Absent Emergency Funding, Amtrak Plans to Furlough 2,000 Employees and make Substantial Service Cuts
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 28, 2020) —Transportation Communications Union/IAM and the members it represents will rally in four major U.S. cities on Sept. 30th – to urge members of Congress to provide Amtrak emergency funding and protest looming job cuts. More than 800 TCU members are targeted by Amtrak’s cuts, scheduled to take effect Oct. 1st.
Members represented by five labor unions will come together in solidarity for demonstrations in Washington D.C., New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
On Sept. 9, Amtrak President and CEO William Flynn appeared before a U.S. House committee saying that the Carrier needs approximately $5 billion in emergency funding to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. If no additional funding is provided by the federal government, Amtrak has announced impending cuts of approximately 2,000 unionized employees nationwide and a planned reduction of service that would hit long-distance and state-run routes that serve rural areas especially hard.
“We recognize that COVID-19 has impacted the ridership of the national passenger rail system. However, placing the burden of the pandemic’s effects on the essential workers who keep the service running is absolutely wrong. Layoffs and service cuts are not the answer,” said TCU President Artie Maratea. “We will continue to fight for our members’ jobs and push Congress to do the right thing and fund Amtrak!”
The rallies are planned from 11AM to 1PM (ET) on the east side of the U.S. Capitol; and from 10AM to 1PM in front of Penn Station in New York; from 10AM to 1PM(CT) in front of Chicago’s Union Station; and 9AM to 11AM(PT) in front of Los Angeles’ Union Station. Masks are required, Social Distancing should be followed.
Call and write your Member of Congress and Senators! Post on social media! Get friends and family to write Congress and ask them to support funding for Amtrak that saves jobs and preserves long-distance service! TCU has an online action tool to make it easy: https://iam4.me/FundAmtrakNow