Nearly 50 Amtrak Employees Slated to Return to Work in Delaware

WILMINGTON, DE – Delaware’s Congressional Delegation announced today that Amtrak plans to call back 41 furloughed workers to the Bear, Delaware repair and maintenance facility. This callback over the next two weeks, combined with 6 workers who accepted recalls earlier this month, puts a total of 47 people back on the job at Amtrak in Delaware. The callbacks were made possible in part due to the expectation of $1.2 billion in federal funding which Amtrak is seeking for fiscal year 2003. “I am very happy that we are finally returning some of these folks back to work. But this is only the beginning. Many men and women who depend on Amtrak for their livelihood are waiting to come back to work. I am committed to ensuring that Amtrak gets the funding it needs to restore these jobs,” said Biden. “Amtrak’s Delaware employees are truly some of the best in the business. We have been working hard in Congress to ensure that Amtrak has the $1.2 billion it needs to bring skilled men and women back to work in Delaware and to continue to operate the Northeast Corridor and a national system,” said Carper. “We will continue to fight for $1.2 billion. Even in the face of struggle, Amtrak continues to succeed in increasing ridership, revenues, and service in Delaware. We must build upon these achievements by adequately funding Amtrak and maximizing the utility and value that a well-funded passenger rail system can bring to our nation.” “The return of these jobs is certainly good news for the Bear yard workers and their families, but it is also good news for Amtrak. The workers will be able to repair the damaged cars which in turn will help Amtrak serve its customers in a more efficient and timely manner,” Castle said. “But we cannot stop here, we must continue to work to secure additional needed funding for Amtrak to return more jobs to the Delaware yards, increase security, upgrade the rail lines and get Amtrak running more efficiently. There absolutely must be an increased federal commitment to the future of passenger rail in this country.” The decision to bring these workers back is based on the expectation that Amtrak will receive $1.2 billion from Congress at the end of this year. Currently, the Senate Fiscal Year 2003 Appropriations bill contains $1.2 billion in funding for Amtrak, while the House of Representatives Appropriations measure includes $762 million. The bills are expected to be passed later this fall and reconciled in a House-Senate conference. The entire Delaware Delegation is committed to providing Amtrak with at least $1.2 billion which it needs to maintain a national passenger rail system.