FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Serious Gaps Remain Unaddressed
Washington, DC –Saying that the Bush administration is “shirking its responsibility to fund and enforce the port security laws and regulations of this nation,” transportation labor leaders today called upon Congress to step in to ensure greater security at our nation’s ports.
In addressing the recent controversy over a Dubai-based company’s efforts to operate major U.S. ports, the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD) noted that, “while talking tough on security, the Administration was apparently more interested in placating a foreign government than conducting a robust review and evaluation of the security risks inherent in this deal.”
At the biannual meeting of its Executive Committee, TTD leaders adopted a policy statement which noted that even in the wake of the Dubai issue, “serious gaps that exist in maritime, terminal and cargo security remain unaddressed.” TTD specifically criticized the Department of Homeland Security, which it said, “has failed to provide adequate levels of funding for port security, has failed to enforce the many maritime security regulations under its jurisdiction, and has failed to effectively oversee its various agencies with maritime, cargo, and terminal security roles. As a result, despite transportation labor’s repeated calls for action, real security measures have yet to be implemented and our ports remain extremely vulnerable.”
TTD called for greater federal port security spending, and an end to pushing these costs onto private entities. Also, it demanded a more thorough inspection of cargo containers, including those which are empty, to ensure that seals have not been tampered with, as well as more rigorous training for longshore and other port workers on security practices and evacuation plans.
“Our government has ignored warning after warning about the homeland security risks at our nation’s ports. It is long past time to move from feel-good photo ops to real port security solutions,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind.
Please visit www.ttd.org for a copy of the full statement.
TTD represents 30 member unions in the rail, aviation, transit, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.