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Include All Workers in the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA)

By Admin

Chairman Max Baucus
Senate Finance Committee
219 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510

Ranking Member Charles Grassley
Senate Finance Committee
135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC  20510

Dear Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Grassley:

As the Senate works to reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, I urge you to ensure that transportation workers adversely affected by our nation’s trade policies are eligible for benefits and coverage under this program.  Earlier this month, the 32 affiliated unions of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) unanimously adopted a policy statement calling on Congress to address the loophole in the current TAA law that excludes transportation workers from coverage.

There is no doubt that workers in the transportation sector have suffered job loss and economic uncertainly due to trade agreements and outsourcing by employers.  Aviation mechanics, bus drivers, and Amtrak reservation agents are just some of the TTD workforces that have seen their jobs sent to foreign competitors or face a serious threat of outsourcing.  It simply makes no sense to exclude these and other transportation workers from a program that was designed to provide basic assistance and retraining to those affected by trade.  It is also crucial that the funding levels provided for in S. 1884 are not reduced as the bill moves through the process.  While a strong TAA program can never justify the continuation of bad trade policies, we urge you to address these and other problems in the reauthorization of this important worker safety net.

If you have any questions about TTD’s position or the attached policy statement, please contact myself or Brian Lombardozzi at 202/628-9262.


Edward Wytkind

cc:        Senate Finance Committee