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Senate reaction to London bombings: $50 million cut in transit security

(The Transportation Trades Dept. issued the following news release on July 15.)

WASHINGTON -- The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, President of the AFL-CIO's Transportation Trades Department, in response to the U.S. Senate's rejection of new investment in the nation's massive transit security needs.

"It is shocking that a minority of U.S. Senators were able to block an aggressive federal response in this country to the horrific terrorist bombings of London's subway system last week.

"Senators had a chance to adopt an amendment offered by Senators Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) that would have invested an additional $1.2 billion in the nation's mounting transit and rail security needs. Instead, Senators rejected the Shelby-Sarbanes amendment, and in the end their response to last week's bombings was a $50 million cut in the federal transit security budget.

"The nation's public transportation operators have identified over $6 billion in unfunded transit security costs. Meanwhile, workers are not receiving the level of training they need to deal with terrorism threats. It is obvious that a nation that spends six-tenths of a penny per passenger on transit security, compared to $9.16 per airline passenger, clearly needs to do more to shore up the gaping security holes in our transit, commuter rail and Amtrak networks.

"Transportation workers and the nation's public transportation users are crying out for more action by our government, not more photo ops and grandstanding. We will mobilize in support of Senators Shelby and Sarbanes in their aggressive push for increased transit and rail security spending."

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

Friday, July 15, 2005

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