By UTU International President Mike Futhey –
For UTU members employed in the airline, rail and transit industries, the Obama/Biden victory and U.S. Senate election results translate to:
* More, and more secure, transportation jobs.
* More support to increase funding for public transit, Amtrak, and high-speed and higher-speed rail.
* Strengthened protections of collective bargaining rights and the right to organize the unorganized.
* Assurance of a safer workplace.
* Protection of Social Security, Railroad Retirement and Medicare programs as we know them.
* Retention of the Affordable Care Act’s provisions that allow children to remain on your health insurance policy until age 26, prohibit insurers from limiting maximum patient care payments to those with serious chronic illnesses, prohibit denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, prohibit copays for certain preventive care procedures, and require insurance carriers to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on patient care.
Moreover, continued control of the U.S. Senate by labor-friendly Democrats better ensures that presidential nominations to federal regulatory agencies are more likely to be approved, and that anti-labor legislation passed by the House of Representatives more likely will be blocked by the Senate.
We have many contacts within the Obama administration who understand the concerns and needs of transportation workers.
A few of the most outrageous members of Congress were defeated. Our National Legislative Office and state legislative departments look forward to working with the new Congress to help resolve the major issues facing our nation. We will continue to deliver a clear and consistent message to all members of Congress.
The vote re-electing President Obama and Vice President Biden was a clear victory for the middle class over the privileged landed gentry’s candidate, who was out of touch with working families.
We will continue to develop good working relationships with the leadership of Congress on both sides of the aisle, and our partners in the rail and public transit industries to grow our transportation alternatives with improvements in rail passenger service, rail freight service and all public transportation services.
We are thankful that many of our friends in the Republican leadership in the House were returned to office.
The most important function of a labor union is to advance the job security, wages, benefits, working conditions, and retirement security of its members. The re-election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and the continued labor-friendly control of the Senate, will help to advance those objectives.