BLET endorses Kerry for President

Saying that in the wake of both the 9/11 and the Madrid terrorist attacks, "our government and rail employers are still not doing enough to make rail transportation as secure as possible," AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department President Edward Wytkind urged Congress to support a comprehensive rail security agenda that "benefits from the insight of front-line workers and gives them the tools they need to help make our rail system as secure as possible."

Wytkind told a hearing of the House Rail Subcommittee on May 5 that "the Administration has done little to harden vulnerable rail targets, ensure the training of employees or provide the level of funding that is so desperately needed for training, new technology deployment and infrastructure improvements."

Wytkind was sharply critical of the rail industry's long-standing opposition to federal mandates, saying, "we need to ensure that security is not left to the whims of individual carriers or cut when profit margins get tight. We must ensure a basic level of security and asking railroads to follow certain basic requirements, such as employee training, is not unreasonable." He also decried the misuse of unregulated remote control locomotives, which pose a security risk.

In his testimony on behalf of 35 AFL-CIO transportation unions, including the BLET, Wytkind outlined a number of initiatives that ensure "workers are brought into the process and are treated as valued partners," including:

Testimony from the May 5 hearing, is available for download on the BLET website at:



© 2004 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen