Largest Public Works Project in State to Employ Hundreds
WASHINGTON, July 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Teamsters Rail Conference applauds today's vote by the California State Senate to pass legislation that will enable high speed rail construction. The new rail system would be the largest public works project in the state and could potentially employ hundreds of unionized maintenance of way workers and locomotive engineers and trainmen who are members of the Teamsters Rail Conference.
"It's a terrific day for the residents of California and the rail union members who will put their skills to use in building and operating trains on this high speed rail line," said John Murphy, Director of the Teamsters Rail Conference. "The legislators in Sacramento got it right when they voted to fund this project since it will help hundreds of people find good union jobs and the high speed rail line will provide a viable alternative to car and plane travel in the state."
Gov. Jerry Brown and his administration have been urging the passage of this high speed rail project ever since he took office in January, 2011. Nationally, President Obama's administration was an early advocate for national high speed rail projects. Vice President Biden, in particular, is a supporter of Amtrak since he used to commute on the rail system from his home in Delaware to the U.S. Senate in Washington.
"With the passage of this legislation, we have an opportunity to show Californians the skills and hard work our members bring to the rail profession," said Freddie N. Simpson, President of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) and Teamsters Vice President.
Dennis Pierce, Rail Conference President, and National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), commented that the direction that California is going will serve as a model for other states and cities to make similar decisions. "The California high speed rail line will be a beacon of performance on the West Coast and our members look forward to operating the equipment on this state-of-the-art rail line."
The Teamsters Rail Conference represents more than 70,000 rail workers employed as locomotive engineers, trainmen and maintenance of way workers across the United States as members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division.
The Teamsters Union was founded in 1903 and represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information www.teamster.org or follow us on Twitter @teamsters.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters