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Season 4, Episode 61

Rail industry facing more scrutiny following East Palestine derailment

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Guest Name:


Greg Regan

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Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO joined the America’s Work Force Union and provided updates following the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. He also discussed the impact the derailment is having on the entire rail industry and problems with the Federal Aviation Administration that currently does not have a leader.

As more federal hearings and meetings take place regarding the East Palestine derailment, Regan feels it has become clear that the rail agencies are not as transparent as they claim. Many local residents and the union members who were charged with the cleanup task following the derailment have become sick. Unfortunately, there are no explanations for the symptoms these men and women have developed. Adding to the mystery, Regan said there are no examples of how this disaster will affect the area in the long term.

Following the recent federal hearings into the railroad industry and its safety procedures, new regulations have been introduced with bi-partisan support. The Reducing Accidents In Locomotives Act (RAIL Act) was introduced to bring practical regulations to rail industry operations. Among the changes are new railcar inspection instructions and mandatory full-time, two-member crews. Regan said this is a positive starting point, but believes more can be done to improve rail safety.

He also spoke about one of the major issues affecting the FAA. Recently, Phil Washington, the Biden Administration’s nominee to lead the FAA withdrew his nomination. Nine months following his initial nomination, Washington faced challenges about his experience from senators on both sides of the aisle. With the nomination withdrawn, the FAA has gone nearly one year without a confirmed administrator. In the meantime, Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen will continue to lead the agency until a new nominee is confirmed.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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