Archive for the ‘Aviation News’ Category

Vendor American Products taking bulk orders of facemasks

Arrangements have been made to have bulk quantities of facemasks for order through American Products Inc., an endorsed SMART Transportation Division vendor.

Two style options are available – one with a washable filter insert and a second single-layer cloth mask.

These are customizable and available in minimum quantities of 50 from the vendor. Contact Sherry Schirripa (sschirripa@comcast.net) or Vicki Harrington (vharrington@atc-ny.com) if interested in placing an order.

Visit smarttdmerchandise.com for more information.

New Guaranteed Approval Offering for SMART-TD Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP)

All previously declined members and future enrolled members of the SMART-TD Long-Term Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) now have access to up to $1,000 of guaranteed approved coverage.

North Olmsted, Ohio (April 16, 2020) — In May 2019, the SMART Transportation Division rolled out a new Voluntary Disability Plan (VDP) to all dues-paying members living in the United States and working at least 20 hours per week. This plan, underwritten by Amalgamated Life Insurance Company, was subject to simplified medical underwriting, which led to some members not receiving medical qualification for this important coverage.

SMART leadership has been in negotiations with Amalgamated to resolve this issue, and the company has agreed to provide $1,000 of guaranteed approved coverage to all future enrollees, including those who previously had been medically denied coverage.

This enhancement to the SMART TD Long-Term Disability Plan (VDP) applies to all members who had applied previously and were denied coverage and to all future new enrolled members.

The following conditions will be made effective on Aug. 1, 2020:

  • Those enrolled members must currently be actively at work
  • Members who previously enrolled and were declined may find themselves in a new age group based on the new effective date of coverage. This will impact their premiums.

The $1,000 guaranteed approved benefit plan will have the following design:

  • $1,000/month maximum benefit
  • 180-day elimination period
  • 2-year maximum benefit duration
  • 12/12 pre-existing limitation (pre-existing condition clock will start Aug. 1, 2020)

For more information about the enhanced VDP plan or to enroll, visit www.smart-vltd.com or call the SMART-TD VDP Enrollment Center at 224-770-5328.

About SMART TD: The SMART Transportation Division (SMART-TD) is comprised of approximately 125,000 active and retired members of the former United Transportation Union, who work in a variety of different crafts in the transportation industry. With offices in North Olmsted, Ohio, and Washington, D.C., SMART TD is the largest railroad operating union in North America.

For more information regarding this press release, please contact:
Carl Galdine
224-770-5328
carl@smart-vltd.com

VSTD NOTICE: ELIMINATION PERIOD WAIVED FOR COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) DISABILITIES

April 15, 2020

As Trustees of the SMART Voluntary Short Term Disability Plan, we have a responsibility to manage your Plan with care and prudence. We are always concerned with maximizing the benefit of the program for you, particularly in your time of need. We believe this has been accomplished over the years through favorable
changes to the Plan that have directly benefited you as a member.

We are all now facing a pandemic in this country with the spread of COVID-19, also referred to as Coronavirus. This disease has consumed our attention as a nation for weeks now and is a unique challenge for our country and its citizens. We want you as members of the SMART Rail and Bus workforce to know that the Plan is with you and supporting you where it can during this threat. It is for this reason that we are pleased to announce that we have taken immediate action to make it easier for you to qualify for a benefit from the Plan if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This disease has largely caught our country off guard and we know being afflicted with it can have direct and immediate financial implications for you and your family. The Plan is positioned to help.

Effective with all diagnosed COVID-19 (Coronavirus) disabilities beginning in the months of March, April and May 2020, the Plan’s Elimination Period (Waiting Period) will be waived. Currently, members must be disabled for 21 days before benefits will begin on the 22nd day. This is known as the Elimination Period (Waiting Period). We are waiving this Waiting Period for positive COVID-19 (Coronavirus) disabilities. This change will expedite and increase benefits for approved applicants so that you will have immediate access to money. Currently, the Waiting Period will be reinstated for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) disabilities beginning on and after June 1, 2020.

We are pleased that the Plan can take this action on your behalf. We wish you and your family health and wellness during these trying times.

Sincerely,
Board of Trustees
Mr. Joseph Sellers Jr., General President SMART
Mr. Jeremy Ferguson, President-SMART Transportation Division
Mr. Joseph Powell, General Secretary-Treasurer SMART

The SMART Voluntary Short Term Disability Plan is administered by:
Southern Benefit Administrators, Incorporated
P.O. Box 1449
Goodlettsville, Tennessee 37070-1449
Toll-Free: (844) 880-1071, Fax: (615) 859-0201

View this announcement in PDF form.

OSHA establishes plan to keep workers safe from COVID-19

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced an interim enforcement response plan for the coronavirus pandemic. The response plan provides instructions and guidance to OSHA area offices and compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) for handling coronavirus-related complaints, referrals and severe illness reports.

During the coronavirus outbreak, OSHA area offices will utilize their inspection resources to fulfill mission essential functions and protect workers exposed to the disease. The response plan contains interim procedures that allow flexibility and discretion for field offices to maximize OSHA’s impact in securing safe workplaces in this evolving environment.

“OSHA is committed to protecting the health and safety of America’s workers during this challenging time in our nation’s history,” Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt said. “Today’s guidance outlines commonsense procedures for investigating complaints related to the coronavirus, while also ensuring the safety of workers, employers and inspectors.”

The response plan outlines procedures for addressing reports of workplace hazards related to the coronavirus. Fatalities and imminent danger exposures related to the coronavirus will be prioritized for on-site inspections. The response plan contains procedures and sample documentation for CSHOs to use during coronavirus-related inspections. Workers requesting inspections, complaining of coronavirus exposure or reporting illnesses may be protected under one or more whistleblower statutes and will be informed of their protections from retaliation.

This memorandum will take effect immediately and remain in effect until further notice. It is intended to be time-limited to the current public health crisis. Check OSHA’s webpage at www.osha.gov/coronavirus frequently for updates.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment and assure work-related benefits and rights.

DOL warns employers against retaliation for workers who report unsafe conditions during pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding employers that it is illegal to retaliate against workers because they report unsafe and unhealthful working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Acts of retaliation can include terminations, demotions, denials of overtime or promotion or reductions in pay or hours.

“Employees have the right to safe and healthy workplaces,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt. “Any worker who believes that their employer is retaliating against them for reporting unsafe working conditions should contact OSHA immediately.”

Workers have the right to file a whistleblower complaint online with OSHA (or 1-800-321-OSHA) if they believe their employer has retaliated against them for exercising their rights under the whistleblower protection laws enforced by the agency.

OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program webpage provides valuable resources on worker rights, including fact sheets on whistleblower protections for employees in various industries and frequently asked questions.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of more than 20 whistleblower statutes protecting employees from retaliation for reporting violations of various workplace safety and health, airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime, securities and tax laws. For more information on whistleblower protections, visit OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Programs webpage.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Suggestion to our members: Keep track of who you’ve come in contact with

As more people are being diagnosed with COVID-19 or coronavirus, it is important to know who you have come into contact with on a daily basis. State health departments, employers and the infected themselves have been having a difficult time in determining and/or remembering who the infected person may have come into contact with in trying to trace possible infection vectors.

The Bailey Yard in Nebraska was one of the first railroad yards hit with the virus. As the first patient was identified and put into isolation along with other railroad employees who had come into contact with the patient, one thing became clear: not everyone who had come into contact with the infected person had been identified. As a second person was identified as having the virus, the same problem occurred.

“As vice local chairperson, I was getting calls from employees wondering why they weren’t notified as they had been in contact with one or the other of the positive people. I didn’t have an answer, and we discovered that the positive person bears the burden of knowing who they had been around and are asked this days after they’d been in isolation,” said Amanda Snide of SMART Transportation Division Local 200 in North Platte, Neb.

“We potentially come in contact with so many people during our shifts that it can be hard to keep track of who you were with on what days,” she said. “I have been sharing that I am personally keeping track of whom I’ve been in contact with during my shift. During interactions with other employees I explain why I’m writing their names down and encouraging others to do so.

“Whenever someone new calls to be assisted in the process of being taken out of service as they aren’t feeling well, I tell them to start making a list of who they have been around both at work and outside of work. For someone to have been in contact with a sick person, only to find out days after everyone else is pulled from service, would be a sickening feeling that you potentially spread this unknowingly.”

By taking Snide’s advice in writing down names and contact information, we can be sure that we know exactly whom we’ve been in contact with should the worst occur and then can more easily identify others who have come into contact with the virus.

Snide says that in addition to writing down names and contact information, she also takes steps to keep her family safe. Her work boots stay outside, and she doesn’t touch anything in her home until her work clothes are in the washing machine and she’s showered.

As COVID-19 has infiltrated the bus and rail industries, it’s important that members do their best to try to mitigate its spread. As Snide has suggested, we are recommending that all of our members write down who they have come into contact with each day and keep that list for at least a month. Doing so will help identify who may have been exposed if you come down with the virus.

We need to work together to keep ourselves and our union brothers and sisters safe. Another way is by reporting how your carrier is adhering to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols.

COVID-19 has hit the transit industry hard with hundreds of cases among passengers and workers alike reported through the media. Only a few cases have been reported on freight carriers thus far, but knowing the conditions that have been reported to the union and the delay by federal agencies to take action, the freight industry could be harder hit. The bus industry has started to report cases as well with Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus just reporting two cases among their bus operators.

Please see this guide produced by OSHA on how to keep yourself and your co-workers safe, and be careful out there!

COVID-19: Quick tip on bleach to buy

Alternate National Legislative Director Jared Cassity shared a tip about the type of bleach that should be used for disinfecting work areas while trying to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

Be sure to check the label for the sanitization properties of bleach inside. “Splashless” bleach is not useful in creating a disinfecting solution and says so on the bottle.

Bleach water should be created with a tablespoon of bleach per gallon. The bleach used to mix the solution should not have additional scent added to it, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Also, the “splashless” variety of bleach neither sanitizes nor disinfects, Cassity said.

“Be sure to purchase regular bleach,” said Cassity, who verified the information through Clorox representatives.

Follow this link for a PDF from HHS on how to make a bleach water disinfecting solution.

Members’ efforts help to cope with COVID-19

As COVID-19 has spread across the country, some carriers and businesses have been caught flat-footed in dealing with the pandemic as indicated by field reports we’ve received from members.

The same cannot be said for front-line SMART Transportation Division members who have sprung into action to help their communities and fellow members cope with the effects of the coronavirus.

General Chairperson Justin Wolters has been providing cleaning supplies to members to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

General Chairperson Justin Wolters (GCA-449) was able to engineer an agreement with a local distillery that provided alcohol-based hand sanitizer to members free of charge.

“I explained our travel ban exemption and our lack of access to running water,” Wolters said. “They seemed more than happy to help our union.

“I decided I can’t rely on the carrier to protect the members, so our officers are donating cleaning materials daily and cleaning when they can.”

Attention to sanitation of work areas also has been a challenge that General Chairperson Larry Miller (GO 386) is doing his best to help meet by providing disinfecting wipes to workers in packages provided by the union.

Larry Miller

“I wanted to do all I can on my part to keep our members supplied with whatever I could get at our local stores,” said Miller, who was elected an alternate vice president at last year’s Second SMART-TD Convention. “I know it is not a lot, but it does make a dent. If we all pull together as the SMART-TD team, we will get through this.”

Member Mike Speier of Local 6 (Indianapolis, Ind.) took the initiative of purchasing a number of spray bottles from the dollar store, mixing up a bleach solution with four gallons that he purchased on his own, and then placing the filled spray bottles around the yard office.

“They can put posters up when the cows come home, but that’s not keeping us safe,” Speier said. “It’s cheap to do, I followed the instructions on Google and have been filling them up and giving them to the guys.

Mike Speier of Local 6 in Indianapolis, Ind., poses with his two daughters. Speier has been supplying fellow workers based out of the Avon, Ind., terminal with bleach water to help disinfect their work areas.

“If I keep my brothers and sisters safe and healthy, it ensures that I come home safe and healthy.”

If managers would give workers a bit of extra time to sanitize and disinfect their worksites — about 10 minutes — and allow the people to pull together, it’d help to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading, he said.

“You have a half-dozen guys buy bottles and bleach water, and we can really nip this in the bud,” Speier said.

Some members are doing their best to keep others informed.

On the West Coast, General Chairperson James Sandoval of the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District and Local 23 (Santa Cruz, Calif.) alternate legislative representative, has been sharing information with members across TD locals and transit agencies alike to help spread information during the outbreak. In particular he is raising awareness about federal and state benefits that are available especially for those who may find themselves unable to work because they or someone they care for is dealing with COVID-19.

“Since we are in uncharted waters with this pandemic, it is extremely important to support each other and share information that may help because there is no book on this,” he said. “I have been sharing information with all District 3 general chairpersons, our International, our local labor counsel and other unions. We must step up to make sure nobody feels alone right now because things are changing at a rapid pace.”

Sandoval says that a cooperative effort has brought about shift adjustments at both Santa Cruz’s bus and paratransit properties by the carrier, which also has eliminated disciplinary procedures on sick calls, begun a no-question 10-day stay-at-home policy, supplied personal protective equipment and implemented bus sanitation practices.

“I couldn’t have accomplished improving our workplace strategy around COVID-19 to help protect our members without the support of my great team at our local. I have always believed that working together means we can get through anything — we will come out of this stronger than ever!”

Johnny Walker

Johnny Walker, legislative representative for Local 610 and secretary of the Maryland State Legislative Board, has been using his experience in the military and as a railroader to help pull people in his neighborhood and at his workplace together to cope with the stresses posed by the pandemic.

Walker wrote a guest column published on the SMART-TD website talking about how members will be essential in guiding the country through this challenge.

Sabol

New Jersey State Legislative Director Ron Sabol also has been working closely with the state AFL-CIO to distribute information to members, especially members employed by New Jersey Transit, which has been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic.

He praised the efforts of General Chairperson Jerome Johnson (New Jersey Transit conductors) of Local 60 in Newark, as doing an exemplary job in keeping things moving in this time of crisis, as are other NJT members.

“He has been doing everything he possibly can to protect his members and the riding public. After all, NJT operates in and out of New York City,” Sabol said. “Our N.J. bus members as well have been dealing with fuller buses because of route cuts.”

These examples, as well as other members’ efforts that haven’t yet been reported to us at news_TD@smart-union.org, are what’s going to keep the country moving and our fellow brothers and sisters healthy as we all work through the challenge of this pandemic.

And don’t forget that there’s a form where members can report conditions not meeting CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Union leadership is reviewing each and every submission and is working to get those problem areas resolved, but keep in mind it is impossible for your general chairperson or state legislative board to adequately respond if the situations are not reported. The more details we receive, the better chance we have of getting them corrected.

“I read each and every one of these reports, and we all discuss it daily to ensure someone is following up with a corrective action plan,” said Transportation Division President Jeremy R. Ferguson. “Our general chairpersons are doing a fantastic job, and in many cases they are teamed up with our vice presidents in keeping the pressure on the carriers to get the unsanitary conditions and lack of supplies fixed. Our Legislative/Safety Department is following up on the national, state and local levels where needed to ensure members’ voices and concerns are being addressed.”

Chief of Staff Jerry Gibson of the TD President’s Office encourages members to reach out to him at jgibson@smart-union.org for ideas on how SMART-TD members can help pull together resources to assist each other during the coronavirus outbreak. This includes branding supplies with SMART decals so that people know that the union is helping to provide the materials that otherwise would not be available.

COVID-19: CDC releases symptom screening app through Apple

Apple Inc., in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released an app and website that guides Americans through a series of questions about their health and exposure to determine if they should seek care for COVID-19 symptoms.

The tool provides CDC recommendations on next steps, including guidance on social distancing and self-isolating, how to closely monitor symptoms, recommendations on testing, and when to contact a medical provider.

This app is designed to help Americans heed CDC guidelines and self-isolate to limit COVID-19 transmission as the pandemic continues.

Users can download the free app from Apple’s App Store or access the tool online at www.apple.com/covid19.

Everyone has a role to play as we work together to stop the spread of COVID-19. The latest recommendations can be found at www.coronavirus.gov.

COVID-19: Form launched for reports of CDC protocols not being followed

CDC guidelines state that employers should do the following to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  1. reduce transmission among employees,
  2. maintain healthy business operations, and
  3. maintain a healthy work environment.

As transportation workers are considered to be essential workers, even in a time of national emergency, making them exempt from stay-at-home orders issued by local, state and federal officials, it is paramount that these guidelines be followed so that the health of workers, co-workers, their families and the general public is not jeopardized by employers’ failure to follow CDC protocols.

If CDC measures are not being followed, workers are encouraged to report what they consider to be violations of CDC protocols.

Your union needs reports of what is actually happening in the field. If you are aware of an employee who has tested positive with coronavirus, or if a carrier is refusing to provide a clean and sanitized workplace as well as supplies for sanitation, please let us know by using this form.

Submissions via this form will go to union leadership and be used as evidence to support emergency measures sought by the SMART Transportation Division in petitions to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Your identity will remain anonymous.

DOT guidance on compliance with drug and alcohol testing regulations during pandemic

This guidance document provides clarity to DOT-regulated employers, employees, and service agents on conducting DOT drug-and-alcohol testing given concerns about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). We, as a nation, are facing an unprecedented public health emergency that is straining medical resources and altering aspects of American life, including the workplace. The nation’s transportation industries, which are not immune to the impacts and disruptions resulting from the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, are playing a vital role in mitigating the effects of COVID-19.

DOT is committed to maintaining public safety while providing maximum flexibility to allow transportation industries to conduct their operations safely and efficiently during this period of national emergency.

The below guidance on compliance with the DOT and modal drug and alcohol testing programs apply during this period of national emergency.

For DOT-regulated employers:

  • As a DOT-regulated employer, you must comply with applicable DOT training and testing requirements.[2] However, DOT recognizes that compliance may not be possible in certain areas due to the unavailability of program resources, such as collection sites, Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT), Medical Review Officers (MRO) and Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP). You should make a reasonable effort to locate the necessary resources. As a best practice at this time, employers should consider mobile collection services for required testing if the fixed-site collection facilities are not available.[3]
  • If you are unable to conduct DOT drug or alcohol training or testing due to COVID-19-related supply shortages, facility closures, state or locally imposed quarantine requirements, or other impediments, you are to continue to comply with existing applicable DOT agency requirements to document why a test was not completed. If training or testing can be conducted later (e.g., supervisor reasonable suspicion training at the next available opportunity, random testing later in the selection period, follow-up testing later in the month), you are to do so in accordance with applicable modal regulations. Links to the modal regulations and their respective web pages can be found at https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/agencies.
  • If employers are unable to conduct DOT drug and alcohol testing due to the unavailability of testing resources, the underlying modal regulations continue to apply. For example, without a “negative” pre-employment drug test result, an employer may not permit a prospective or current employee to perform any DOT safety-sensitive functions, or in the case of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), you cannot hire the individual (See 14 CFR § 120.109(1) and (2)).
  • Additionally, DOT is aware that some employees have expressed concern about potential public health risks associated with the collection and testing process in the current environment. Employers should review the applicable DOT Agency requirements for testing to determine whether flexibilities allow for collection and testing at a later date.
  • As a reminder, it is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the circumstances of the employee’s refusal to test and determine whether or not the employee’s actions should be considered a refusal as per 49 CFR § 40.355(i). However, as the COVID-19 outbreak poses a novel public health risk, DOT asks employers to be sensitive to employees who indicate they are not comfortable or are afraid to go to clinics or collection sites. DOT asks employers to verify with the clinic or collection site that it has taken the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Employers should revisit back-up plans to ensure the plans are current and effective for the current outbreak conditions. For example, these plans should include availability of collectors and collection sites and BAT, and alternate/back-up MRO, as these may have changed as a result of the national emergency. Employers should also have regular communications with service agents regarding the service agent’s availability and capability to support your DOT drug and alcohol testing program.

For DOT-regulated employees:

  • If you are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms, you should contact your medical provider and, if necessary, let your employer know about your availability to perform work.
  • If you have COVID-19-related concerns about testing, you should discuss them with your employer.
  • As a reminder, it is the employer’s responsibility to evaluate the circumstances of the employee’s refusal to test and determine whether or not the employee’s actions should be considered a refusal as per 49 CFR § 40.355(i).

For service agents:

  • As a collector, BAT, laboratory, MRO, or SAP, you should continue to provide services to DOT-regulated employers if it is possible to do so in accordance with state or local mandates related to COVID-19. Should you have concerns about COVID-19 when testing or interacting with employees, please follow your company policy, directions from state and local officials, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You are encouraged to continue to monitor guidance from public health officials and to refer to official government channels for additional information related to COVID-19. The CDC provides helpful guidance and insight from medical professionals who closely monitor the virus. The CDC latest updates (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html). Also for reference, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf).

 


[1] This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in anyway. This guidance is intended only to provide clarity regarding existing requirements under the law.

[2]How to conduct testing is found in 49 CFR Part 40 (see https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/part40), while who gets tested and when (along with drug and alcohol-related training requirements) can be found in the applicable DOT modal regulations (see https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/agencies).

[3]As a reminder, point-of-collection testing or instant tests are not authorized in DOT drug testing (see https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/part40/40-210).

Unions write to congressional leaders seeking emergency transportation funding

Dear Leader McConnell, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, and Leader McCarthy:

On behalf of America’s public transportation industry and its frontline employees who operate and maintain public transit and commuter rail systems across the country every day, we urge you to provide $16.0 billion in immediate, desperately needed supplemental funding to keep our transit and commuter rail systems safe and operational in the months to come, and to prioritize that funding in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Across the country, public transportation systems and their employees are going to extraordinary measures and are placing themselves at great personal risk to protect the health and safety of their riders, while continuing to ensure that the public’s access to jobs, food, and other critical services are not brought to a halt. However, the extraordinary direct costs and revenue losses resulting from the impacts of COVID-19 are placing an incredible strain on our ability to continue providing this critical public service to Americans.

As highlighted by the American Public Transportation Association, these emergency funds are absolutely vital to maintain essential services such as paratransit services for individuals with disabilities; public transportation for health care workers, law enforcement, first responder, and other safety personnel; and Medicaid recipients who receive medical transportation for kidney dialysis, cancer treatments, and other critical care. Without these funds, the overwhelming majority of public transit agencies will be required to suspend or drastically curtail services. They simply cannot wait for a fourth or fifth round of emergency funding.

Please know that labor and management stand together during this difficult time. We respectfully urge you to provide not only the emergency financial assistance that this national crisis demands, but to do it now to ensure that one of the most important lifelines for essential services in our communities is not stripped away in this national crisis.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Amalgamated Transit Union
American Public Transportation Association
Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
SMART-Transportation Division
Transportation Communications Union (TCU-IAM)
Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
Transport Workers Union of America