On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), and our 33 affiliated unions, I want to first thank Chairman Wicker and Ranking Member Cantwell for inviting me to testify today on the impact of COVID-19 on the surface transportation sector and associated challenges. As COVID-19 has spread across the nation, causing over 100,000 deaths and unprecedented disruption to our way of life, we appreciate the opportunity to share the perspective of the frontline transportation workforce.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to FMCSA’s request for comment on its notice Hours of Service of Drivers: Pronto.ai, Inc. (Pronto); Application for Exemption. TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including drivers of commercial motor vehicles. We therefore have a vested interest in this policy.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) I urge you to oppose S. 3730, the Registered Traveler Act of 2020. This legislation dangerously expands the existing Registered Traveler (RT) program to allow private entities to perform security functions without proper oversight and accountability. This bill as written is opposed by both the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the union that represents transportation security officers, and should be rejected by the Senate Commerce Committee during markup.
On behalf of the undersigned American maritime labor organizations we wish to express our sincere appreciation for your support for the programs and policies important to the U.S.-flag maritime industry and to the jobs of the licensed and unlicensed American merchant mariners we represent. Unfortunately, our industry is experiencing a dangerous decline in the number of trained and qualified American merchant mariners available to crew the surge and sustainment vessels needed by the Department of Defense to protect America’s interests and to support American troops deployed around the world.
As you know, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided desperately needed support to keep public transportation services across the country from coming to a complete halt. To that end, your bold leadership has already protected hundreds of thousands of jobs and is ensuring that critical employees including health care workers, law enforcement personnel, and first responders can get to and from work each day in rural and urban communities alike. We write today to urge you to continue that leadership by including $32 billion in emergency supplemental funds for public transit in the next COVID response bill.
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and our affiliated maritime unions whose members crew U.S.-flag seagoing vessels, we call on you to include emergency supplemental funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and to amend cargo preference requirements in the next COVID-19 aid package. These proposals will help protect the jobs, wages, and benefits of U.S. mariners and support a critical sector of the economy.
On behalf of the Rail Labor Division of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, the
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, the Association of American Railroads,
and the Teamsters Rail Conference, we thank the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate
for passage of the CARES Act. We are especially appreciative of your efforts to ensure that
railroad workers, through Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) enhancements, were
provided similar protections and benefits as other hardworking Americans during this pandemic.
Dear Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, and Leader McCarthy: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and our 33 affiliated unions, whose members design, build, operate, and maintain every facet of our nation’s surface transportation network, we ask that you provide urgently needed supplemental funding in the next COVID-19 related emergency relief bill to help keep critical infrastructure projects across the country from grinding to a halt.
Every year on April 28th, we pause to commemorate Worker’s Memorial Day and to remember and honor those who have been killed or seriously injured on the job. This day has particular poignancy this year, as millions of essential workers put themselves in harm’s way and continue to do their jobs in order to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why, on behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), and our 33 affiliated unions, I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 6559, the COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act of 2020, which would require the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to promulgate an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect workers from exposure to the coronavirus.
Dear Ms. Kelly: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I call on the Department of Transportation to take immediate action to eliminate risks of COVID-19 contagion from continued random drug and alcohol testing of essential transportation workers. TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation covered by DOT’s drug and alcohol testing requirements, including those administered by FAA, FMCSA, FTA, FRA, PHMSA and USCG
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