The TWU has spent the past few months working diligently to ensure today’s stimulus bill was passed. The International has been lobbying the Congress ever since March on direct aid to our sectors to ensure that our members are kept on payrolls. This work culminated in five relief and aid bills totaling nearly $4 trillion in spending. Including tens of billions for our rail, train, airline, and services sectors. This money also included unprecedented labor protections never seen before.
Even though the stimulus does not include all the funding we requested to assist our members across all divisions who have been working the front lines of this raging pandemic, it will provide much needed relief.
The bipartisan legislation contains about $900 billion in relief for pandemic, including $15 billion for airlines through the payroll support program, $14 billion for transit funding, $1 billion for Amtrak, and $2 billion for school buses and other neglected modes of transportation. All this funding comes with unprecedented, strong, labor protections which ensures that workers are the primary beneficiaries of federal support.
“The TWU fought for and won jobs for our members. Nearly every TWU member will either stay at work or be recalled from furlough thanks to this legislation. We didn’t just win money, we won stability for our members at work with this deal,” said International President John Samuelsen.
“Our members have been on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus and this deal recognizes their sacrifices. We needed more funding to keep our transportation system moving and this bill is going to make that happen,” said International Executive Vice President Alex Garcia.
“This is a bill for essential workers. We worked with Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between to make sure that TWU members can provide for their families and we won,” said International Secretary-Treasurer Jerome Lafragola.
“Our members have endured tragic losses, have sacrificed and suffered. Now there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel. I am happy and thankful that our members will have the funding and protections needed to ensure they are able to continue to support their families and perform their essential duties,” said International Administrative Vice President Curtis Tate.
“TWU has been leading this fight since June. Congress works slow and we’ll need to be back at it again next year, but this gives our members the money and protections we need to start delivering the covid-19 vaccine in the coming months,” said International Administrative Vice President Mike Mayes.