Many thanks to the Machinists & Aerospace journalists at the IAMAW Transportation Newswire who wrote and originally published this story. To sign up for the email newsletter, visit the Transportation Newswire page at GoIAM.org.
The legislation, which was recently passed out of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, was introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ). This legislation will improve safety, create thousands of good-paying jobs, and secure a future with a vibrant freight and passenger rail industry.
“The IAM applauds Chairs DeFazio, Norton and Payne for again championing legislation that will help improve safety for rail workers and travelers while also creating jobs,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “The Machinists Union urges other members of Congress to support this vital legislation which will provide stability and growth to the freight and passenger rail industry.”
“The Committee’s passing of this Act is a great step towards protecting and securing the livelihoods of our rail members,” said Richard Johnsen, Chief of Staff to the International President. “We must keep pressuring Congress to pass this much-needed legislation which will help ensure the future viability of the rail industry.”
The bill will prevent accidents, save lives, and promote the long-term viability of the industry. The Act addresses a wide variety of issues, including responding to dangerous changes and the deployment of new technologies in freight railroad operations, ensuring that the Federal Railroad Administration is a safety-first agency that works in tandem with rail workers, and requiring the necessary presence of a certified engineer and certified conductor on most freight trains.
The bill also includes significant investments in passenger rail, including historic funding levels for Amtrak and its operational and capital needs. It supports the growth of new rail operations, including high-speed rail.