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TTD Submits Testimony to Senate Commerce Hearing on Freight and Passenger Rail

This week, the Committee will be holding a hearing entitled “Passenger and Freight Rail: The Current Status of the Rail Network and the Track Ahead.” On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and our affiliated unions representing passenger and freight rail workers, we appreciate the Committee’s focus on the industry at an extremely timely moment. Across the sector, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, threatening both the health and livelihoods of employees. At the same time, freight railroads, at the insistence of Wall Street investors and hedge fund managers, have pursued operating practices that undermine basic tenets of rail safety, ask frontline workers to do more with less, and threaten the reliable and efficient customer service that should be the hallmark of this industry. Given the critical nature of these issues, TTD would like to submit the following for your consideration.

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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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Union Leaders Urge Immediate Passage of H.R. 8504

As the representatives of millions of essential workers who have put their lives on the line to work through the pandemic, we urge you to immediately pass H.R. 8504, introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio, which extends the airline worker Payroll Support Program (PSP).

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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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Transportation Labor Leaders Demand Economic Relief

As the elected leaders of labor organizations who represent transportation workers across every segment of the industry, we urge you to use this September congressional session to pass an economic relief package that our nation and frontline working people urgently need. As we commemorated Labor Day last week, it was a reminder of the vital role that frontline workers have played in steering us through this public health and economic crisis. In the public sector and private sector, everywhere from hospitals to grocery stores, working people are putting themselves at risk for the benefit of all. Transportation workers have been at the center of these efforts, making sure that the goods and people that keep our country healthy get where they need to be. Now these workers, and the broader economy, need your help. It would simply be unacceptable to close this fiscal year without enacting substantial, worker-centric economic relief legislation.

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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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TTD Supports Inclusion of Tanker Security Program in NDAA

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, I urge you to cosign a letter being circulated by Representatives Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) and Chris Smith (R-NJ) urging the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to ensure that language critical to both the domestic maritime industry and national security is retained in the FY’ 21 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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TTD Supports Passage of the Delivering for America Act

On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I strongly urge you to vote in favor of the Delivering for America Act (H.R. 8015) when it is considered on the floor. This legislation would provide $25 billion in relief to mitigate the disastrous financial impacts COVID-19 has had on the United States Postal Service (USPS). Passage of this bill is essential to ensuring full operations of the Postal Service at the level relied on and required by the American public.

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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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Public Transit Agencies, Advocates, and Labor Join in Call for $32 Billion in Emergency Federal Aid from Congress

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer: On behalf of the millions of Americans who rely on public transportation every day, the 435,000 frontline workers who operate and maintain those systems, and the public transportation agencies that serve communities across America, we urge you to include at least $32 billion in funding for public transportation in the next COVID-19 emergency response bill.

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