WASHINGTON, DC — The following statement was issued today by Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), in observance of Workers Memorial Day, April 28, 2013:
“The horrific death last week of a New York City subway worker is just one of many tragic reminders of the dangers that confront transportation workers on the job. To honor those who have lost their lives or been injured on the job, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen transportation safety laws and regulations. These safety issues can be addressed through collective bargaining at work sites across America, as well as in the corridors of power in Washington.
“Chronic fatigue and under-staffing continue to define many workplaces in our transportation system, in both the private and public sector. Safety risks mount from aging systems and infrastructure. And as workers see their bargaining rights weakened or denied, the resulting race to the bottom in wages, benefits and working conditions is undermining transportation safety as well.
“In a safety-sensitive industry such as transportation, we must remain vigilant against pressure to cut all the wrong corners by corporations, the public sector at all levels, and anti-regulation zealots. This vigilance must extend to Washington where too often business lobbyists and extremists in Congress oppose long-overdue, common-sense steps to close regulatory loopholes, reform our safety laws and better train and protect workers.
“Workers Memorial Day is a reminder of all the work ahead in making our transportation system safer.”