On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) I urge you to oppose the Broun Amendment to H.R. 2830, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2007. The Broun Amendment would strike Title X — Appeals to National Transportation Safety Board and Title XI — Marine Safety.
Title X would ensure a level of fairness in proceedings involving a mariner’s license or certificate of registry, which are prerequisites for employment. Currently, Coast Guard officers instigate and prosecute any effort to suspend a mariner. The hearing to determine if the license should be revoked is adjudicated by a Coast Guard-appointed Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Title X would allow ALJ decisions to be appealed to the National Transportation Safety Board. Transportation labor supports this change because it would provide independent review of proceedings from an individual outside of the Coast Guard chain of command.
Title XI would improve the Coast Guard’s oversight of marine safety and inspection. It would enhance the marine safety program by employing marine inspectors with significant experience in commercial vessel operations. It would also improve marine safety apprenticeships and set long-term strategy, goals and performance assessments. Transportation labor strongly supports these efforts to improve the safety and working conditions for workers in this industry.
Again, I urge you to oppose the Broun Amendment to strike Titles X and XI from H.R. 2830. If you have any questions about TTD’s position or need additional information, please contact me or Brendan Danaher at 202/628-9262.