The safe operation of freight and passenger trains is vital to communities across the state of Wisconsin. Union workers and safety advocates are applauding a long-overdue proposal by U.S. federal regulators to require a two-member crew minimum on most railroad trains traveling across the country.
“The Wisconsin AFL-CIO is proud to support the FRA’s proposed rule requiring that trains operating in America be operated by no less than a two-person crew,” said Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Unions are essential to keeping workplaces and communities safe from industrial accidents. When workers speak up and are listened to, more workers come home safe and tragic accidents impacting citizens and community members are prevented.”
“Requiring at least two crew members on every train is the best and only way to ensure safety for train operators and the public,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “Just like an airplane you need a pilot and a co-pilot to help spot and resolve any unexpected problems, reduce fatigue-induced accidents and keep the train running smoothly if one operator becomes incapacitated. It’s long-past time to implement a two-person crew minimum nationwide.”
The proposal will have little financial impact business as none of the major railroad companies currently operate with single person crews and many states, such as Wisconsin, already require a two-person crew. This proposal will ensure that all trains from our bordering states have at least two crew members aboard before entering Wisconsin.
Concerned citizens can submit resolutions and comments on the proposed two-person crew requirement to the United States Department of Transportation through the following methods:
1) Hand Delivery: Room W12-140 on the Ground level of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays.
2) Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.
3) Fax: 202-493-2251.
4) Online: Go to https://www.regulations.gov; type in FRA-2014-0033; clink on Comment Now; and then follow the directions.