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Rail News: Labor

Teamsters Rail Conference solicits first responders' support for 'safe rails' campaign


As part of its “High Alert: Safe Rails/Secure America” campaign, the Teamsters Rail Conference is distributing a petition to first responders calling for railroads to implement a “viable” security plan that would be enforced by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). So far, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has only issued recommended security standards for the rail industry, conference officials claim.

Union members are handing out petitions at local fire, police and emergency medical service departments. The conference plans to deliver signed petitions to DHS and TSA.

Other than radios, rail workers have no means to alert first responders about a hijacking, terrorist attack or other emergency, conference officials said in a prepared statement. In addition, workers have received little or no training in security, safety/terrorism prevention, hazardous materials, and emergency action or response, officials claim.

“Such vulnerabilities place the lives of train crew members, first responders and millions of Americans at risk,” said Don Hahs, national president of the conference’s Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen division.