WASHINGTON, D.C., March 22, 2019 - Two large railroad unions in the United States have pledged their joint support for the Safe Freight Act legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska).
The Safe Freight Act (H.R.1748) requires that two certified crew members operate freight trains on U.S. rails and has the backing of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers - Transportation Division (SMART TD).
"This is necessary safety legislation to protect railroad workers and the American public," BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. "While the railroad industry talks of one-person train crews and even autonomous trains, the 2013 tragedy of Lac-Megantic is justification enough that we need two sets of eyes and ears in the locomotive cab."
"SMART Transportation Division has been working tirelessly to promote safety in the railroad industry, and there is no doubt that the only safe rail operation is one that includes at a minimum a certified conductor and a certified locomotive engineer," SMART TD President John Previsich said. "A clear message must be sent to our lawmakers and to the general public that multi-person crews are essential to ensuring the safest rail operations possible in their communities. I would like to thank Congressman Young for his leadership on this critical issue as we continue to improve safety on our nation's railroads for both our members and for the general public."