IAM Rail Division Takes Center Stage as Biden Rolls Out Historic Infrastructure Projects

The IAM and the Transportation Communications Union (TCU/IAM) were important parts of two recent presidential visits announcing funding for projects from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

President Biden appeared next to an IAM-made Amtrak Acela locomotive in Baltimore, with the IAM logo proudly displayed. He announced that funds from the new law would replace the 150-year-old Baltimore and Potomac Tunnel.

The White House says the project will address the largest rail bottleneck on the Northeast Corridor, create good-paying union jobs, improve reliability, and lower commute times. A project labor agreement will ensure the tunnel is constructed with union labor.

IAM Local 2741 (District 19) members at Alstom in Hornell, NY, build the state-of-the-art Acela railcars and locomotives, which are staffed during trips and maintained by TCU/IAM and IAM District 19 members.

“The infrastructure funding is pushing the rail industry into the future with the enhanced improvements on some of our busiest corridors,” said Josh Hartford, IAM Special Assistant to the International President for the Rail Division. “The IAM was a strong proponent of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Biden-Harris administration has kept their word with funding these vital projects, and now our nation will benefit for generations to come.”

“When we tell our members that elections matter, we can point directly to these types of investments in our rail infrastructure,” said TCU/IAM National President Artie Maratea. “This legislation is a perfect example of what happens when both parties work together in the best interest of the American people. I applaud President Biden for highlighting the projects where so many of our members play an important role in maintaining these projects.”

The next day in a rail yard on the west side of Manhattan, IAM, and TCU/IAM members were by President Biden’s side, including IAM District 19 Assistant President and Directing General Chairman Andrew Sandberg and TCU/IAM National Representative Nick Peluso, when the president announced funding from the law to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River. 

“Today is a great day for our Union brothers and sisters, as well as commuters that ride the Northeast Corridor,” said TCU/IAM National Representative Nick Peluso. “Our members will directly benefit by having a shorter commute, but also increased ridership that will support and expand their jobs for decades to come.”

The Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project will replace a century-old tunnel that is a critical link for the Northeast Corridor, moving countless people and goods between New Jersey and New York.

“I was proud to be in the audience to witness the solution to eliminating the bottleneck on the Northeast Corridor,” said IAM District 19 Assistant President and Directing General Chair Andrew Sandberg. “Our members work hard every day to ensure the customers in the rail industry have an experience that exceeds expectations, whether the supplier or the rail passenger. We will continue to celebrate as more projects like this are completed using this worthwhile investment in the nation’s infrastructure.”

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Updated: February 11, 2023 — 10:34 pm