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9/11 report confirms government's failures in transportation security

(The TTD issued the following news release on July 23.)

WASHINGTON -- The report of the 9/11 Commission is, "yet another wake-up call about the failures of the federal government to close security gaps in the transportation industry," according to Edward Wytkind, President of the AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Department.

The Commission noted that "major vulnerabilities still exist in cargo and general aviation security... [and] opportunities to do harm are as great or greater in maritime or surface transportation." The panel was sharply critical of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), saying, "despite congressional deadlines, the TSA has developed neither an integrated strategic plan for the transportation sector nor specific plans for the various modes - air, sea, and ground."

"The 9/11 Commission confirmed what anxious and frustrated transportation workers have been saying for a couple of years now - the Bush administration's response to transportation security has been too little too late. Front-line workers are not only being ignored, but they are insulted by a government that too often falls back on the easy photo op instead of instituting real change. It's time our government's actions rise to meet its rhetoric," Wytkind said.

Wytkind said there are a number of security measures that can be implemented immediately to shore up these holes in transportation security. These include:

* Requiring anti-terrorism training for workers, including flight attendants, rail and transit, and port workers;
* Ending chronic neglect and under-funding of rail and mass transit security needs;
* Ensuring one level of security for both cargo and passenger aviation;
* Neccesary funding for first-responders;
* Closing loopholes created by poorly supervised foreign repair of U.S. aircraft and cross-border transportation; and
* Requiring the inspection of container seals and empties entering U.S. ports.

TTD represents 35 member unions in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries. For more information, visit www.ttd.org

Monday, July 26, 2004

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