Transportation Workers Will Miss Senator Rockefeller

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Ed-SpeakingA historic figure in politics has announced he will depart from the U.S. Senate after nearly 30 years of service to our entire nation, and 50 years of service to the people of West Virginia in particular.

Transportation workers and their unions can’t imagine a Senate without Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).  They can’t fathom the idea that as transportation jobs are on the line, Sen. Rockefeller won’t be there to fight for them as he always has.  They can’t imagine that when transportation safety reforms are being debated, Sen. Rockefeller won’t be in committee or on the Senate floor keeping his colleagues honest.  They can’t get their heads around the notion that a true champion of U.S. manufacturing will no longer serve in the Senate to demand the strongest Buy America policies as we invest billions of dollars in our transportation system. And when extremists and the corporate lobby push to exterminate collective bargaining rights, it is hard to believe that Sen. Rockefeller will not be in the Senate trenches fighting for the rights of workers.

The legacy of Sen. Rockefeller will stand the test of time as he has taken on so many issues that matter.

  • Opposing those in Congress that would abdicate the federal responsibility to invest in a modern and safe transportation system.
  • Defending and protecting workers facing the ravages of perverse trade policy and globalization.
  • Staring down those who would abandon and undermine the economic needs of rural and small communities.
  •  Blocking countless privatization proposals designed to destroy publicly supported transportation systems such as Amtrak and mass transit operations.
  •  Championing federal workplace safety and health care policies for mineworkers, transportation workers and all Americans.
  •  And making sure America builds lasting and positive relationships with other nations.

Fortunately, Sen. Rockefeller be in the Senate for two more years.  His determination to ensure the Senate doesn’t abandon American workers will be in full force in the 113th Congress.  And his pursuit of policies that create jobs and make workplaces safer will be on display for the next two years and I’m sure in his life after the Senate.

This is not a good-bye, just a quick pause to honor Sen. Rockefeller’s profound impact on this country.  Transportation workers look forward to Senator Rockefeller’s continued push for common sense policies that lift the middle class and defend good jobs and workers’ rights in a changing world.

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