Rail Workers, Labor, and Elected Officials Rally for Rail Safety


The coalition called on the Senate to pass the bipartisan Railway Safety Act (S. 576), which would mandate vital safety measures and take a significant step toward safeguarding railway employees and the public.

“The freight rail industry’s primary focus is profit, often at the expense of safety for workers and communities,” IAM International President Brian Bryant said at the rally. “Congress must pass comprehensive legislation to address long-standing safety problems in the freight rail industry.”

U.S. Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) and Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) spoke at the rally and reaffirmed their support.

The Railway Safety Act would prohibit railroad carriers from imposing impractical deadlines on railcar and locomotive inspectors. This ensures inspections are conducted thoroughly and diligently, promoting overall rail safety for communities.

“Rail safety affects not only rail workers but all people, communities big and small, and cities like Los Angeles,” said Josh Hartford, IAM Special Assistant to the International President for the IAM Rail Division. “The Railway Safety Act will begin to hold railroads accountable. 

The legislation also mandates that only highly skilled and qualified personnel are authorized to perform inspections, specifically for locomotives and pre-departure railcars. This eliminates the risk of relying on operating crews or untrained individuals, contributing to enhanced safety in rail transportation. 

Other featured speakers and attendees included IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen, IAM District 19 President and Directing General Chairman Andrew Sandberg, the Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM), the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the California Federation of Labor, the Transportation Trades Department, the Brotherhood of Railway Signalmen, the American Train Dispatchers Association, SMART-TD Union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1227, and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

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