FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2021
Contact: Denise Romano at email@example.com
The TWU Congratulates Pete Buttigieg Following Confirmation as Department of Transportation Secretary
The following statement can be attributed to Transport Workers Union of America International President John Samuelsen, following the confirmation of Pete Buttigieg as Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary.
“Secretary Pete Buttigieg is more than up to the task of leading the Department of Transportation at this critical time. He has proactively built relationships with unions and other stakeholders – relationships that began, in some cases, years before he sought national office. He has demonstrated an understanding of the issues frontline workers face in the transportation sector and he has led the dialog on innovative policy proposals to ensure that our middle class is the primary beneficiary of the next generation of technological change. He is a man of true integrity who will be an exceptional public servant at this time.
“The DOT often functions as a supplemental Labor Department for transportation workers. The Department is responsible, at least in part, for enforcing transit worker protections, living wage rates, Buy America standards, and health and safety rules. The Secretary’s decisions have a direct effect on the day-to-day tasks our members perform. It is essential that the leadership of the DOT understands and advocates for these frontline workers who keep our country moving.
“These duties are particularly important given the Department’s urgent agenda. Secretary Buttigieg will need to immediately address: public health concerns and worker protections in response to the ongoing pandemic (including the President’s mask mandate for interstate travel in other federally regulated areas); regulating autonomous and operator-assistance technology in buses, cars, trucks, locomotives, aircraft, and maritime ships; infrastructure and vehicle electrification; climate change in the sector responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.; a very long list of overdue Congressionally-directed rulemakings including important changes to the rules governing U.S.-certified foreign aircraft repair stations, preventing assaults on transit workers, and ensuring flight attendants receive at least ten hours of rest between shifts; as well as, rebuilding the Department as a regulator following the failures of oversight on the Boeing 737-MAX and other areas. We look forward to working with him.”
The Transport Workers Union of America represents more than 150,000 members across the airline, railroad, transit, universities, utilities and services sectors