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Statement by Eddie Hall
BLET National President
April 2, 2024

For the past 13 years our union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, has advocated for a federal rule requiring that trains be staffed by a minimum of one certified engineer and a certified conductor. We also have repeatedly tried to reason across the bargaining table for railroads to adopt these minimum staffing requirements. As trains, many carrying hazardous material, have grown longer, crews should not be getting smaller. I personally have operated freight trains that stretched over three miles in length.

Eleven states, concerned about the public’s safety have now instituted a two-person crew requirement. Rail safety legislation now pending in the U.S. Senate also calls for a minimum of two people operating a freight train. Today’s announcement is an important step in making railroading safer in every state, rather than a piecemeal approach.

We want to thank President Biden. He promised that his administration would take this action and today it happened.