Reported by Lillianna Byington for Bloomberg Government.
Addressing staff shortages at air traffic control facilities and stopping airlines from misusing visa programs are among the top priorities for transportation unions next year.
The Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO brought together 37 unions on Thursday, including the Air Line Pilots Association and Transport Workers Union, to vote on an agenda of advocacy goals for 2023 for aviation, transit, maritime, rail, and other transport workers. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh also spoke to the unions and answered questions about their priorities at the closed meeting.
The unions want Congress to ensure the Federal Aviation Administration has the resources needed for air traffic controllers and to pass legislation to help restore rail workers’ sickness and unemployment benefits.
The groups also are urging the Transportation Department to attach US-made requirements to all federal spending from last year’s infrastructure law (Public Law 117-58). Those requirements have been delayed by some agencies to give grant recipients time to transition from foreign sources.
The agenda “highlights that we have a very busy couple of years ahead of us,” TTD President Greg Regan said after the meeting. “Our agenda is not limited to what we adopted today; those are just ones that provide a benchmark.”
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