(Source: Press release from the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, May 19, 2023)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 30 U.S. transportation labor union leaders gathered at a legislative summit to set key policy goals that will improve the safety and well-being of the nation’s transportation systems and the workers who build, operate, and maintain them. Attendees welcomed keynote remarks from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy.
The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) hosted the summit at AFL-CIO Headquarters in the nation’s capital and presented Chair Homendy with the Larry Willis Leadership Award. The award, named in honor of former TTD President Willis, is given annually to a public servant who demonstrates strong advocacy on behalf of transportation workers.
“This is bittersweet for me, but it’s also one of the greatest honors of my career,” said Chair Homendy during her award acceptance. “A leader is not just someone who is ‘in charge,’ but someone who serves those they’ve been charged with. Larry really took that to heart, showing every day that he was a true servant of workers everywhere. I miss him dearly and promise to honor his legacy of fearlessly speaking up for those who no longer have a voice.”
At the summit, transportation union leaders unanimously adopted policy statements that call on Congress to:
- pass a comprehensive rail safety bill that promotes public safety;
- invest in firefighters to improve rail and air safety;
- pass a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that includes worker-centered provisions;
- allow the use of federal funding for public transit operations;
- and reform education policies to address the maritime worker deficit.
Further, the leaders unanimously opposed the Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2023 and urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to create a plan to address the workforce impacts of school bus electrification.
TTD’s policy agenda seeks to address ongoing safety and workforce challenges as the United States undergoes the largest-ever federal investment in transportation systems and workers.
As the largest U.S. transportation labor federation, TTD represents 37 unions and millions of workers across aviation, rail, maritime, public transit, and other industries.