NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF FIREMEN & OILERS’ PRESIDENT DEAN DEVITA ISSUES A STATEMENT ABOUT THE INVEST IN AMERICA ACT OF 2021
“The National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, support the INVEST in America Act of 2021, which has passed the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
The legislation includes immensely important provisions for National Conference of Firemen & Oilers’ members and all of Rail Labor. Included in the bill is the Transforming Rail by Accelerating Investment Nationwide Act – “TRAIN ACT.”
The bill would provide $32 billion over five years in grants to support Amtrak on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and the National Rail Network. It provides another $25 billion over five years to both the Passenger Rail Improvement Modernization and Expansion grant program and the Bridges, Stations, and Tunnels.
This is very important to the members of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers because the bill amends current Amtrak contracting limitations to clarify that Amtrak cannot contract out the work performed by an employee, if such employee has been laid off and has not been recalled to perform such work. It also clarifies that Amtrak is not authorized to contract out work if prohibited to do so in an agreement entered into with its workers. The bill also requires the FRA to increase the number of safety inspectors by 20 percent over five years.
Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF), provides direct loans and loan guarantees to finance development of railroad infrastructure.
The bill will allow the FRA secretary to study the safety impacts of trains composed of more than 150 railcars and it will require two-person crews on Class 1 railroads and for all trains carrying dangerous hazmat or added length, regardless of railroad classification.
This action is good for the members of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, but it is even better for the citizens of the United States of America.”
The NCFO is an affiliate of 32BJ SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, which has 2.1 million members dedicated to raising industry standards, making life better for working families and our communities, and building a fair economy.