Published 26 May, 2011
Transport Workers Union of America President, James C. Little was one of two labor union presidents and 16 other principal officers of various organizations, including Amtrak, participating in a discussion on “Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure” with the Senate Democratic Caucus on May 25, 2011. The dialogue focused on job creation, the impact of budget cuts on infrastructure and investing in the American infrastructure.
President Little addressed the caucus focusing on the fact that TWU represents three major modes of transportation. He reminded them of several things including; the importance of placing significance of the American public as partners in investing in the infrastructure to ensure job growth, safety and quality of life; and, the need to continue to keep our airports and airlines continuous in the transportation services that they provide to the American public making NEXT GEN a priority in promoting the ideals of global competitiveness, economic stimulation while creating and sustaining jobs. He further commented that while privatizing AMTRAK is not the solution proper funding would place our investment in perspective of what was needed to sustain the ridership and alternative to the oil crisis and debate.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), Chairman of the Steering and Outreach Committee lead the discussion as 14 other senators, including Barbara Boxer (D-CA) the Environment and Public Works Chair and John Kerry (D-MA), a senior member of the Finance Committee (two key committees in charge of writing pieces to the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), a key senator on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee commented and discussed funding the infrastructure projects and the importance of job creation.
Also, in attendance joining in the discussion was Co-Chair of Building America’s Future, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell who encouraged the senators to do more work to find additional revenues for the Highway Trust Fund so that the House and Senate can work in rebuilding highways, transit, safety and other critical transportation systems.
In attendance (alphabetically) :
• AFL-CIO, Building and Construction Trades Department, President, Mark Ayers
• Airports Council International – North America, President, Gregory Principato
• Alaska AFL-CIO, President, Vincent Beltrami
• American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, President, Susan Martinovich
• American Road and Transportation Builders, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pete Ruane
• American Trucking Association, Chair, Barbara Windsor
• Amtrak, Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Boardman
• Associated Equipment Distributors, Chairman, Dennis Kruepke
• Associated General Contractors of America, Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Sandherr
• Association of Equipment Manufacturers, President, Dennis Slater
• Building America’s Future, Co-Chair, Governor Edward G. Rendell
• CSX Corporation, Chief Executive Officer, Michael Ward
• Genesis High Speed Rail America, Chairman, Duane Wilder
• McCarran International Airport, Director of Aviation, Randall Walker
• National Asphalt Pavement Association, Past Chairman, Jim Weeks
• National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, President and Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Joy Wilson
• Transport Workers Union of America, International President, James Little