Get Updates


Policy

Amid Red Sea Shipping Attacks, Maritime Labor Requests Critical Communication Support

By Admin

January 19, 2024 General Jacqueline D. Van Ovost, USAF United States Transportation Command Dear General Van Ovost: On behalf of the undersigned American maritime labor unions who serve aboard MSP vessels, we are writing in regard to the ongoing attacks from the Houthi rebels of Yemen on international and U.S.-flag shipping in the Bab el-Mandeb […]

Read More

Railroads Must Be Prepared for Routine Winter Weather

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Association of American Railroads (AAR)’s request to the Federal Railroad Administration to open an emergency docket under 49 CFR 211.45 to provide relief from its waiver from certain provisions contained in 49 CFR 229 and 49 CFR 232.15 for upwards of 14 days. TTD consists of 37 affiliated unions representing the totality of rail labor, including employees on all the Class I railroads covered by the AAR’s request. For the reasons outlined below, we ask that the FRA deny the AAR’s request.

Current weather conditions do not rise to the level of an “emergency event” or “emergency situation” as required under 49 CFR 211.45. Unsurprisingly, in the middle of January, several parts of the country are experiencing very low temperatures and snow. Such conditions occur regularly and railroads should be prepared. Furthermore, this ongoing winter weather event is not as severe as other winter storms that have occurred  in just the last five years.

Read More

30 Labor Unions Urge Senate To Oppose Any Changes to Pilot Retirement Age

By Admin

January 11, 2024 Dear Senator, The undersigned labor organizations representing workers write to urge that you oppose any change to the statutory pilot retirement age as the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation considers deliberation of an FAA reauthorization bill.  Raising the retirement age to be in noncompliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) […]

Read More

TTD Urges House to Vote NO on Senate Joint Resolution 38

By Admin

January 9, 2024 Dear Representative: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), and the thousands of workers we represent in manufacturing and electrification, we urge you to oppose the Congressional Review Act Joint Resolution 38 (S.J.Res 38) when it comes to a vote on the House floor. If enacted, this legislation would undermine […]

Read More

TTD Warns Against Increased Distances for Extended-Haul Trains

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) notice regarding Union Pacific Railroad Company’s (UP) petition to extend its waiver from certain provisions contained in 49 CFR 232.213. The current waiver allows UP to operate designated extended-haul trains for distances of up to 1,680 miles, beyond the limit of 1,500 miles stipulated in the regulation. TTD consists of 37 affiliated unions, representing the totality of rail labor, including UP employees.[1] For the reasons outlined below, we ask that the FRA deny Union Pacific’s petition to extend its waiver.

In support of its request, UP states that it reviews with the FRA “the list of trains associated with this waiver at a frequency of no less than once per quarter” and “adjustments are made accordingly.” UP further explains that “over a 56-month period, the incident rate has been no more than .055%, [which were] four events comprised of wheelset, axle, and journal bearing defects.” Per the federal statute governing the Secretary’s ability to grant safety waivers, the Secretary may grant waivers only “if such waiver or suspension is in the public interest and consistent with railroad safety.”[2] UP acknowledges in its waiver extension request that the trains covered by the existing waiver had a higher incident rate, .055%, than extended-haul trains that undergo inspections of 1,500 miles. These trains had a lower incident rate of .036%. While UP claims the difference is “negligible,” it is unwise to claim that additional accidents are negligible, as evident by the East Palestine, Ohio derailment. Delaying required mechanical testing and inspection unequivocally exposes workers and the communities along UP’s rail lines to unnecessary risk and lacks consistency with railroad safety.

Read More

Unions Urge Unified Safety Standards for Transit Sector

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) notice of availability of proposed updates to its National Public Transportation Safety Plan. TTD consists of 37 affiliated unions, including those representing the majority of public transportation workers in the United States, who have a significant interest in ensuring the Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program (PTSCTP) adequately addresses safety training needs.[1] Additionally, we endorse the comments filed by our affiliates, the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD).

As the FTA explains, this NPRM proposes to amend the PTSCTP regulation at 49 CFR part 672. Specifically, the proposed rule adds administrative requirements for recipients that are subject to the requirements of the rule, in addition to maintaining the existing minimum training requirements for State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA) employees and contractors who conduct reviews, inspections, examinations, and other safety oversight activities of public transportation systems, and employees and contractors who are directly responsible for the safety oversight of a rail fixed guideway public transportation system.

Read More

Industry & Labor Groups Urge House to Streamline Security Credentialing Process for Transportation Workers

By Admin

December 6, 2023 The Honorable Mark Green Chairman Committee on Homeland Security U.S. House of Representatives 176 Ford House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 The Honorable Bennie Thompson Ranking Member Committee on Homeland Security U.S. House of Representatives H2-117 Ford House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Dear Chairman Green and Ranking Member Thompson, We, the […]

Read More

TTD Supports Safer Hazardous Material Transportation Requirements

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the modernization of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). TTD consists of 37 affiliated unions, representing the totality of rail labor and first responders who are vital to the safe transportation of hazardous materials.[1] We therefore have a vested interest in this matter. Additionally, TTD endorses the comments of our affiliates, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD). We respectfully request that the PHMSA take our feedback into consideration.

Read More

FRA Must Increase Transparency in Public Comment Process

By Admin

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I am pleased to respond to the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) notice regarding a joint Request for Amendment (RFA) received from 20 rail carriers to modify their FRA-approved Positive Train Control Safety Plans (PTCSP) for their Interoperable Electronic Train Management Systems (I–ETMS). TTD consists of 37 affiliated unions representing the totality of rail labor and we therefore have a vested interest in this matter.[1] Additionally, TTD endorses the comments of our affiliate, the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD).

TTD has previously commented on how Positive Train Control (PTC) systems provide an additional layer of safety for rail workers and the public.[2] These systems are designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, over-speed derailments, incursions into established work zones, and movements of trains through switches left in the wrong position. The National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB) first recommended that PTC be required in 1969 and Congress subsequently mandated PTC systems in the 2008 Rail Safety Improvement Act (RSIA) to save lives and reduce injuries.

Read More

Rail Labor Urges House Hearing on Rail Safety

By Admin

December 1, 2023 The Honorable Mike Johnson Speaker United States House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20510 The Honorable Sam Graves Chairman United States House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure Washington, D.C. 20510 Speaker Johnson and Chairman Graves: On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), representing the totality of U.S. freight rail workers, I […]

Read More