Rail labor praises House committee action on H.R. 1140

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16 -- The following statement was issued today by BLE President Edward Dubroski, Chair of the Rail Labor Division of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, in response to today's House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee action to approve H.R. 1140, the Railroad Retirement and Survivors' Improvement Act of 2001.

"This is a great day for current and retired rail workers. Today's committee action on H.R. 1140 brings us a step closer to improving and protecting the retirement security of railroad employees and their families including surviving spouses. Chairman Don Young and Ranking Member Jim Oberstar deserve our gratitude for their hard work in advancing this legislation which to date has 355 co-sponsors.

"The more than one million men and women who have dedicated their lives to our nation's rail system deserve a secure retirement system.

"This bill will provide a guaranteed minimum benefit for surviving spouses of rail workers who for too long have suffered deep reductions in benefits when a retiree passes away. It will also reduce the retirement age for long-time employees, provide a retiree health insurance plan at age 60, repeal the caps on benefits for long-term workers, and shorten the vesting period. The legislation takes bold steps to ensure the future solvency of the retirement plan and no taxpayer dollars will be used to expand these benefits.

"Both rail labor and management support this important reform measure. We urge the full House to move swiftly in passing H.R. 1140. We also urge the Senate to advance its companion bill, S. 697, so that this legislation can become law this year."


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May 16, 2001


2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers