FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Board Ignoring Public Interest in Advancing Reckless Privatization and Break-up of Amtrak
Washington, D.C. . . . The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), in response to congressional inquiries regarding the Amtrak Board of Directors.
“Congress is right in its critical examination of the Amtrak Board of Directors in the wake of its dismissal of Amtrak CEO David Gunn.
“In April of this year we called for the immediate resignation of the Board, saying it abandoned its fiduciary responsibilities. Today we stand behind that call stronger than ever.
“While transportation workers have had sharp differences with Mr. Gunn in the past, no one can question the experience and dedication of a man who devoted his entire career to passenger rail.
“The same point can sadly not be made about the Amtrak Board of Directors. The Board’s members — all appointed by the Bush administration — share two things in common. The first is an astonishing lack of experience in, all of things, actually running a railroad. Secondly, they are united by a slavish devotion to breaking-up and privatizing Amtrak, a move which has brought nothing but failure wherever it’s been tried around the globe. The Board appears to act as conduit to advance the interests of those who would benefit from our nation abandoning Amtrak.
“In addition to looking at legal issues surrounding the Board, Congress must also question the Board’s competence to run Amtrak. The nation has been paying too high of a price for this Administration’s “leave no crony behind” personnel policies. Amtrak’s passengers and workers are badly served by the current Amtrak Board of Directors.”
TTD represents 29 member unions in the rail, aviation, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.