WASHINGTON, DC — Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued the following statement praising last night’s passage of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010:
“We are pleased that the House and Senate have passed the Coast Guard Authorization Act that includes several important reforms that will improve the work environment for longshore and maritime workers.
“Specifically, this bill requires faster processing of TWIC cards and allows workers an opportunity to continue working while security credentials are pending. Since the program was created, thousands of workers have waited months for their TWIC cards and many have lost their jobs in the meantime. This bill will help address these problems and make the TWIC process work more effectively.
“The legislation also makes long-overdue changes to the merchant mariner medical review process by creating a committee of physicians and mariners to inform the Coast Guard on worker fitness and safety issues. Their expertise will help the Coast Guard reduce the existing backlog of mariner medical review applications and get mariners back to work.
“While there is still important work left to be done, including addressing the threat of piracy, mariner workforce development and redundant state-based credentialing programs, this legislation represents an important step forward. We look forward to its enactment.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.