Chicago, IL -- On Friday, June 5, the Illinois Jobs to Move America coalition will host an informational webinar with a panel of experts, to help major global railcar manufacturing companies demonstrate their commitment to good jobs, career tracks, training and community investment in their proposals to Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), competing for an estimated $2 billion contract to manufacture up to 846 new railcars.
The Illinois Jobs to Move America coalition -- a national coalition uniting community, civil rights, faith-based, philanthropic, labor, academic and environmental groups – seeks to support manufacturers’ efforts to recruit and develop a skilled workforce and invest in the Chicago community, as they compete for the CTA contract for the 7000 series railcars. CTA’s Request for Proposals includes an innovative policy called the “U.S. Employment Plan” requiring all bidders to provide the number and type of jobs related to the production of the new rail cars, and to outline to outline commitments to jobs, recruitment and workforce training. The CTA will score the responses and evaluate competing bids on a number of criteria, including U.S. jobs.
Dear Secretary Foxx:
We are writing on behalf of the Jobs to Move America Coalition (hereinafter “JMA”), an alliance of over 40 organizations from across the United States that is dedicated to the creation and improvement of jobs and opportunity for low income communities through the investment of public transportation dollars. Specific organizations signing onto this letter are listed below.
We submit these comments in response to the DOT’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (hereinafter “NPRM”) ID number DOT-OST-2015-0013-0002, Geographic-Based Hiring Preferences in Administering Federal Awards. Because the collective work of JMA is focused on the creation of good manufacturing jobs in the transit vehicle manufacturing industry, our comments relate primarily to strengthening the final rule....
On April 6, 39 member-organizations of the Jobs to Move America coalition – including community, labor, civil rights, academic, philanthropic, and environmental groups – submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in favor of allowing job-creation incentives connected to federal transportation contracts, at the scheduled conclusion of a 30-day public comment period. The DOT then announced it would extend the comment period to May 6.
On Monday, March 9, a delegation representing eight Chicago-area community, faith and labor organizations traveled to the Nippon Sharyo rail car factory in Rochelle, Illinois, to express in-person their grave concerns over alleged unhealthy and dangerous working conditions inside the factory. The delegation was organized by the Illinois Jobs to Move America coalition, and included 15 people from 8 organizations.
On Monday, November 10, workers will speak out against dangerous and unhealthy conditions in the Nippon Sharyo passenger train factory in Rochelle, IL, and announce the filing of U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) complaint. Workers at the plant build railcars for Metra and other public transit agencies around the country. The workers will be joined by members of the Illinois Jobs to Move America coalition. The complaints show that Illinois workers building railcars for Nippon Sharyo are exposed to serious, unsafe conditions on an ongoing basis; including broken scaffolding that has caused worker falls and injuries, poor ventilation while working with chemicals, and unsafe train moving procedures.
On Tuesday, September 30, experts in economics, sociology, and urban planning will convene a media telebriefing to discuss a new nationwide trend toward cities creating good manufacturing jobs through transportation spending. Since July, three major U.S. transit purchases by Amtrak, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Transit Authority, and the Maryland Transit Administration – collectively worth an estimated $4.4 billion – have included innovative U.S. jobs incentives. Los Angeles adopted similar job-creating policies in 2012 on two railcar and bus manufacturing contracts. As more public transportation agencies use their purchasing power to boost job creation, the Jobs to Move America coalition estimates they could support up to 53,000 good American jobs with decent wages and career pathways.[i] In conjunction with the telebriefing, the Jobs to Move America coalition will also release a new interactive online map detailing 34 current and upcoming purchases of buses and trains in 25 states, as well as locations of bus and train factories, a powerful research tool.
On July 24, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will restart its procurement of up to 846 railcars worth up to $2 billion with a new approach that can create thousands of good jobs manufacturing the trains. The Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) partnered with Mayor Emanuel’s office to sponsor this new job-creating initiative. “The jobs disclosure and evaluation tools used in this purchase can improve Chicago’s transit system, create good jobs, and revive Illinois’ manufacturing economy, all at the same time,” said Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor. “This approach to transit procurement, as outlined by the Jobs to Move America coalition, creates more competition between companies vying to create good American jobs.”