(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa and Freddie Simpson, President of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) of the Teamsters Rail Conference on the recent collision between an Amtrak train and maintenance of way equipment which resulted in the deaths of two workers outside of Philadelphia.
“We fully support our brothers and sisters at the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division who are calling on Amtrak for a complete overhaul of their safety culture and performance. As Teamsters, we are saddened that two union brothers lost their lives in the collision – a collision which may have been prevented had Amtrak not neglected calls from the BMWED and other rail unions for proper training, enforcement of safety protocols, and a safety culture based upon collaboration and not intimidation,” Hoffa said.
“All across America there is a vital need to improve and rebuild our transportation infrastructure. The members of the BMWED play a critical role in the work which must be performed to improve our nation’s tracks, bridges and related railroad infrastructure. Work on rail lines carrying passenger trains and freight cargo is some of the most dangerous and demanding work in the nation and we urge Amtrak to heed our call to work with BMWED and strengthen safety training and procedures so that fatalities such as this can be prevented,” Simpson said.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.