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Railroad Track Workers & Families Join Multi-Union Rally For Universal Medical Insurance For All

Published: Apr 7 2017 2:55PM

Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division of the
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

CONTACT:     Matt Mortensen - 248.205.8327  Carey Dall - 248.986.6095

Saturday, April 8, 10:00AM – 1:00PM

Place: Cancer Survivors Park, 4799 Roanoke Pkwy, Kansas City, MO 64112

Hundreds of BMWED members and their families stand in Kansas City and 49 other U.S. cities to push for a national healthcare system that covers everyone.

As members of Congress return to their home districts for the spring recess, they will be greeted by a broad coalition of doctors, nurses, students, patients, and Unionized railroad construction workers, demanding “Improved Medicare For All,” a single-payer health plan that covers all Americans. On Saturday, April 8, participants in 49 cities—from New Hampshire to Hawaii—will hold marches, rallies, congressional office visits and “die-ins,” highlighting the urgent need for a national health program.

“To put it simply, health care is a damn human right,” said Cory Aaron, a member of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamsters union who was born in Jasper, Alabama, and now works for the BNSF Railroad near St. Louis. “Everyone should have the health care they need and we are only going to get it by standing together. That’s why my family and I are going to the action on Saturday.” 

The April 8 Day of Action was sparked by a renewed interest across the political spectrum in a single-payer, universal health program. Participants will ask their representatives to sign on to H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. Researchers estimate that replacing the Affordable Care Act with a streamlined, publicly financed single-payer health system like H.R. 676 would yield about $500 billion annually in administrative savings, enough to provide immediate coverage to the 26 million Americans who are currently uninsured, saving nearly 21,000 lives in year one. The savings would also be sufficient to eliminate all copays and deductibles for those already insured. H.R. 676 currently has 90 co-sponsors, 21 of which signed on in the last two weeks. In addition, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) has announced plans to introduce a single-payer health bill in the U.S. Senate.

Participating labor groups are fully on board with this message. The April 8 National Day of Action is coordinated by the Campaign for Guaranteed Healthcare, which includes Healthcare-NOW, Physicians for a National Health Program, Students for a National Health Program, National Nurses United, Progressive Democrats of America, Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare, Our Revolution, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees (Teamsters), American Student Medical Association (AMSA) and White Coats for Black Lives.

Detailed information and local contacts for each of the 43 participating cities can be found here:
Berkeley, CA
Orange County, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Idyllwild, CA
Riverside, CA
West Covina, CA
Boulder, CO
Denver, CO
Loveland, CO
Washington, DC
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Naples, FL
St. Petersburg, FL
Tampa, FL
Gainesville, FL
Miami, FL
Naples, FL
The Villages, (Central FL)
West Palm Beach, FL
Atlanta, GA
Honolulu, HI
Champaign, IL
Elgin, IL
Louisville, KY
Frederick, MD
Boston, MA
Pittsfield, MA
Minneapolis, MN
St. Louis, MO
Kansas City, MO
Las Vegas, NV
Concord, NH
Albuquerque, NM
New York, NY
Charlotte, NC
Greensboro, NC
Cleveland, OH
Dayton, OH
Toledo, OH
Roseburg, OR
Corvallis, OR
Philadelphia, PA
Memphis, TN
Austin, TX
Virginia Beach, VA
Seattle, WA
Fond du Lac, WI

The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWED) -- a railroad track and bridge workers' division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters -- is in the midst of a protracted battle with the largest Class 1 railroads in this country over the healthcare benefits of their members. BMWED members build and maintain the tracks for all the major freight railroads across the country as well as Amtrak and the major commuter systems.