TCU: Amtrak must increase security in response to Jan. 6th attack, ongoing threats

TCU National President Artie Maratea issued the following statement regarding Amtrak security in the coming weeks:

As President of the largest union at Amtrak, representing various customer-facing employees including onboard service and station personnel, I call on Amtrak to immediately review its security measures in the wake of the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol.

At minimum, Amtrak must increase police presence at Washington DC’s Union Station, as well as staff all incoming trains to Washington, DC with uniformed Amtrak police officers.

In the wake of the recent attack, the FBI has warned of several subsequent events planned by far-right extremist groups in the days ahead, culminating on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20th. Many of these groups include avowed white supremacists, and therefore pose a direct and imminent threat to the safety and security of our diverse membership working to operate Amtrak trains and stations, including at Washington DC’s Union Station.

We’ve already seen disturbing behavior onboard airlines and at least one incident of racially-motivated harassment of an African-American flight attendant. Many security enhancements have been made at our nation’s airlines and airports in recent days. Unfortunately, many of those entrenched security measures don’t exist for Amtrak stations, trains, employees and passengers.

I therefore urge Amtrak to immediately liaise with local and federal law enforcement to ensure a robust and visible police presence at Union Station, and that crowd control measures and fortifications – to the fullest extent practicable – are erected to protect employees and passengers. Amtrak should also explore the practicality of coordinating with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to utilize the “No-fly” list in screening passenger manifests, and deny ticket sales to those passengers.

We must not let our nation’s trains or DC’s Union Station – with its surrounding grounds and proximity to the Capitol – become the site of, or aid in, another historically tragic event. We must be prepared for all situations, and hope for the best.

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For further information or media inquiries, please contact Kevin Gifford, TCU Communications Director, at giffordk@tcunion.org. 

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Updated: January 15, 2021 — 10:06 am