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Transportation Unions Roll Out Strategies to Move $1 Trillion Transportation Infrastructure Package

Labor Leader Release List Of Priorities For 2017 And Beyond 

San Antonio, TX – Transportation labor leaders laid out an aggressive strategy yesterday focused on shaping the President’s $1 trillion transportation infrastructure package and tackling unprecedented challenges faced by frontline transportation workers. Some of those challenges include the looming transportation automation wave, risks to jobs and safety, and reckless political forces taking aim at workers’ rights to bargain collectively for good wages and benefits.

“We committed to rally behind a $1 trillion infrastructure package that doesn’t rely mostly on tax incentives but instead includes an infusion of billions in new federal funding and embraces high labor standards,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD). “We cannot toll our way to modernizing and expanding our transportation system and creating millions of new jobs.”

TTD hosted Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) for a discussion on the pressing issues affecting America’s transportation workers, including the need to advance a robust infrastructure package. Denham is a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and chairman of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

“Our nation’s transportation system, and the men and women who build, operate and maintain it, play a crucial role in keeping our economy strong,” Denham said. “I look forward to working with transportation labor leaders to advance strategic infrastructure investments that will rebuild our vast transportation network and, in the process, drive middle-class job creation in California and throughout the nation.” 

Transportation labor leaders laid out key issues for 2017 and beyond, including:

 Responding to the Wave of Transportation Automation

  • Automated technologies will drastically change the nature of work in transportation industries, will put millions of jobs at risk and pose new safety and security threats requiring rigorous federal regulations.

Views on President Trump’s Call for a $1 Trillion Infrastructure Investment Initiative

  • Any transportation infrastructure plan advanced by the President and Congress must include a significant infusion of new federal funds and embrace strong worker protections, labor standards and Buy America requirements.

Mobilization Against Job-Killing Right-to-Work Laws

  • Transportation labor will engage in an aggressive effort to stop national right-to-work legislation, which is part of an orchestrated, deliberate attempt by extremists to crush the wages and benefits of working Americans.

Protecting Airline Customer Service Agents from Assault

  • Too many airline customer service agents are verbally or physically assaulted on the job. Federal legislation must mitigate the problem by providing clear protocols for violent situations, preventing violent travelers from boarding planes and subjecting those who assault customer service agents to arrest and prosecution.

Strengthening Transportation Buy America Rules

  • Billions in new transportation investments must be used to not only grow the economy, but to maximize middle-class job creation through vigorous and strongly enforced Buy America policies.

Protecting and Expanding Middle Class Freight Rail Jobs

  • Transportation unions are committed to policies that strengthen and expand freight rail and will oppose reforms that would weaken the freight rail sector’s ability to expand business, invest in its network and workforce, and support middle-class job creation.

Supporting Cargo Preference Laws that Strengthen Our National Defense

  • The Trump Administration and Congress must uphold cargo preference laws that ensure a viable U.S. merchant marine, strengthen our national defense and support mariner jobs.

Protecting Official Time for Federal Employees

  • Transportation unions will mobilize against the Official Time Reform Act, which is a thinly veiled attack on public sector unions and federal employees.

The Executive Committee heard a presentation from Wytkind, who was appointed to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s federal advisory committee on transportation automation, on the safety and security challenges as well as massive job impacts from emerging automation technologies.

“Every sector of the transportation industry faces massive change and significant job loss from the development and deployment of automated technologies,” said Wytkind. “Our priority going forward is to ensure that these technologies are tools for frontline workers to enhance safety, security and service, rather than enablers of massive job and wage destruction.”

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life, Work and Legacy

Washington, DC — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues the following statement in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“At a time when the middle class is shrinking and economic upward mobility is becoming increasingly difficult for working families to achieve, we must turn to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, work and teachings for hope and inspiration.

“Dr. King understood the incredible power working people have when they come together, and recognized that access to strong union representation can transform our country into a place where prosperity is always within reach and dignity, safety and respect on the job can be achieved. Yet, nearly 50 years after Dr. King met with Memphis sanitation strikers, working people are still fighting an uphill battle against well-funded political forces whose agenda is focused on silencing workers’ voices and eroding their rights.

“As we pause to commemorate and reflect upon Dr. King’s achievements, we must not forget that his unwavering pursuit of justice endures today. That pursuit rests with those of us who, through our advocacy, demand a fairer economy that lifts up everyone.

“Dr. King taught us a great deal about what it means to engage in the political process and be heard by the people we elect. He also taught us and believed that by empowering more working people to form and join unions, we could ‘transform misery and despair into hope and progress.’

“Those teachings are not only relevant today — they provide the fuel for our advocacy on behalf of frontline transportation workers.”

Transportation Unions Ready for New Congress, Trump Administration

Transportation Trade Department LogoTransportation union leaders across all sectors gathered today for their post-election meeting to assess the landscape in Washington and lay the groundwork for a unified effort under a Trump Administration.

“Our discussion today was focused on boosting investment in transportation and protecting the rights of working people against a torrent of political attacks designed to weaken unions,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD). “We also vowed to defend against assaults on labor and safety protections in our laws, and work with those who want to change American trade policy so it aligns with the economic interests of American workers.”

The Executive Committee took aim at the wrongheaded decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve the controversial application of Norwegian Air International (NAI) for a foreign air carrier permit.

“Transportation unions were clear today in their resolve to stop the first-ever job-killing ‘flag-of-convenience’ airline sanctioned by our government from destroying U.S. airline jobs. We will continue urging President Obama to intervene and reverse the NAI decision,” Wytkind said.

Transportation labor leaders also sent a clear message that they stand with United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones in his battle to save more jobs at Carrier. Jones, who’s championed the jobs and rights of his members for decades, called out the President-elect because the number of jobs saved at Carrier is 730, not the more than 1,000 the President-elect claimed.

“America is great because of our freedom to speak out and the right of working people to come together in strong unions to demand fairness and living wages on the job,” Wytkind said. “When our elected leaders stifle dissent and bully people like Chuck Jones for simply speaking out for the men and women he’s elected to lead, we not only rip at the fabric of our nation — we eviscerate rights for which people died.”

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The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) provides a bold voice for workers in every mode of transportation and is devoted to protecting middle-class jobs, expanding collective bargaining and ensuring modern, safe and secure transportation operations and infrastructure. For more information visit us at www.ttd.org.

A Labor Day Message From Ed Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO

Washington, DC — The following statement was issued by Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), in advance of Labor Day:

EdwardWytkind“This Labor Day we honor and thank the frontline working people who keep America’s transportation system running safely and efficiently. They are hardworking, dedicated professionals who play a vital role in keeping our economy strong.

“Transportation workers have the right to a voice on the job, a safe work environment and fair pay for the critical work they do — and having strong unions gives them that chance. Yet, today these working men and women face a torrent of attacks that undermine their basic right to bargain for good wages and face economic rules rigged in favor of the very rich. And too often, these policies are endorsed from the people we elect or who are seeking public office.

“The values of honor and respect for working people are on the ballot this fall. One candidate, Donald Trump, pays lip service to the issues facing working people but endorses a disastrous platform that, at its core, will lower wages and destroy bargaining rights on the job. The other candidate, Secretary Hillary Clinton, has spent her entire career fighting for working people and is advancing an economic plan that will restrain reckless greed and offer solutions to the severe challenges and anxieties faced by so many working families. We will do our part to make sure that these completely different visions for our country are well understood by rank and file transportation employees.  

“On this Labor Day, we pause to pay tribute to those frontline employees in the transportation sector who keep America strong, safe and secure. It is on their behalf that we will advocate in the election and beyond in favor of an America that honors their contributions and against those who are out to eviscerate their rights on the job.”

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Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO Praises Amtrak’s Purchase Of New High Speed Trains

Transportation Trade Department LogoVice President Biden’s Announcement on Amtrak Procurement
Boosts U.S. Transportation Manufacturing Job Creation

Washington, D.C. — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement following the announcement in Wilmington, DE by Vice President Joe Biden on the winning bidder in Amtrak’s high speed train purchase:

“The U.S. economy and working people scored a victory today following the announcement by Vice President Joe Biden that Amtrak will be purchasing a new high speed train fleet from Alstom, which will manufacture the trains at its Hornell, New York facility employing members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

“For many years we have advocated for rail and transit procurement policies that reward high-road employers whose manufacturing business models support middle class job creation here at home. For too long federal, state and local policies squandered billions of dollars in rail and transit fleet purchases by only requiring the bare minimum when it came to domestic content and expanding U.S. transportation manufacturing.

“Fortunately, Amtrak has taken an important step in embracing a new vision for how public dollars are spent when rail and transit systems upgrade their fleets. In its request for proposal (RFP) in July of 2014, Amtrak included a groundbreaking requirement that bidders submit a U.S. Employment Plan detailing their plans to create U.S. jobs and opportunities for disadvantaged American workers including veterans.

“Amtrak’s commitment to investing in American manufacturing and good-paying jobs marks a welcome change of direction by recognizing the advantages of best value contracts. This decision also reflects years of persistence by the Obama Administration to prioritize domestic manufacturing in the transportation sector. The President, Vice President and Transportation Secretary Foxx have consistently worked to promote stronger Buy America standards and tighten lax federal waiver rules that for decades mainstreamed excessive foreign outsourcing. 

“I want to congratulate the Jobs to Move American Coalition (JMA), which developed the U.S. Employment Plan and has been a leader in implementing smarter rail and transit procurement policies throughout the country. TTD is proud to be a member of JMA, and I believe that today’s announcement helps prove what we know to be true: public investments in rail and transit can and should be a major economic driver that create good jobs and launch a renaissance in transportation manufacturing.”

Clinton Is The “Slam Dunk” Choice For President And AFL-CIO To Kick Off “Battleground Blitz”

Transportation Trades Department praises Clinton as the clear choice this election.

AFL-CIO kicks off Labor 2016 campaign in battleground states.

After a stirring oration from President Barack Obama on Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) released the following statement in support of Hillary Clinton for President of the United States:

“Last night, President Obama reminded us that Secretary Clinton is as ready as any candidate in history to be our commander in chief. Her experience, temperament and lifelong commitment to fighting for a country that is fair and treats everyone equally, combine to make the choice in this election a no-brainer.

“Secretary Clinton has a plan to put millions of people to work modernizing the economy, including our transportation system and infrastructure. Donald Trump’s GOP platform calls for the elimination of mass transit, reckless cuts to Amtrak and an austerity agenda that dooms any chance of reversing decades of neglect that have left our aging transportation system in a severe state of decay and disrepair.

“Secretary Clinton has put forward strong ideas for expanding our middle class by empowering millions to form and join unions, and bargain for fair wages and retirement security. Donald Trump has endorsed proposals that would gut collective bargaining and leave millions of working people to fend for themselves in an economy that features a widening wage gap and millions living in poverty.

“And Secretary Clinton has rejected the politics of fear and division designed to vilify and undermine the men and women who work in public service – from our cities and states to our federal government institutions. Donald Trump has endorsed a platform that attacks those people and the critical services they provide.

“The working people on the frontlines of our transportation system have grown weary of politicians who talk a good game but fail to offer real solutions. They are looking for a champion who will reach across the aisle and finally end this era of inaction and disinvestment that has left our transportation system reeling. Secretary Clinton is that champion, without question – and that’s a slam dunk.”

This morning, after Hillary Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination from President of the United States, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO, released the following statement:

“The AFL-CIO and 12.5 million working people across the nation congratulate Hillary Clinton on her historic nomination for president by the Democratic Party. We applaud the hard fought campaign that led to this moment. This is a momentous occasion for working women everywhere who are still fighting to level the playing field in their workplace and achieve equal pay for equal work. Hillary Clinton’s nomination signals our nation’s commitment to gender equality and we in the labor movement will lift up that commitment on a daily basis.

This is a moment for women, and all Americans, to celebrate. When my grandmother immigrated to America, she didn’t speak English. As a young woman, my mother couldn’t afford a college education. So, when I witnessed Hillary Clinton accept the nomination, I knew things were incredibly changed for the better. And when we elect Secretary Clinton in November, they will be changed forever.”

Concurrently with their message of support for Clinton’s nomination the AFL-CIO announced they would be kicking off a “battleground blitz” in support of Clinton and to defeat Donald Trump.

“Working people are unified behind Hillary Clinton and are ready to defeat Donald Trump in November. The Democratic Convention ended with an enthusiastic commitment to stand together to rewrite the economic rules so that all Americans can get ahead and stay ahead,” wrote the AFL-CIO.

The morning after the Convention ends, working people in every state are ready to take off and work to elect Hillary Clinton and other pro-worker candidates. The labor movement is launching an immediate series of events and actions, with 35 separate activities in 13 different cities planned between today and Sunday in the states of Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

“Working families are an unstoppable force when we stick together,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We spoke loud and strong and have helped put the country on a path to shared prosperity. We have driven the debate that put the brakes on the TPP and have established the standard for rewriting the economic rules that will shape this election.”

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre will be in South Florida this weekend for campaign kickoff events. Across the country, union members will be phone banking, canvassing and rallying to elect Hillary Clinton.

Boeing’s Shameful Attacks On Its South Carolina Employees’ Rights Will Not Go Unchallenged

Boeing Dreamliner

Washington, DC – Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, and Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, issue this statement in response to Boeing’s latest tactics aimed at squashing attempts by its employees in South Carolina to select the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers as their collective bargaining representative. 

“Boeing’s sinister claims that the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is somehow jeopardizing aerospace jobs as it opposes a job-killing flag-of-convenience airline is both factually inaccurate and a cynical attempt by the company to deny its employees in South Carolina the benefits of collective bargaining.

“The IAM and the entire labor movement is opposing Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) entry into the U.S. market because the airline’s application for a permit before the U.S. Department of Transportation violates our air services trade agreement with the European Union (EU). By headquartering NAI in Ireland instead of Norway, the company is attempting to avoid strong labor laws and current collective bargaining obligations in its home country. NAI’s operating plan centers on hiring Asian flight crews under Singaporean or Thai employment contracts. The fact that this scheme will undermine labor standards and collective bargaining rights in violation of Article 17 bis of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement is the basis for our opposition to the company’s application.

“If NAI’s application is approved, the carrier will gain an unfair competitive advantage over airlines that play by the rules – most of which are significant and longstanding Boeing customers. NAI’s parent company, Norwegian Air Shuttle, already flies to the U.S., using Boeing aircraft, and can continue to do so and expand flights under its existing operating authority. NAI’s application has absolutely nothing to do with buying more Boeing airplanes but has everything to do with setting up a corporate shell to eviscerate labor standards, undercut fair competition and destroy middle-class U.S. airline jobs.

“Boeing’s attack on the IAM is especially outrageous given that the union has led the way in advocating for policies that have expanded Boeing’s reach into new markets and created jobs. The Export-Import Bank, which Boeing has said is vital and essential to its future, would be shuttered if not for the efforts of the IAM and the broader labor movement.

“Finally, the NAI battle has been going on for well over two years. If this application was so important to Boeing, why did it wait until now to take a public position? Clearly these public relations tactics are about dissuading South Carolina workers from joining the IAM and demanding better wages, benefits, job protections and working conditions. These shameful tactics should be dismissed as more anti-union saber-rattling by this corporate giant.”

#DenyNAI: New Legislation To Stop Norwegian Air International From Undercutting Labor Laws

Image by Viaggio Routard FLIKR CC

Image by Viaggio Routard FLIKR CC

Congressional Representatives From Both Sides Of The Aisle, Introduce Legislation To Deny NAI’s Application To The DOT.

Today, Congress took a big step forward in protecting American workers and upholding our nations trade agreements, by introducing legislation to stop Norwegian Air International (NAI) from skirting international labor laws as they attempt to expand in the U.S.

NAI, is based in Norway, but the airline is incorporated in Ireland. This is called a “flag of convenience.” It allows NAI to avoid paying taxes in their home country and allows them to avoid strong labor laws in U.S – European Air Transport agreement.

“Norwegian Air International (NAI) and its attempt to launch a flag-of-convenience airline has once again drawn a strong bipartisan rebuke from lawmakers who have long held that our government should not give operating authority to foreign airlines that violate our trade rules and threaten U.S. airline jobs,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD).

“Norwegian Air International specifically set up operations in Ireland to avoid labor laws in Norway—a flagrant violation of the labor provisions in the agreement. We implore swift action by all lawmakers to get this legislation adopted in order to uphold labor protections in trade deals, protect good aviation jobs, and ensure the safest aviation system in the world,” said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA).

“As the Norwegian Air saga continues to rear its ugly head, we are grateful to the members of Congress who stand up against this bogus proposal with commonsense legislation that protects good jobs and fair competition. This bill would fight the Department of Transportation’s effort to allow airlines to flout labor standards in order to pad their bottom lines. It sends a message to any company looking to operate in the United States: if you don’t care about working people, you aren’t welcome here,” wrote the Transport Workers Union (TWU).

In order for NAI to expand operations in the U.S. they would first need DOT approval. On April 15, the DOT tentatively approved NAI’s application.

“The Machinists Union applauds Congress for acting to stop the Department of Transportation’s ill-conceived decision to pave the way for NAI’s entry into the US aviation market. Any airline that registers its aircraft in foreign countries with lax safety and security standards and ‘rents’ its cabin crews from countries with no labor laws to lower costs shouldn’t be welcome in the United States,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja.

“Make no mistake: NAI’s scheme to gain entry into the US aviation market will unleash downward pressure on the wages, benefits and working conditions of airline workers here in the United States and cause airline workers to lose their jobs. That is unacceptable,” added Pantoja.

“NAI is a model for corporate practices that depress wages and diminish collective bargaining rights. It will contract—or more accurately ‘rent’— its flight crews through a recruitment firm based in Asia, which operates according to inferior labor laws. In doing so, NAI will be able to abuse weak labor protections to undercut U.S. airlines and their employees with significantly lower compensation and benefits,” added TWU.

Today, Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) introduced the bill, HR 5090, to deny NAI’s application.

Watch Rep DeFaszio on why we should Deny NAI’s application.

Congressman Larson said that allowing NAI to violate international labor laws would “reward countries that break their commitments to protecting workers.”

“My colleagues and I have been clear with DOT that strong labor standards must factor into NAI’s air carrier permit decision. Today, we are introducing legislation that would prohibit DOT from issuing a permit to NAI if doing so would undermine labor standards,” Congressman Larsen said. “Granting an air carrier permit to NAI would say to the world that the U.S. rewards other countries that break their commitments to protecting workers. Our agreements with other countries are only as strong as our ability and willingness to enforce them, which is why I am pushing hard for the U.S. to hold other countries accountable for their end of the deal.”

After the bill was introduced, leaders from the major aviation unions praised their swift action in stopping NAI’s application.

“ALPA commends Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), and Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) for standing up for U.S. airline workers and introducing bipartisan legislation that will prevent Norwegian Air International from serving the United States with a business plan that is designed to undermine labor standards and the intent of one of this country’s international trade agreements,” said Capt. Tim Canoll, ALPA’s president.

“We applaud the immediate action of Representatives Peter DeFazio, Frank LoBiondo, Rick Larsen, Lynn Westmoreland to stop this downward spiral on U.S. aviation and good jobs,” added Nelson.

“This legislation is a timely response to the DOT’s April 15 Show Cause Order that moves NAI closer to gaining access to U.S. markets. We criticized that decision because we know that NAI’s business model blatantly violates the labor provisions negotiated into the U.S.-EU aviation trade accord. Inexplicably, the DOT ignored the strict international labor standards it negotiated into U.S.-EU agreement and now faces a final decision on whether it will enforce the labor article or greenlight this low-road air carrier whose operating plan will destroy fair competition and extinguish middle-class airline jobs here and in Europe,” added Wytkind.

“The legislation introduced today requires our government to fully enforce the labor protections in aviation trade agreements it negotiates, and makes it clear that a decision by DOT to permit NAI to launch air service to U.S. markets will not stand. We urge the DOT to reassess the compelling facts in this case, reverse course and deny NAI’s application,” Wytkind concluded.

U.S. DOT Order on Norwegian Air Case, Unless Reversed, Threatens Thousands of U.S. Airline Jobs

Transportation Trade Department LogoWASHINGTON, DC — Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), issues this statement in response to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ill-advised order regarding Norwegian Air International’s application for a foreign air carrier permit:

“We are strongly opposed to today’s show cause order issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation that could pave the way for Norwegian Air International (NAI) to launch a job-killing flag-of-convenience airline that perverts the transatlantic airline market and violates our nation’s aviation trade agreement with the European Union (EU).

“The facts surrounding the NAI case could not be clearer. NAI, a subsidiary of Norway-based Norwegian Air Shuttle, was incorporated in Ireland with a single goal in mind: avoid Norway’s regulatory and employment laws to gain an unfair disadvantage over air carriers on both sides of the Atlantic that play by the rules as designed. NAI’s plan has been to use Bangkok-based flight crews employed under Singaporean individual employment contracts, evade collective bargaining obligations in Norway and unfairly undercut wages and labor standards while still reaping the benefits of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement.

“It is for these reasons that a bipartisan Congress has spoken loudly against the NAI application and why a coalition of European and U.S. airlines has opposed this application for more than two years.

“Worst of all, approval of the NAI application would be a betrayal by this Administration of the explicit labor protections – embodied in Article 17 bis of the U.S.-EU deal – that bar new air services under the agreement that ‘undermine labor standards or the labor-related rights and principles contained in the Parties’ respective laws.’ If NAI is allowed to fly, our government will be saying to U.S. airline employees that the labor protections negotiated into aviation trade agreements are worthless and will be disregarded and cast aside when jobs and labor rights are actually threatened.

“It doesn’t take much creativity to conclude that when an airline company like NAI scours the globe for the cheapest labor it can find, evades the social and employment laws of its own country, and uses a rogue business model in violation of our trade agreements and laws, our government should not reward that airline with new rights to seize our markets, compete unfairly with our air carriers and kill our members’ jobs.

“This is a legacy issue. We will be urging President Obama and Secretary Foxx to reverse course and reject the NAI application. A new era of low-wage, flag-of-convenience airlines should not be launched on this Administration’s watch.”

Transportation Unions’ Agenda Focuses on Job Creation, Safety and Appropriations

Unions begin preparations for the 2016 Presidential election

San Diego, CA — Transportation unions took aim at critical transportation appropriations battles pending in Washington and continued preparations to show their members and the public the stark choices voters will face in the presidential election.

“We are committed to countering the dangerous austerity agenda in certain corners of Congress that threatens to starve job creation investments in transportation,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), following the winter meeting of the organization’s 32-member Executive Committee, held yesterday. “We will also focus on critical safety issues plaguing our sector and fighting corporate efforts to weaken the job security and collective bargaining rights of transportation workers.”

Executive Committee members discussed their priorities with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), the lead Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Charlie Cook, political analyst and editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, provided a snapshot on the state of the presidential race and key U.S. Senate contests. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka held a roundtable with transportation union leaders that focused on pending policy priorities and collective bargaining battles in 2016.

Transportation unions put their weight behind legislation that imposes stiffer criminal penalties on anyone who assaults airline customer service representatives.

“We have seen an increase in attacks on gate and ticket agents – it is time for Congress and the airline companies to better protect these employees,” Wytkind said.

TTD affiliates joined the growing chorus of opposition to Canadian Pacific’s attempted hostile takeover of Norfolk Southern, citing “the devastating impact these transactions can have on jobs, freight service and safety.”

While praising Congress for boosting authorized funding levels for the Maritime Security Program (MSP), which provides vital sealift capacity to the Department of Defense, the Executive Committee vowed to push congressional appropriators and the Obama Administration to fully fund the program.

“Funding MSP is vital to national security and it supports middle class U.S. mariner jobs,” Wytkind said.

Transportation union leaders also condemned underhanded attacks — disguised as measures to monitor the productivity of U.S. ports — on the rights of longshore workers to bargain for job security, and good wages and benefits.

“We will not let the world’s largest retailers and their army of lobbyists eviscerate the bargaining rights of the men and women in our ports,” Wytkind said.

The Executive Committee called for immediate funding of the federal-state compact to build-out the Gateway Project. That project will fix a transportation crisis on the Northeast Corridor that promises to “reverberate across the entire economy” if Amtrak is forced to start shutting down century-old tunnels or severely deteriorated bridges in a region that supports 30 percent of the nation’s jobs.

Transportation unions also urged Congress to ensure that measures to boost aviation security strike the appropriate balance between protecting against terrorist threats and honoring the “legitimate rights of employees.”

Transportation unions focused on the upcoming presidential election with an agreement to work together in rolling out the views and records of the Republican and Democratic nominee for president.

“We are already seeing in this race a contest between candidates who want to massively rebuild our transportation system and expand our middle class, and those who will likely pursue a dangerous austerity agenda tantamount to economic retreat,” Wytkind added.


The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, provides a bold voice for workers in every mode of transportation devoted to protecting middle-class jobs, expanding collective bargaining, and ensuring modern, safe, and secure transportation operations and infrastructure. For more information, visit us at www.ttd.org.

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