WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board made important additions to its “NTSB Most Wanted List” of transportation safety improvements. Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, offers the following statement:
“We are pleased to see the National Transportation Safety Board add air traffic controller and rail operating employee fatigue to its “Most Wanted List” of transportation safety improvements. Continued neglect of these issues will have severe consequences. Having the NTSB out front calling for action will serve to advance transportation labor’s agenda to deal with chronic fatigue issues in the workplace.
“Understaffing and poor scheduling practices have produced a dangerously fatigued air traffic control workforce. We cannot allow FAA mismanagement to set controllers up for failure, because failure on the runway and in the skies is not an option.
“Railroad accidents are on the rise, and fatigue has been cited as a major contributing factor by many recent NTSB reports. Unwieldy hours of service rules, reckless scheduling policies, and the abusive practice known as “limbo time,” all contribute to a tired rail workforce with dangerous consequences.
“The Bush Administration should heed the warnings of its own appointees to the NTSB and work with Congress in pending FAA and rail safety legislation to eradicate longstanding worker fatigue problems in our transportation system.
“We commend the NTSB for taking aggressive steps yesterday to challenge our government’s inaction.”
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.