Senator Larcenia J. Bullard
8603 S. Dixie Highway
Miami, FL 33143
Dear Senator Bullard:
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), I want to express our opposition to a provision in pending legislation that would essentially ratify a deal between CSX railroad and the State of Florida for a major rail initiative in central Florida. Specifically, we urge you to reject the provision in this legislation that would grant liability protections to CSX.
The legislation as currently written would shift all legal liability from CSX to the state of Florida and its taxpayers. This is accomplished by granting the rail carrier contractual indemnity and sovereign immunity protections. By granting these exceptional legal protections to a multi-billion dollar private company, not only would CSX be immune from having to pay for its own wrongdoing but the state of Florida and its taxpayers would be left on the hook for millions in potential liability costs.
Transportation labor has a long history of supporting transportation infrastructure development as the nation grapples with myriad passenger and freight transportation challenges. But this legislation as it stands would leave the public at risk while failing to protect current employees from job loss.
We urge opposition to this bill until it is modified to ensure existing workers and Florida taxpayers are adequately protected.