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Transportation Labor Applauds COVID Economic Relief Package but Warns $45 billion for Transportation Is Not Enough

Washington, DC – Greg Regan, Secretary-Treasurer of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement applauding passage of a COVID economic relief package:

“We applaud those Democrats and Republicans in Congress who came together in a bipartisan manner to support working families when they needed it the most. This economic relief package will provide critical funding for our nation’s transportation system and its frontline workers; put emergency money in peoples’ pockets through expanded unemployment insurance, direct cash payments, and other support; and ensure our health care system holds up as we mobilize to ensure the coronavirus vaccine reaches all Americans.

“While these are absolutely essential steps for Congress to take, we must also be clear that the funding provided to support frontline transportation workers, who continue to lay their lives on the line for this country, is a Band-Aid that will only stem the bleeding for a few months. Furthermore, we are severely disappointed that this bill does not provide funding for the state and local governments and their dedicated employees that deliver vital services for Americans throughout the country.

“Every day throughout this pandemic, workers across the transportation sector have risked their lives and the lives of their loved ones in service to this country, supporting the movement of essential workers, medical equipment, food, and other critical goods in the supply chain that support the economy and our security. And these dedicated transportation workers have stepped up every day without leadership by the executive branch, enforceable safety standards, or any meaningful economic assistance since the CARES Act in March.

“Over the coming months, Americans will look to our skilled and dedicated frontline transportation workforce for handling and delivery of life-saving COVID vaccines to every corner of our country and to provide the transportation services they will need during the recovery from this health and economic crisis. The fact is that America will not rebound from this unprecedented national emergency without a strong and stable transportation sector that is properly staffed with skilled workers on the job.

“We are relieved that Congress has finally passed critical economic assistance. But as COVID cases skyrocket, and with the vaccine just starting to be delivered, we know that another round of economic relief will be necessary early next year. We look forward to working with Congress and the new administration to secure the kind of economic relief that will allow working people, the broader economy, our transportation system, and state and local governments to recover from the ravages of this global pandemic.”

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