AFL-CIO's transportation unions endorse Railroad Retirement legislation

During the AFL-CIO Executive Council meetings in February, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, endorsed comprehensive Railroad Retirement reform legislation pending in the 107th Congress and urged enactment of the measure this year.

"Rail workers have a long history of dedication and sacrifice to their country," said TTD President Sonny Hall. "For the more than one million active and retired rail workers who have dedicated their lives to operating, maintaining and building a safe and efficient freight and passenger rail system in this country, a secure retirement system should be something they can count on."

Previously unsuccessful negotiations with the major railroad companies and the work last year of just a few Republican Senators have denied rail workers and their families the retirement plan they deserve.

Despite a 391-25 House vote and the public support of 83 Senators, three GOP Senators were able to derail legislation last year that would have expanded widow and widower benefits, lowered the retirement age for long-time employees, expanded retiree health benefits, and made the necessary steps to strengthen the future solvency of the retirement plan.

Hall urged Congress to "embrace the nation's rail retirees and their families and to reject the obstructionist parliamentary tactics that doomed this legislation late last year when more than 88 percent of the 106th Congress was on record supporting it."

2001 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers