Teamsters, BLET conducting post-9/11 rail safety and security survey
Published: September 10, 2008
Source: BLET

CLEVELAND, September 10 — Is the railroad industry safer and more secure today than it was seven years ago when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001?

That’s what the Teamsters Rail Conference hopes to discover by conducting a survey of its membership.

Nearly 60,000 surveys were mailed recently to BLET and BMWED members on select carriers to gauge their first hand experiences regarding the effectiveness of safety and security improvements along our nation’s rail network since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Members will receive a letter with a request for them to complete and mail back a rail safety survey identical to the survey they completed in 2005. That survey became the foundation for the Rail Conference’s “High Alert” report.

The Rail Conference is revisiting this survey on select carriers to see if there has been any improvement in safety and security measures along our nation’s rail network. This is particularly important given that rail corporations are relying more and more on technology, contracting out, remote control, and smaller crews to continue downsizing its workforce. Such reductions are crippling the first layer of rail defense — the rail workers onboard the trains and along the tracks.

“Video cameras or posted signs can never replace the eyes and ears of trained rail employees and we need your help to again evaluate the state of rail security,” said Ed Rodzwicz, National President of the BLET and President of the Teamsters Rail Conference.

"High Alert" was based upon the result of over 4,000 surveys completed by BLET and BMWED members nationwide. Our “High Alert” report revealed that America’s rail system is no better protected then it was before 9/11, despite repeated warnings from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that our rail network is a likely terrorist target.

The report doggedly pressed into national awareness our communications strategy, and was tirelessly pushed by our BLET, BMWED and IBT state and national legislative representatives. This initiative by the Rail Conference spawned the first rail safety legislation in a generation, the ‘‘Railroad Safety Enhancement Act of 2008.”

“It is vitally important that all BLET and BMWED members participate in this next phase of our Safe Rails, Secure America campaign,” President Rodzwicz said. “Please take the time to complete it.”

All responses are completely anonymous and our member’s identity will be fully protected.

A reply envelope will be provided to return the completed survey by September 19, 2008.

A copy of the 2005 report, titled "High Alert: Workers Warn of Security Gaps on Nation’s Railroads report," is available on the BLET website at:

 

www.tcrc295.com