The IAM Rail Division applauds the bipartisan vote to approve the Railway Safety Act of 2023 as amended by Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH). The legislation will now head to the Senate floor for a full vote.
This bill would provide major work-life improvements for our Carmen and Machinists crafts by prohibiting the railroads from imposing time constraints on rail car and locomotive inspections. In addition, the bill ensures that our highly-skilled and qualified members are the ones conducting these inspections, rather than relying on operating crews or other untrained crafts.
“I applaud the bipartisan efforts of Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) as well as Ohio Senators J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and all the other Senators that have agreed to cosponsor this important legislation. Without their sense of urgency after the tragedy in East Palestine, we wouldn’t have such a timely and strong legislative response. However, we cannot and should not delay with this legislation, therefore I urge Leader Schumer to put this bill on the Senate floor as soon as possible,” said TCU National President Artie Maratea.
“The amended bill is a major step forward for freight rail safety in this country. By eliminating inspection time restrictions, and actually requiring properly-trained and qualified people to perform these inspections, we are finally putting the safety of employees and our communities ahead of massive corporate profits,” said Don Grissom, General President of TCU’s Brotherhood of Railway Carmen Division.
“It is good to see some commonsense safety improvements come after the tragedy in East Palestine, which benefits both railroaders and the public. By requiring that properly-trained Qualified Mechanical Inspectors are being utilized, and by increasing the frequency of locomotive inspections, this bill ensures that our highly-skilled members are holding our nation’s locomotives to the highest standards,” said Josh Hartford, Special Assistant to the International President, IAM Rail Division.