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Bush administration gets "failing grade" on transportation security

(The TTD issued the following news release on May 21.)

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Bush administration earns a "failing grade" for its dangerously inadequate response to the nation's transportation security threats and for grossly neglecting the needs of front-line workers, this according to Edward Wytkind, President of the AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Department. Wytkind made these comments today before a hearing of the Democratic National Committee's Platform Drafting Committee.

Saying that the federal government has relied on little more than "press releases and vague warnings" to protect passengers and workers, Wytkind said, "the Administration does great at the photo-op. But when it comes to follow through and directing real money to local and state governments, to public transportation operators, to private sector employers, and to workers, the Administration gets a failing grade."

Wytkind told the panel, "Workers are simply not being trained to perform the security duties that come with being the eyes and ears of our transportation system . . . we need a government that treats workers as partners, that seeks their input and advice, that mandates and funds security training, and that stops allowing politics from interfering with securing our transportation system."

Wytkind proposed a number of security initiatives that would immediately begin to address the Bush administration's neglect of transportation security. These included: ending the massive funding shortfalls in security programs, federally-mandated worker training and rigorous whistle-blower protections, closing security loopholes caused by globalization of the transportation industry, and requiring the inspection of container seals and empties at U.S. ports.

"America's transportation system and its employees desperately need leadership from our government. This Administration is not providing that leadership, and in turn our nation's homeland security is suffering," Wytkind concluded.

Monday, May 24, 2004

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