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2021, which will provide desperately needed relief to workers and communities across this country. We urge you to support this package both through the committee process and on the House floor.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO and the millions of frontline transportation workers represented by our 33 affiliated unions, we applaud the proactive steps taken by the House and Senate to pass a desperately needed economic relief package. Unfortunately, many Republicans in the Senate have decided to put politics before their country by introducing nearly 1000 amendments to the Senate Budget Resolution. This effort is nothing more than a cynical delay tactic and an attempt to deny the economic and health care needs of the American people. We stand in opposition to their efforts, and urge you to vote NO on any amendment that seeks to undermine vital labor policies, programs, and protections.
On behalf of the millions of Americans who rely on public transportation every day, the 435,000 frontline workers who operate and maintain public transit and commuter rail systems in communities of all size across our country, and passenger advocates, we urge you to provide an additional $39.3 billion in emergency funding to help public transit agencies provide safe, reliable service as they continue to grapple with the financial burden caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.