For Immediate Release
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TTD Applauds Passage of LaTourette-Oberstar Amendment to Increase Funding
WASHINGTON, DC — The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), regarding the 266-158 vote to save our national passenger rail system:
“The vote last night to give Amtrak an increase of $214 million represents a good first step in the effort to save our national rail system. The vote on the LaTourette-Oberstar amendment demonstrates a desire by this Congress to ensure that Amtrak does not go out of business. While the amendment does not provide Amtrak with the full cash infusion it needs to restore and expand its infrastructure or to serve America’s growing passenger rail needs, it is a move in the right direction.
“The original $900 million included in the Committee bill would shut down our national passenger rail system, strand 25 million passengers and add nearly 20,000 workers to the unemployment line. Amtrak’s demise would devastate our transportation system and economy as passengers, businesses, states and workers would pay the price. Congress has again shown that it recognizes Amtrak’s role as a critical transportation link to thousands of communities and as an essential component of our national transportation system.
“It is time for Amtrak’s executives and Board to stop blindly following the dictates of an Administration intent on destroying the national passenger railroad. Instead Amtrak management must start treating its workers fairly and abandon its drive to outsource this valuable workforce.”
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), a Washington, D.C.-based labor organization, represents several million transportation workers in the private and public sector. The 31 member unions of TTD work in aviation, bus, mass transit, rail, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. TTD works with Congress and the Executive Branch including the transportation related Federal Agencies to protect good jobs, increase wages, defend workers’ rights, increase transportation safety plus security and ensure adequate funding for our nation’s transportation infrastructure. Under the umbrella of the AFL-CIO, which represents more than 9 million workers in the United States, TTD handles policy and legislative issues related to transportation. Visit www.ttd.org for more information.