In a letter to Congressional leaders today, the Teamsters Rail Conference urges Congress to improve Railroad Retirement unemployment and sickness benefits as it votes on a stimulus package to provide economic relief to Americans who are not able to work during the coronavirus pandemic. The letter is part of a larger effort by all of Rail Labor and Rail Carriers to persuade Congress to extend to railroad workers the relief already granted to workers in other industries.

Dennis R. Pierce, President of the Teamsters Rail Conference and National President of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, wrote to House and Senate majority and minority leaders on March 24. He wrote specifically regarding changes being discussed pertaining to payment of benefits to railroad workers pursuant to the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA).

“Unlike many American workers, railroad employees do not receive unemployment benefits through state-administered unemployment insurance programs,” President Pierce wrote. “Instead, unemployed railroad workers receive RUIA benefits — covering both unemployment (unemployment benefits) and sickness/injury/disability (sickness benefits) — through a program that is administered by the United States Railroad Retirement Board (RRB). Thus, Congressional efforts to assist state-run unemployment plans provide no relief to railroad workers who are unable to work during the pandemic.”
https://teamster.org/news/2020/03/ra...ronavirus-bill