Leaders from 30 transportation labor organizations gathered in Washington, D.C. yesterday to outline a robust legislative and regulatory agenda for the year. The unions are affiliates of the Transportation Trades Department (TTD) of the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest transportation labor coalition.
At the bi-annual legislative summit, transportation labor leaders formally called on Congress and the Biden Administration to continue enacting policies to improve the domestic supply chain, increase safety, and uplift working people.
Specifically, the coalition’s legislative agenda calls for:
- Congress and the Biden Administration to implement a domestic maritime strategy for a more resilient supply chain.
- the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Labor (DOL), and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to address abusive railroad attendance policies harming workers and the supply chain.
- the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to change course on permitting remote aircraft dispatching.
- Congress to pass the Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act to impose safety standards at facilities in foreign countries where U.S. planes undergo maintenance, and the FAA to promulgate long overdue regulatory requirements.
- Congress to swiftly enact legislation to make self-defense training mandatory for all flight crew members, and expand basic security training programs to all-cargo operations.
- the DOT to pursue ambitious regulatory action and a comprehensive regulatory review.
Transportation labor leaders discussed these and other priorities, including equity and good jobs initiatives, with AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler, White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE).
“Throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, our heroic transportation and transit workers have kept our economy moving,” said President Shuler. “The legislative priorities laid out during yesterday’s conference represent the most fundamental needs that must be addressed in order to ensure the health and safety of our members and improve our supply chain. During the course of this conference, we outlined our priorities, and we will continue to advocate for these critical reforms at the federal level.”
“The President has made the commitment to be one of the most pro-union administrations in the history of our nation. To that end, we plan to keep a close eye on supporting and creating prevailing wages, apprenticeships, high labor standards, and good union jobs,” said Landrieu. “We’re going to put millions of people to work while increasing gender and racial diversity in these jobs so that no one gets left behind. That’s how we can win economic competition in the 21st century.”
The coalition also honored Senator Brown with the inaugural Larry Willis Leadership Award, in recognition of his demonstrated commitment to improving the safety, working conditions, and livelihoods of transportation workers.
“America’s transportation workers power this country. And we know our businesses and our transportation networks do best when the workers who make them successful have a voice through the labor movement,” said Senator Brown. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will mean more good, union jobs and more opportunity for workers across the country. And as we work to speed up supply chains and make more in America, the talent and ingenuity of American workers will be one of our greatest assets.”