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Preserving Amtrak: A perennial effort
Posted By rob On February 18, 2011 @ 5:28 pm In Amtrak/Commuter,Amtrak/Commuter News,News,Washington | Comments Disabled
WASHINGTON — Since its creation four decades ago, Amtrak has perennially teetered on the edge of financial extinction, annually fighting down to the wire for minimal funds to keep it operating.This year is no exception. And while UTU member and retiree phone calls — along with tens of thousands of others from Amtrak supporters nationwide — helped defeat an Amtrak-killing effort in the House of Representatives Feb. 17, the assault on Amtrak continues.
And as one should always expect a train at a highway-rail grade-crossing, we should always expect a congressional assault on Amtrak.
Indeed, there are those who do NOT love a train; but there are far more who do.
Limiting the ability of those in lawmaking authority to kill Amtrak — or so severely hobble Amtrak that death would follow — is a perennial effort requiring vigilance and education.
For rail employees — freight and passenger — this is a matter of job survival and family financial security.
This is because Amtrak’s survival means more than jobs for 20,000 Amtrak workers.
It means survival of Railroad Retirement.
Without Amtrak — and its workforce that numbers 9 percent of all active rail workers — Tier II of Railroad Retirement would suffer the same fate as Amtrak. Railroad Retirement Tier II cannot remain solvent should 20,000 Amtrak workers disappear from the employment roles and participation in Railroad Retirement.
Thus, Amtrak’s survival is as important to all active and retired rail employees as it is Amtrak’s current workforce.
Here are points of light for rail employees to communicate to lawmakers:
To communicate these points to your elected lawmakers, click on the following link, and then type in your address and zip code to receive the name and direct office phone number of your elected lawmakers in the House and Senate:
Article printed from United Transportation Union: http://utu.org
URL to article: http://utu.org/2011/02/18/%e2%80%a2preserving-amtrak-a-perennial-effort/
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