FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Michael Buckley
Washington, D.C. . . . The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, President of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, (TTD), in response to the Bush administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2007 budget of $900 million for Amtrak.
“Once again the Bush administration is attempting to bankrupt Amtrak, dump costs onto the states and insist on ‘reforms’ that would actually make it harder for passenger rail to survive. Even though last year’s effort by the Administration to eliminate all funding for Amtrak was soundly rejected by Congress, the administration has not wavered from its ultimate goal of closing down the railroad.
“The reality is that the radical conditions attached to this budget make this year’s plan just another retread of what Congress and the American people reject year after year – pulling the plug on Amtrak.
“This year’s idea of ‘reform’ would slash services across the country; steal a page from the airlines’ failed business model of outsourcing critical safety functions; take us down the same road of privatization traveled by Great Britain that resulted in severely eroded service, safety problems, outraged passengers and a multi-billion dollar government bailout; and, attempt to scapegoat workers for the failures of the federal government and the current Amtrak board to manage our national passenger railroad responsibly.
“We will again mobilize to urge Congress to save Amtrak from this Administration’s reckless budget cuts and flawed policy initiatives.”
TTD represents 29 member unions in the rail, aviation, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.