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Nevada State AFL-CIO Announces Support of AB456 Amidst Concerns of Train Derailments and Worker Safety in America

Stephanie Justice
04 Apr, 2023
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CARSON CITY —  This afternoon, the Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Susie Martinez testified in support of Assembly Bill 456, which would increase protections for rail workers and regulate freight trains that are run on Nevada’s railroads. This bill comes at a critical time in which rail companies are under scrutiny due to train derailments across the country, including the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Just last month, a train derailed in Lyon County, with no injuries reported.

“America’s rail workers have been asking for far too long that companies take bold measures to ensure their safety. Without increased protections, it is only a matter of time before railroad accidents like the ones we’re seeing in other states occur in Nevada,” said Executive Secretary-Treasurer Susie Martinez. “I thank Assemblyman Carter for bringing this critical legislation forward, and I hope that we can continue to take action to protect our workers and keep our communities safe from harm.”

You can read Executive Secretary-Treasurer Susie Martinez’s testimony, as prepared, below:

Thank you, Chairman Watts and members of the committee, for the opportunity to speak this afternoon.

My name is Susie Martinez, and I’m the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO.

On behalf of over 150,000 members and 120 unions, the Nevada State AFL-CIO supports Assembly Bill 456.

Everyone in this room today has seen the news of consistent train derailments across the country and concerns about the safety of America’s rail workers.

A derailment has already occurred in our state last month—luckily, with no injuries or impact to our environment—but we need to ensure that it doesn’t happen again in a higher stakes situation.

The Nevada State AFL-CIO supports this legislation because it would ensure that our workers aren’t being overburdened, guarantee minimal risk of accidents on our railroads, and impose much-needed penalties on rail companies who refuse to prioritize the safety of our workers and our state.

It is time for us to take initiative and make sure that Nevada isn’t the site of America’s next railroad tragedy.

I thank Assemblyman Carter for bringing this bill forward, and I strongly urge the committee to support Assembly Bill 456. Thank you.