Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), and Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) today released the following statements in response to Amtrak President and CEO William Flynn's commitment to keep jobs in the United States and not send them overseas.
A current Amtrak Request for Proposal (RFP) for eCommerce and Mobile Development allowed certain work to be offshored. During a Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee hearing earlier this week, Representative Stephen Lynch (D-MA) questioned Flynn about the RFP. In response to that questioning, Flynn reversed course, crediting a letter sent earlier this week by DeFazio, Lipinski, and Wexton urging him to support American workers.
"I'm pleased that William Flynn is scrapping Amtrak's RFP that would have allowed offshoring of good jobs and will instead ensure that American taxpayer dollars support American workers," said Chair DeFazio. "Amtrak calls itself America's Railroad--connecting communities big and small--and it should be staffed by an American workforce. Maintaining these jobs is even more important in the wake of Amtrak's recent decision to lay off approximately 2,050 employees by October 1, 2020, contributing to the current national unemployment rate of 8.4 percent. I'm glad Mr. Flynn agrees with us and we'll continue to work with him to ensure that he follows through with his commitment."
"America's public rail service should always be staffed by American workers. I am proud that the committee acted quickly to prevent the offshoring of these US jobs. While we are pleased with Amtrak's decision to change course, we must be diligent in our efforts to prevent the furloughing of over 2,000 Amtrak employees. We should continue to work with Amtrak leadership to keep American workers on the job and protect daily long distance service," Chair Lipinski said.
"It is great to see that our fierce opposition to Amtrak's attempt to send high-wage, high-tech jobs overseas has persuaded them to reverse course," said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. "American taxpayer dollars should support American jobs, especially in the midst of a crisis that has left millions of workers out of a job. I thank my colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for working with me in this necessary oversight and the fight to protect American workers."