WASHINGTON, DC— Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issued the following statement ahead of this week’s House-Senate conference on surface transportation reauthorization legislation:
“As House and Senate conferees begin negotiations on surface transportation legislation tomorrow, nearly 2 million current jobs, and up to 1 million new jobs, are at stake in what remains a slow economic recovery. More stonewalling will not help families pay mortgages, college tuition or health care bills.
“Voters take note: Members of Congress have a choice to make. They can make a deal based upon the bipartisan Senate bill (MAP-21), or they can force a debate on controversial provisions – such as privatization giveaways to foreign interests – in the House bill (H.R.7) that never even made it to the floor for a vote.
“Anyone not onboard with the work already done to move a bipartisan bill is saying only one thing: ‘I’m not serious about creating American jobs. I’m only serious about scoring points with the most extreme political factions.
“Transportation unions have been urging legislators on Twitter to #GetMoving with the #TranspoBill that Senate Environment & Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) says holds the fate of 1.9 million current jobs, and almost 1 million new jobs. We couldn’t agree more – politics must not trump real job creation and the needs of our failing transportation system.
“The recent unemployment numbers emphasize the need for quick congressional action. Last week the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the starkest reminder yet of how we are neglecting this nation’s transportation systems. Its March-April monthly jobs report said transportation and warehousing lost 16,600 jobs, with the bulk of those –11,000– coming from transit and ground transportation. And construction unemployment remains historically high.
“Calling MAP-21 a jobs bill is not presidential campaign rhetoric. This is a real-world example of real job growth that can be demonstrated state-by-state immediately upon enactment of this legislation. It is time to get the job done in Washington. It is time to move America forward.”
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, represents 32 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, motor carrier, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org or on Facebook and Twitter.