A message from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa
Get out and vote on November 7!
Rail Security Training
Our government recently approved legislation that includes $3.5 billion for state and local first responders such as firefighters and emergency workers. Although a good step, it only allocated a small fraction of that amount, $13.5 million, for inspectors and explosive detection on the rail system. BLET-Teamster members and the public deserve so much more. Its been shown that five-times as many passengers travel daily on our rail transit system compared to airlines. And, we know that locomotive engineers, trainmen and maintenance of way workers are always among the very first to respond to an emergency rail situation. Yet, the rail corporations are still turning a deaf ear to requests for emergency drills and hands-on training.
Some of the rail corporations have distributed a video program that they contend is adequate for training employees on how to handle emergency situations. A videotape is no substitute for an on-site instructor and an emergency simulation. Our members deserve to have the training and equipment necessary to perform in emergency situations - and the public relies on us to know how to do our jobs. One of those jobs is having responsibility for the safety of a train's passengers. We won't forget that, even when the chairmen of the rail corporations can't come through with the type of training we need.
The mid-term elections will impact every state in one way or another and will affect unions and working Americans dramatically.
In the United States Senate, 33 of the 100 seats are being contested. The election for members in the House of Representatives is scheduled for the same day, as well as many state and local elections, including those for 36 state governors.
These elections are critical to our future. We must remind lawmakers that they represent us - working people - not Big Business and Corporate America. Politicians must be held accountable for the actions they take and the votes they cast. If they do not stand with us, we should not stand with them on Election Day.
I urge you to make sure your ballots are cast for pro-labor candidates. Study the issues and see where candidates in your area stand on issues such as jobs, pensions, health care and rail security. Support candidates that support working families.
We have a chance to send a message to our election representatives on November 7, but we can only do it if we remember to Get Out and Vote!
© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen