WHEREAS, the Teamsters Rail Conference, comprised of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division, supports the development of high-speed passenger rail in America; and
WHEREAS, the development of high speed passenger rail is threatened by many in Congress and several of our nation’s governors, who have politicized the issue; and
WHEREAS, the cost of a high-speed passenger rail system in this country is estimated at $300 billion, studies have shown that this money will create jobs in states that need them the most; and
WHEREAS, the federal government estimates that 47,000 jobs are created for each $1 billion spent on rail infrastructure projects; and
WHEREAS, the workers currently employed on our nation’s railroads are among the most highly skilled and trained in the world; and
WHEREAS, these railroad workers are covered by a host of federal laws and regulations, promulgated to ensure safety in the industry; and
WHEREAS, to ensure the safety of high-speed passenger rail, any system built must be considered a railroad carrier under the law, so that the workers and the communities that high-speed passenger rail operates through are protected by federal law; and
WHEREAS, safety will be the key to any corridor, and the Rail Conference believes that any high-speed passenger rail train that operates in this nation must have a certified and trained locomotive engineer in its cab to ensure its safe operation; and
WHEREAS, any corridor must be constructed and maintained by professional, qualified maintenance of way workers to ensure the highest safety standards; and
WHEREAS, Amtrak has proven for more than 40 years that its workforce has the knowledge, skills and abilities to operate a world-class national passenger railroad system.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its affiliates will support the development, funding and building of a high speed passenger rail system in this country, and ensure the jobs created by such a system will be safeguarded for railroad workers as currently defined by federal law; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and its affiliates will support the designation of Amtrak as operator and provider of all high-speed passenger rail service in the United States.