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Amtrak Chief Pleads for Almost $5 Billion to Survive Pandemic

On the listening to on Wednesday, committee members criticized Mr. Flynn for enacting job cuts after receiving emergency funds as a part of the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus handed by federal lawmakers in March.

Congress “offered over $1 billion in CARES Act funding for Amtrak with the understanding that a part of the funds could be used to stop furloughs,” mentioned Consultant Daniel Lipinski, Democrat of Illinois. “So Amtrak’s announcement that they’ll furlough over 2,000 workers on Oct. 1 is extraordinarily disappointing.”

Rail advocates additionally mentioned that Amtrak’s service discount on its long-distance routes, which serve almost 220 communities throughout the Southern, mountain and Western areas, could be an amazing blow to native economies for little or no in price financial savings.

“Reducing every day service may drop no less than a $2.three billion bomb on flyover nation whereas probably solely saving Amtrak $213 million,” mentioned Jim Mathews, the chief government of the Rail Passengers Affiliation, an advocacy group.

Union leaders who signify a majority of Amtrak’s labor power additionally questioned Mr. Flynn’s resolution to maintain retirement advantages in place for management-level workers whereas furloughing 1,950 union employees within the coming weeks.

Mr. Flynn mentioned these advantages had been essential to retain administration expertise on the firm.

“We urge Amtrak to reverse course and prioritize the rank-and-file, frontline employees who work together straight with our riders,” mentioned Amy Griffin, the president of the Transport Employees Union of America Native 1460. “This cash wouldn’t simply hold 1000’s employed, however protect protected and wholesome rail journey for the communities we serve.”

Senate Republicans on Tuesday launched a pared-down coronavirus stimulus plan, which would offer federal help to unemployed employees, colleges, farmers, the Postal Service and small companies. No emergency funding for Amtrak is within the proposal, in accordance with an Amtrak spokesman.

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