Rail Passengers Joins TCU, Lawmakers at 30th Street Station
February 20, 2020
Rail Passengers Joins TCU, Lawmakers to Rally Against Outsourcing of Amtrak Call-Center Jobs
For Immediate Release (20-5)
Contact: Sean Jeans-Gail, Rail Passengers Association (202-320-2723; [email protected])
Philadelphia, PA--The Rail Passengers Association is joining U.S. House lawmakers and TCU-IAM members in Philadelphia on Friday to call for action against ongoing outsourcing of Amtrak’s local call center jobs.
Reps. Brendan F. Boyle (D-Pa.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) will join TCU-IAM members in front of Amtrak’s William H. Gray III 30th Street Station to protest the nation’s passenger rail corporation’s unjust removal of good, union-protected jobs, organizers said. The lawmakers will also be joined by Jim Mathews, President of the Rail Passengers Association
The 3:30 p.m. rally will mark the latest action against Amtrak, which has been steadily shifting services and displacing jobs under the leadership of Richard Anderson, the former chief executive of Delta Air Lines.
One of the common criticisms from the elected officials is Amtrak’s contracting with a third-party, non-union, low-wage outsourcers in Florida and Ohio.
In December 2018, members of California’s congressional delegation joined TCU-IAM members in demanding Amtrak keep its Riverside (Calif.) call center open, and 500 TCU-IAM members employed. That facility was shuttered and some of those workers relocated to jobs at Amtrak’s Philadelphia call-center.
"Amtrak is America's railroad, and that means being able to serve all Americans," said Mathews. "There are millions of Americans who rely on the help provided by the real human beings at Amtrak's call centers. They choose to call in because of religious observances; because of financial hardship or lack of access to broadband in their rural community; sometimes simply because they lived in an America before the age of smartphones. They deserve to receive quality service in return for their train fare—and their tax dollars. We stand ready to work with Congress and with Amtrak to ensure that America’s railroad is able to offer sustainable levels of service, from 30th Street Station to Main Street USA.”
Boyle and Fitzpatrick on Friday will also be joined by staff from the office of Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Pa.).
About the Rail Passengers Association
The Rail Passengers Association is the oldest and largest national organization serving as a voice for the more than 40 million rail passengers in the U.S. Our mission is to improve and expand conventional intercity and regional passenger train services, support higher speed rail initiatives, increase connectivity among all forms of transportation and ensure safety for our country's trains and passengers. All of this makes communities safer, more accessible and more productive, improving the lives of everyone who lives, works and plays in towns all across America.
"Saving the Pennsylvanian (New York-Pittsburgh train) was a local effort but it was tremendously useful to have a national organization [NARP] to call upon for information and support. It was the combination of the local and national groups that made this happen."
Michael Alexander, NARP Council Member
April 6, 2013, at the Harrisburg PA membership meeting of NARP