Brightline West announce landmark agreement with High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition
Posted: 23 February 2023 | Elliot Robinson (Editorial Assistant - Global Railway Review) | No comments yet
Brightline West have signed an MOU with the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition prioritising skilled labour for the high-speed rail system.
Brightline West has announced a landmark agreement, establishing a commitment with several craft rail unions for the use of highly skilled union labour in critical jobs required to operate and maintain America’s first true high-speed rail system connecting Las Vegas and Southern California. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition (Coalition) is comprised of 13 rail unions representing more than 160,000 freight, regional, commuter, and passenger railroad workers in the United States.
The MOU demonstrates the support of union labour in the development of the Brightline West system, and Brightline West’s commitment to providing the safest possible rail operations and high-quality working conditions for its employees.
Brightline West is a 218-mile system connecting Las Vegas and Southern California within the Interstate 15 right-of-way with train capable of speeds of 200 mph. The $10 billion investment has widespread economic benefits, including the creation of nearly 35,000 jobs during construction and more than $10 billion in economic impact. The fully electric, emission- free system will be one of the greenest forms of transportation in the U.S., removing three million cars and 400,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
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“Our nation’s first high-speed rail system will be operated and maintained by union labour, a statement of the strength of the American workforce,” Mike Reininger, CEO of Brightline Holdings, said. “As the most shovel-ready high-speed rail project in the United States, we are one step closer to levelling the playing field against transit and infrastructure projects around the world, and we are proud to be using America’s most skilled workers to get there.”
Brightline West includes stations near the iconic Las Vegas Strip and in Rancho Cucamonga, Apple Valley, and Hesperia, California. The system is expected to create over 1,000 permanent jobs once operational.
“As the nation’s largest transportation labor union federation, we are proud to support monumental projects like Brightline West, which will deliver a modern, efficient, and green transit system while putting skilled union members to work,” Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, said.
The High-Speed Rail Labor Coalition members include the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Mechanical and Engineering Department, National Conference of Firemen and Oilers 32BJ/SEIU, Transportation Communications Union, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Transport Workers Union of America, American Train Dispatchers Association, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers-Transportation Department, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.