ACTION ALERT! Support Transit Workers
April 14, 2020
Tell Your Representative To Join The Call To Protect Transit Employees On The Front Lines
The coronavirus outbreak is showing a lot of the general public something that members of this Association have always known: passenger rail and public transit continue to be essential for Americans and will play a major role in our road to post-pandemic recovery.
It's because of this that we shouldn’t forget that hundreds of thousands of these American transit workers are showing great bravery each and every day to keep essential lines of transportation open—for healthcare workers, for grocery store employees and other essential businesses. At times, this has come with at a great cost—New York City’s MTA has lost more than 50 of its employees to coronavirus, with over 1,900 more testing positive. We all have a role to play in keeping each other safe.
The Rail Passengers staff has been working with several House offices to show solidarity with the transit workers and gathering support in Congress to make sure they are protected.
Reps. Malinowski, Fitzpatrick, Moulton, and Bacon are leading a letter to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requesting that transit agencies receive further federal support in acquiring Personal Protective Equipment and that FTA update its guidance to transit agencies to ensure more robust safety protections are put in place for front-line workers.
The letter to the FTA is mandating that:
- Buses, trains, streetcars, and worker facilities, including crew rooms, are regularly disinfected.
- Agencies are requiring a safe distance between riders and transit operators.
- Safety precautions are taken to protect transit workers from touching the same digital screen, keyboard, or fingerprint-scanning device, e.g. for timekeeping purposes.
- Brave front line workers are afforded death benefits.
We are calling on our members to contact their Representatives in DC to sign on to this extremely important letter, but time is of the essence.
The deadline for co-signers is at the end of business tomorrow Wednesday, April 15th.
The jobs that we as an Association fought so hard for over the years are now playing a critical role on the front lines and, sadly, are taking losses. We need to do our part to make sure that these workers are cared for -- not only in the middle of the current crisis but in the future as well.
"The COVID Pandemic has been and continues to be the biggest challenge faced by Americans as it has taken a deadly toll on the world and on the world’s economies. During COVID Locomotive Engineers at Amtrak and other Passenger and Freight Railroads have embodied the definition of essential workers. This dedication by our members is not new. We applaud the Rail Passenger’s Association for recognizing the vital contributions of our members and their hard work moving Americans and freight during the COVID pandemic."
Dennis Pierce, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) National President
December 21, 2021, on the Association awarding its 2021 Golden Spike Award to the Frontline Amtrak Employees.