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Nation’s Top Transportation Labor Leaders Convene to Outline Federal Policy Goals

By Admin

WASHINGTON – National leaders from more than 30 transportation labor unions convened at a bi-annual Executive Committee meeting to adopt policy goals that support the workers who build, operate and maintain the nation’s transportation systems. Featured speakers included AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Fred Redmond, Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Natalie Quillian. 

As America’s largest transportation labor federation, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) hosted the meeting at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, DC. Peter Defazio, former Congressman and Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was this year’s recipient of the Larry Willis Leadership Award. Named for the late TTD President Larry Willis, the award is presented to an outstanding advocate of transportation labor policies. 

At the legislative summit, transportation labor leaders unanimously adopted new policy statements to address pressing issues affecting workers in maritime, rail, aviation, student transportation, and public safety sectors. 

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, MD nearly two months ago has tragically highlighted the need for stronger safety standards in the global maritime industry. In response, the labor leaders adopted a policy statement demanding improved global safety standards for maritime shipping.

As worker safety is a pressing issue across all industries, the labor leaders adopted policy statements calling for federal regulations to protect workers against extreme temperatures; federal regulations for safer freight train mechanical inspections; and decarbonization efforts that prioritize the well-being of rail workers. The leaders also urged the Administration to reject efforts to reduce the number of pilots in the flight deck of commercial airliners. With safety in mind, the group also denounced ridesharing as a substitute for school buses, urging Congress and the Administration to develop a strong federal regulatory framework to ensure minimum safety standards for these alternate student transportation services.

Lastly, they called on Congress and the Biden Administration to continue addressing these safety concerns and workforce challenges; to partner with labor to prioritize contract negotiations that will improve the nation’s transportation systems for workers and passengers; and to seize the momentum on high-speed rail