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Rail Tragedies Are Inappropriate for TV Advertisements
Teamsters Rail Conference
Published: March 28th 2007
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WASHINGTON, March 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Teamsters Rail Conference is standing behind every rail employee who has been offended by the inappropriate use of inferred violence by the Environmental Defense organization in their television ad for their global warming awareness campaign.

"Every day of the year our members safely transport thousands of passengers and tons of cargo on the nation's railways," said John Murphy, Director of the Teamsters Rail Conference. "They are often the first ones at the scene of a rail accident and often witness the last moment's of another individual's life. They have to live with the knowledge that there was nothing they could do to stop the end of that life."
"This advertisement is wildly misguided in its attempt to invoke fear," Murphy said. "So many other scenarios could have been chosen to illustrate impending doom, yet Environmental Defense settled upon one which is very emotional for our rail members."

The advertisement shows a small girl standing on a rail track with a locomotive engine bearing down on her. The implication is that global warming is bearing down on the populace and that we will get run over by it if we don't take action.

"We have had members across the country contact our office out of disgust with the ad," said John Tolman, vice president and national legislative representative of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET). "I, myself, saw some horrible, tragic accidents over the years. The toll these accidents take on our members is profound."

"We are asking all of our members and our brothers and sisters in the labor movement to contact Environmental Defense," said Don Hahs, President of the BLET. "Let them know you want the ad pulled from the airwaves. There are other more creative ways to communicate this message, and it should not be done at the expense of sensationalizing a tragedy."

One letter from an engineer said, "The constant images of tragic occurrences linger long after the accident," said Ken Smith, a CSX engineer for the past 29 years. "This ad certainly causes the visions that we try to forget to be painfully remembered."

The address and contact information for Environmental Defense is 1875 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Suite 1016, Washington, DC 20009, (202) 387-3500.

The BLET is a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference and represents over 35,000 locomotive engineers and trainmen in the United States. The Rail Conference is a division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that represents 1.4 million hard working men and women across the United States and Canada.

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