U.S. Representatives Introduce Rail Worker and Community Safety Act

Published: Sep 20 2023 11:12AM


WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representatives Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) and Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (D-N.Y.) introduced the Rail Worker and Community Safety Act. This bill will make much needed improvements to federal rail safety regulations, including mandates for a two-person crew, changes to ways hazardous materials can be transported, increases funding for rail safety inspectors, and codifies mandatory sick leave for all rail workers.


The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Nikki Budzinski, Yadira Caraveo, Tony Cardenas, Andre Carson, Rosa DeLauro, Mark DeSaulnier, Veronica Escobar, Adriano Espaillat, Lois Frankel, Sylvia Garcia, Eleanor Holmes Norton, William Keating, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Barbara Lee, Seth Magaziner, Betty McCollum, Joseph Morelle, Jared Moskowitz, Donald Norcross, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Brittany Pettersen, Mark Pocan, Ayanna Pressley, Andrea Salinas, Linda Sanchez, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Mark Takano, Dina Titus, and Rashida Tlaib.


“The tragedy of derailments is all too common in communities across the country,” said Rep. Stansbury. “In the last year, the nation has witnessed over 1,000 train derailments, including the catastrophic derailment in East Palestine that poisoned an entire town. In my own district, in February, we had a train derailment carrying hazardous materials in Torrance County. Each time a derailment occurs, it not only endangers the crew, but it also impacts the safety of our communities. This legislation will help ensure catastrophic derailments never happen again.”


“Our rail workers and railways have always been an essential part of our country, but they’ve experienced underinvestment and dangerous working conditions for decades,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (NY-16). “From the train derailment in East Palestine to the fight for paid sick leave for rail workers, we have seen firsthand how the neglect and exploitation of our railways and workers harms communities across the country. That’s why I’m proud to introduce the Rail Worker and Community Safety Act with Representative Stansbury to make much-needed improvements to federal rail safety regulations, support rail workers, and keep our communities safe. The operations of our railroads should not be a hazard to workers or communities across the country. We need paid sick leave, fully staffed crews, and a system to prevent dangerous derailments now, which is exactly what our bill would do.”


The bill is supported by AFL-CIO, IBEW, AFGE, American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA), Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS), Brotherhood Of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division (BMWED), International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers (IBB), National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, SEIU (NCFO), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Mechanical Division (SMART-MD), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers–Transportation Division (SMART-TD), Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM), and Transport Workers Union of America (TWU).