AFL-CIO TTD sets rail safety priorities at meeting

Published: March 14, 2019

The AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD) on March 11 announced the railroad industry issues that the coalition of transportation unions, of which SMART Transportation Division is a member, will prioritize in the coming months.

Of the highest importance, the policy statement identified continuing the progression of safety measures, including national legislation.

“More can and must be done to further improve safety, minimize risk on railroads, and ensure frontline workers and the communities they operate in are fully protected,” the TTD said in its policy statement. “By reauthorizing the now-expired Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (RSIA), closing perilous loopholes in existing regulations, and advancing common sense safety regulations that prioritize a vibrant and healthy rail workforce, Congress and the administration have an opportunity and obligation to ensure that the future of rail is safer than ever before.”

The policy statement also identified five key points of focus:

  1. Addressing Fatigue with Common Sense Solutions
  2. Single Crew Member Trains are Unsafe
  3. Protecting Rail Workers from Assault
  4. Ensure Cross Border Safety and Security
  5. Working Together for a Safe and Risk Free Rail Industry

“Rail workers cannot be expected to do more with a reduced workforce, fewer resources, and less sleep while simultaneously improving safety and minimizing risks,” the TTD concluded. “Rail labor will work vigorously with Congress to ensure adequate safety measures are implemented through the reauthorization process and will challenge any attempts that are made at the expense of safety, workers’ rights and their jobs.”

The policy statement was released in conjunction with the TTD’s Executive Committee meeting in New Orleans.

Read the full policy statement.