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Federal Comments

Transportation Labor Supports Worker- and Safety-First Agenda in Automation Research

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Request for Comments on Transit Bus Automation Research and Demonstrations. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing all kinds of transportation workers, including transit operators, mechanics, and other ground transportation workers whose safety, security, and livelihoods will be impacted by automated technologies. We therefore have a vested interest in making sure that the FTA invests in bus automation research and demonstrations that advance a future for transit and its employees consistent with the pro-worker and pro-union values of this administration.

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Continued Rail Service Problems Necessitate Additional Transparency to Enable STB Action

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) notice regarding its information collection request. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing the totality of rail labor and its 105,000 workers across the country.[1] Our affiliated unions represent workers who perform every task on trains and railroad tracks and at rail yards. These workers are vital to keeping our railroad system operating successfully every day.

Expand the New Reporting Requirements to Address Self Inflicted Service Cuts
As discussed below, while TTD strongly supports the new reporting requirements set forth in the STB decision, TTD requests that additional information be required from Class I railroads to better understand the current rail service conditions and the impact employment decisions are having. Specifically, we request: a narrative description of employment data, employment data reported by craft in addition to job families, and data regarding specific causes for separation.

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TTD Opposes Harmful Changes to Federal Drug Testing Policies

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) notice regarding the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing workers across all modes of transportation.

The Mandatory Guidelines provide the scientific and technical standards for workplace drug testing for over 12 million federal employees and transportation workers in the public and private sector. The proposed Mandatory Guidelines would allow HHS to add and remove drug analytes and modify cutoffs without public notice or comment. The proposed guidelines also would change the definition of a substituted specimen to include certain specimens that are currently reported as “invalid.” Additionally, the proposal would redefine refusals to include failing to complete pre-employment testing. Lastly, the guidelines would hold that ingestion of food products containing a drug is not an acceptable medical explanation for a positive drug test.

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Unions Stand Against Sexual Assault and Harassment

By Admin

The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO (MTD), the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P), the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), Sailors’ Union of the Pacific (SUP), Seafarers International Union of North America (SIU) and the American Maritime Officers (AMO) are pleased to respond to the Maritime Administration (MARAD) request for public comment on the Every Mariner Builds a Respectful Culture (EMBARC) policy. These unions represent the unlicensed and licensed mariners who work aboard sea year vessels. Collectively, we support the goals and intentions set forth by EMBARC and are committed to addressing systemic and cultural changes in the maritime industry to prevent incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) in a workplace that doubles as every mariner’s home.

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Physical Brake Inspections Keep Everyone Safe

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s notice regarding Canadian Pacific and Union Pacific’s petition for waiver of compliance and statutory exemption. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing the totality of rail labor, including carmen and other rail workers who work on lines covered by this waiver.[1]

The requested waiver would provide relief from 49 CFR 232.213 and 49 USC 20303 would allow technology-based advanced testing (the Automated Brake Effectiveness (ABE) Test Process) performed by wheel temperature detectors as an alternative approach to manual Class I brake tests performed by Certified Car Inspectors (Qualified Mechanical Inspectors).

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TTD Applauds STB’s Proposal on Freight Service, But More Action Is Required

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Surface Transportation Board’s proposed rule regarding Expedited Relief for Service Emergencies. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing the totality of rail labor in the U.S.[1]

The proposed rule would amend procedures for parties seeking a board order directing an incumbent carrier to take action to remedy a service emergency. The rule would allow the board to initiate an emergency order without external appeal. The rule also would shorten the filing deadlines for parties subject to the emergency order and other participants. Finally, the rule would establish procedures for a new, accelerated emergency order petition option that would be used if petitioners could demonstrate that the existing process would be too slow to adequately ensure priorities such as food security, public health, or high probability of business closures.

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TTD Responds to DOT Buy America Waiver

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Proposed Temporary Waiver of Buy America Requirements for Construction Materials. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing workers in construction and manufacturing who are directly impacted by Buy America policies.[1]

The waiver would provide relief from Buy America requirements for 180 days, beginning May 14, 2022. During this time, DOT expects states, industry, and other partners to begin the compliance process in conjunction with the new Made in America standards that were included in the Build America, Buy America (BABA) title of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). These requirements include that all of the iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in federally-assisted infrastructure projects are produced in the United States.

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TTD Responds to DOT on Oral Fluid Drug Testing

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed rule regarding the Addition of Oral Fluid Specimen Testing for Drugs. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing workers across all modes of transportation.[1]

The proposed rule would allow the use of oral fluid specimens to be used for drug testing programs. In 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the use of oral fluid drug testing, and this proposed rule would align DOT’s regulations with the new Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid already finalized by HHS. In addition to the establishment of oral fluids as an accepted specimen, DOT also proposes to make a number of changes to its drug testing regulations beyond the scope of the addition of a new specimen.

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Labor Voices are Critical to NETT Council Mission

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) notice regarding the Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology (NETT) Council’s request for comments. TTD consists of 37 affiliate unions representing workers across all modes of transportation. Those unions, and the millions of workers they represent, bring a critical perspective to the questions put forward in this notice.

As you know, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) tasked the NETT Council with resolving jurisdictional and regulatory gaps or inconsistencies associated with nontraditional and emerging transportation technologies and coordinating DOT’s response to nontraditional and emerging transportation technology projects. While TTD supports an agency-wide approach to evaluating the regulatory challenges presented by new and emerging technologies, the agency’s success in meeting these challenges will hinge squarely on the direct involvement of labor unions. History has proven that strong unions and worker engagement are essential to mitigate the harms inherent in rapid technological changes to industries, and this is particularly true in the transportation sector, which has enjoyed relatively strong union density over the past century.

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TTD Urges DOT to Seek Consultations With EASA About Wizz Air

By Admin

The Transportation Trades Department, AFL‐CIO (“TTD”), AFL-CIO, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), hereby submit this Answer to the Consolidated Reply of Wizz Air Hungary, Ltd. (Wizz), including its motion for an exemption, and supports the Response of the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) and Association of Flight Attendants, CWA.   As we will show, the Consolidated Reply fails to address the concerns raised by ALPA, the European Cockpit Association (ECA), the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the Independent Pilots Association (IPA), and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA).  Collectively, we support the request of these pilot unions and associations for consultations among the Department and its European counterparts. 

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