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Federal Comments

Replacing Hands-On Training for Rail Employees is Unsafe and Unwarranted

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s request for comment on a petition for a waiver of compliance filed by Illinois Central Railroad Company on behalf of Canadian National Railway Company. TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including employees of Illinois Central/Canadian National railroads. We therefore have a vested interest in this petition

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TTD Calls for Prioritizing Vaccine Distribution to Frontline Transportation Workers

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), and the millions of workers we represent in all sectors of transportation, including the aviation, rail, transit, construction, school and over the road bus, maritime, and longshore industries, we strongly urge you to prioritize these frontline workers in the next phase (Phase 1b) of your COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Transportation workers have continued to provide essential services as COVID-19 has ravaged communities and taken nearly 300,000 American lives.

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TTD: HHS Hair Testing Proposal Falls Dangerously Short

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) notification of proposed Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Hair (HMG). TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation who are subject to federally mandated drug tests due to their employment. We therefore have a vested interest in the proposal.

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TTD Continues to Oppose Railroad Revenue Threshold Increase

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to provide comments on the Surface Transportation Board’s proposal to modify revenue thresholds for the classification of rail carriers. By way of background, TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions, including unions representing freight rail workers who may be impacted by the granting of this petition.

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TTD Opposes DOL’s Anti-Worker Independent Contractor Rule

DOL’s proposal would revise the agency’s interpretation on whether workers are considered employees or independent contractors under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposal seeks to amend the existing multi-factor test used to determine a worker’s status, placing elevated emphasis on two core factors, including nature and degree of the worker’s control over the work (e.g. schedule, assignments, and ability to work for other companies) and the worker’s opportunity for profit or loss. DOL claims that the proposal will “benefit workers and businesses and encourage innovation and flexibility in the economy.”

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TTD Requests Extension on Hair Testing Proposal

Through this notice, HHS has issued proposed guidelines that would permit the use of hair follicles as a valid specimen for federally impelled drug tests. If adopted, employers would be able to conduct hair testing in concert with, or in lieu of, urine or oral fluid tests that have been previously approved by HHS. In issuing these proposed guidelines, the Department is acting to comply with Sec. 5402(b) of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which required that HHS develop guidelines for hair testing of commercial motor vehicle drivers. We write today to formally request that HHS hold a public, virtual, hearing on its proposed guidelines in order to discuss the proposal with impacted stakeholders and to further extend the comment period for 60 days.

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Coast Guard Must Consider Vessel Automation’s Consequences for Mariners

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Coast Guard’s request for information entitled “Request for Information on Integration of Automated and Autonomous Commercial Vessels and Vessel Technologies into the Maritime Transportation System.” TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including those in the commercial maritime industry. We therefore have a vested interest in this request.

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Revised AAR/ASLRRA HOS Exemption Request for Drivers Still Unsafe

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the exemption request filed by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA). TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including commercial motor vehicle operators in the railroad industry covered by FMCSA hours of service requirements.[1] We therefore have a vested interest in this exemption.

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COVID-19 Regulatory Relief Requires FRA Oversight

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s request for comment on a petition for a waiver of compliance filed by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including employees of APTA member railroads. We therefore have a vested interest in this petition.

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FRA Must Reject Unjustified Training Waiver

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s request for comment on its notice entitled Petition for Waiver of Compliance from Long Island Rail Road (LIRR). TTD consists of 33 affiliate unions representing workers in all modes of transportation, including impacted employees at Long Island Railroad. We therefore have a vested interest in this petition.[1] We also strongly endorse the comments of the Transport Workers Union of America, a TTD-affiliated union.

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