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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Teamsters' rail conferences seek NAFTA improvements


The Teamsters' rail conferences in the United States and Canada yesterday joined with unionized Mexican freight-rail workers in calling for fair and equitable treatment of all industry workers under a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In a letter sent to top U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade officials, the Teamsters Rail Conference USA, Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and Mexican Railwaymen's Union said the unions are standing in solidarity in support of a new NAFTA that looks out for workers' interests across sectors, as well as for much-needed infrastructure investment, according to a press release issued by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET).

"We urge you to commit, whether in the text of NAFTA 2.0 or in a simultaneous tri-national side agreement, to invest a minimum of 2 percent of gross domestic product annually on transportation infrastructure construction, repair and maintenance," the letter stated. "Especially along our two borders, the bridges and interchanges should be upgraded as part of NAFTA modernization."

The unions also asked trade authorities to "enshrine the principle of exclusivity" into the cross-border services chapter that would make clear that freight-rail crew changes should happen at interchanges near border crossings.

"Our members have no interest, at the expense of their brothers and sisters in companion unions, to drive their trains deep into the territory of another party," they wrote.

BLET is a division of the Rail Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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