Washington, DC — As the American economy emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic only to face a supply chain emergency and stalled infrastructure legislation, the leaders of 33 transportation unions met with Liz Shuler, the president of the AFL-CIO, and Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation, among others, to advance worker-first solutions to significant challenges. The labor leaders also hosted a conversation with Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), who chairs the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Transportation labor leaders, gathered for the fall meeting of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), took aim at the dysfunction in Washington that is delaying action on historic investments in our infrastructure and people and specifically called out the freight railroads for their “bare bones business model” that is central to the cascading supply chain crisis.
“Transportation workers have kept our economy and communities afloat during a once-a-century pandemic – they kept our hospitals and other essential services stocked and staffed, they risked their own health and life to get essential workers to their jobs, they operated, built and maintained our infrastructure backbone, and they provided frontline support to COVID-19 vaccine delivery across the country,” said TTD President Greg Regan. “It is time for our elected leaders to step up for them now with bold policies that prioritize and center workers’ needs and keep them safe and secure on the job during a critical time of economic recovery.”
In addition to pushing for passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package and pro-labor measures to address supply chain disruptions, transportation unions rallied behind solutions to mitigate the scourge of assaults against frontline transportation workers, boost U.S. maritime industry job creation and national security, and reform unfair and perverse policies that have undermined the United States Postal Service and its employees.
“TTD members are the cornerstone of the Build Back Better agenda that’s pro-labor, worker-centered, and about achieving results,” Shuler said. “Massive investment in infrastructure, reshoring American industry and resolving the supply chain crisis are key to our economic recovery. And let me be clear. We fully support both jobs bills moving through Congress—reconciliation and the bipartisan infrastructure bill. These bills would be the biggest investments in American jobs ever. And we are going to make sure they are good, union jobs.”
“Americans owe a great deal to the transportation workers who keep us moving forward no matter the circumstances. Our economy and our government rely on them showing up and it is time to return the favor,” said Carper. “We are working hard to get our bipartisan infrastructure bill on President Biden’s desk. Our bill is going to put a lot of folks to work in good-paying union jobs and invest in a better future for working families across the country. I’m thankful to our nation’s transportation unions who are instrumental in helping us get this across the finish line.”