Rail Union Blames Corporate Changes at Amtrak for Worker Deaths

April 15, 2016

Railroad union leaders say a “perfect storm” of corporate changes at Amtrak is largely to blame for two workers being killed on tracks near Philadelphia.

In a letter sent on April 13 to Amtrak President Joe Boardman, maintenance-of-way and other union officials say employee training is inadequate and demand a change in the policy on “close call” reporting of dangerous incidents.

They say hazardous conditions exist on the main Northeast Corridor.

In response, Amtrak says it’s always working to improve the safety culture. It says the most effective way for that to happen is if management and union leaders work together.

On April 2, an Amtrak train struck a backhoe south of Philadelphia, killing the equipment operator and a supervisor. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.


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