Orlando, FL – Celebrating 30 years of advocacy on behalf of frontline transportation workers, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), and leaders of its 33 affiliated unions convened their winter convention yesterday where they recommitted to their efforts to fight for the rights, safety, and livelihoods of America’s transportation workforce.
Addressing the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19), which stands to disproportionately impact transportation workers, TTD’s Executive Committee was briefed on ways to keep the traveling public and frontline workers safe by Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Labor leaders also recognized the significant impact the virus could have on the broader economy, and vowed to pursue policies that will protect working families and ensure the vitality of middle class jobs in transportation industries and beyond.
Labor leaders also set an aggressive agenda for 2020, focused on securing long-term funding for surface transportation reauthorization, which is up this year, and ensuring top presidential candidates campaign on the needs of working people. In addition, transportation union leaders pledged to pursue policies that will:
- Improve air quality in commercial aircraft;
- Ensure America’s ports remain a hub of good, middle-class jobs;
- Strengthen America’s maritime and shipbuilding workforces;
- Ensure the Railroad Retirement Board can meet the needs of America’s rail workers;
- Give Transportation Security Officers the same rights as other federal employees;
- Improve railroad grade crossing safety;
- Ensure our nation’s transit workforce can thrive in a changing industry; and
- Create good jobs in electric vehicle manufacturing and infrastructure.
Transportation labor leaders discussed their priorities with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Democratic Caucus Chairman, and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Ranking Member of the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.
TTD’s Executive Committee also voted to re-elect Larry Willis as president and Greg Reagan as Secretary-Treasurer.
“In the three decades since TTD was founded, those who build, operate, and maintain our transportation system have seen and experienced significant changes that directly impact their work, from advancements in technology to the global war on terror to the novel coronavirus. By standing in solidarity and speaking with one, bold voice, transportation workers have been able to weather these changes, stand up to coordinated and sustained attacks on their rights as union members, and push back against unsafe rules and regulations, insufficient funding levels, and dangerous government shutdowns,” Willis said. “TTD is proud to be the voice of transportation labor, and we will continue fighting for policies that create good jobs in transportation and enhance the rights of this critical workforce.”
“No matter what changes come their way, transportation workers will always need a strong partner in our federal government, robust funding levels to ensure they have the resources needed to do their jobs safely and efficiently, and a strong union voice. TTD has been proud to serve as a unifying voice for those who work in the transportation sector, and we’re committed to keeping these fights going,” Regan said.