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One Year Later: A look at the sacrifices of frontline transportation workers

Washington, D.C. – Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement marking the year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic:

“One year ago today, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. A failed response to this emergency by then-President Trump thrust our country into the worst public health and economic crisis in modern history — a crisis that has fallen squarely on the shoulders of America’s working families.

“Throughout this pandemic, our nation’s transportation workforce has been at the center of COVID-19 relief efforts. Transportation workers have driven the buses and trains that bring health care workers and patients alike to medical facilities. They have kept our skies open and operating in order to deliver goods and supplies quickly across the country. They have kept our supply chain running, crewing, loading and unloading commercial ships, and operating and maintaining the freight rail network that connects communities from coast to coast. They have helped keep our federal, state, and local governments operating and serving the public good.

“For the last year, these workers performed their essential duties at great personal cost, and until January, they did so faithfully in service to our country even without leadership and protection from the federal government. Some workers experienced layoffs while many more worried about financial stability. Many have gotten sick from COVID-19 or brought the virus home to their families. Others, tragically, have perished.

“As our nation pauses to mark the solemn one-year anniversary of this pandemic, we cannot overlook the hardships and pain working families have had to endure to see us through this crisis. We also cannot lose sight of hope.

“Relief packages fought for by workers and their unions have ensured our nation’s transportation workforce has the resources and PPE needed to stay safe on the job, and off of unemployment. The election of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris means we now have clear, consistent federal leadership and an administration that is responsive to the needs of working families. And the development and distribution of three vaccines means one day soon we will be able to move past this pandemic, reopen our economy, and begin rebuilding a more equitable America.”

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