Washington, DC — Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement on the passage of the historic INVEST in America Act by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“Momentum is growing for the kind of once-in-a-generation investments in infrastructure that will transform our country, create and sustain millions of good jobs, and secure America’s economic vitality for years to come. Passage of the INVEST in America Act by the U.S. House of Representatives has brought us one step closer to these goals.
“By committing unprecedented funding levels to our highway, transit, and passenger and freight rail programs, this historic package will ensure our transportation network can meet the demands of a 21st-century economy. By pairing those investments with strong labor protections, including Davis Bacon, transit labor protections, domestic content and manufacturing requirements, and Buy America rules, this legislation ensures federal dollars create good-paying jobs here in the U.S., with the kinds of safety, wage, and workplace protections working people deserve.
“The INVEST in America Act contains a number of worker-first and safety-enhancing priorities TTD and our unions have long fought for, including:
- The establishment of apprenticeship goals for highway grant programs;
- Tools to help keep transit workers safe from assault, including the creation of joint labor/management safety committees, accurate assault data collection, and requirements for transit agencies to set performance targets for reducing assaults against transit workers;
- Assurances that private, for-profit ride-hailing and autonomous vehicle companiesare not diverting taxpayer funds from real public transportation;
- The establishment of a national frontline workforce training centerand appropriate funding levels to ensure its success;
- Significant freight rail safety improvements, including a federal requirement mandating two qualified crewmembers— a certified conductor and engineer — on most freight trains in America; ensuring the safety of cross-border rail operations; the implementation of a national strategy to improve grade crossing safety; and important fatigue-mitigation protections for freight rail yardmasters;
- Requirements for intercity and commuter railroads to implement employee assault prevention and response plans and to provide support for employees who are assaulted at work;
- The preservation and creation of good jobs at Amtrak, including through onboard food and beverage service, and at call centers and stations across the country; and
- The restructuring of Amtrak’s board of directors, including the addition of a voting member who represents the interests of working people.
“Today’s passage of the INVEST in America Act marks an important step towards transformative and long-overdue investments in our nation’s infrastructure. TTD and our unions eagerly await the Senate’s bipartisan infrastructure proposal and progress by the White House on the American Jobs Plan.”